We are dedicated to developing optogenetic solutions to cure blindness

Visual Optogenetics Technology

Ray’s Vision for Patients: RESTORE vision to those who are blind or visually impaired.

Our technology looks to realize the full potential of a pioneering scientific field called Optogenetics.

Optogenetics uses Gene Therapy to deliver an Optogenetic gene to the eye. Cells in the retina of the eye use this Optogenetic gene to make a protein that responds to light. ln this manner, light entering the eye triggers the Optogenetic protein to produce a visual signal that is sent to the brain to “see”.

Ray Therapeutics Optogenetic products are truly Next Generation. They are designed to be delivered simply and safely using an intravitreal injection (a 5 minute outpatient treatment) and have the potential to powerfully restore vision to those who are blind or visually impaired. We expect this will be without needing to be combined with any special light-amplifying devices, supplements or other drugs.

Why Optogenetics is so different?

Optogenetics is unique in that it can restore or improve vision. Almost every other treatment in development is aimed at slowing the pace of vision loss. Optogenetics has the potential to work for all forms of retinal blindness and is not dependent on any particular gene or mutation.

We aim to treat first, those patients who are blind, have the highest unmet need and for whom other treatments will most likely have little-to-no benefit.

Because optogenetics makes use of gene therapy, a single treatment to each eye is expected to produce lifelong effects.

The Retina of the Eye

The retina is a tissue that lines inside the back of the eye. Light entering the eye from objects in the environment is focused on the retina producing a signal that is then sent to the brain.

The primary cell responsible for generating the light signal is called the photoreceptor. There are approximately 100 million photoreceptors in the human retina carefully arranged in a single layer.

Photoreceptors send the light signal electrically to other cells in the retina including cells called retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) which are responsible for relaying the signal to the brain.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP), is a genetic disease in which the photoreceptors gradually degenerate resulting in complete, or nearly complete blindness for most patients.

The symptoms of RP include night blindness, reduced visual fields, and eventual loss of visual acuity. Patients are typically diagnosed in the first decades of life. More than half a million people are probably affected by RP worldwide. At present, no effective treatment is available for RP.

For more information, we recommend these excellent resources:

Inherited Retinal Degenerations

These retinal diseases are like RP because the photoreceptors gradually degenerate but different genes are frequently involved, different patterns of progression occur and in some instances your ophthalmologist may recognize different appearances to the retina.

Examples of inherited retinal degenerations that could be treated by optogenetics include Stargardt macular dystrophy, choroideremia, cone-rod dystrophy and Leber congenital amaurosis.

For more information, we recommend these excellent resources:

Geographic Atrophy

Known also as “GA”, Geographic Atrophy is a major cause of blindness in older patients with the “Dry” type of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Similar to other retinal degenerations, progressive, gradual loss (referred to as “atrophy”) of photoreceptors and other layers of the retina occurs usually starting at the center of a patient’s vision. In the retina this is referred to as the macula.

Increases in the size of the atrophy over time results in loss of acuity, difficulty in reading and recognizing faces and fading of the central vision. At present, there are no treatments that can improve vision in patients with GA.

For more information, we recommend these excellent resources: