Roche has acquired ForSight VISION4, a developer of retinal disease drug delivery technology.
ForSight was funded by Morgenthaler Ventures and Versant Ventures, two venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.
The acquisition allows Roche to access ForSight VISION4 PDS technology, offering long acting delivery of therapeutics to the eye.
ForSight entered into a collaboration and license agreement with Genentech, a member of Roche group, for exclusive rights to use the drug delivery technology in treating Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A).
Retinal vascular diseases such as neovascular age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease are considered some of the leading causes of vision loss in aged and elderly people.
The most common treatment for these diseases is intraocular injections of Anti-VEGF drugs. The intensity of treatment can become burden on patients, their caregivers and physicians, and recent studies suggest that in some cases, under-treatment could lead to significant, unrecoverable vision loss.
PDS technology from ForSight is claimed to be a durable intravitreal implant which is placed through a scleral incision in a one-time surgery. It is refilled using a proprietary refill needle by a physician.
PDS was developed to deliver a range of molecules and therapeutic payloads which include delivering small molecules that typically have short retention time in the eye.
ForSight claims that the PDS technology can be broadly applied by Roche to other molecules as an approach to extend the duration between treatments for drugs being injected intravitreally.
ForSight VISION4 president and CEO K. Angela Macfarlane said: "This transaction marks the successful culmination of an early and ongoing collaboration between the ForSight VISION4 team and the team at Genentech, and puts the PDS technology on a path to revolutionize retinal therapies for patients worldwide.
"We believe that Roche, a leader in ophthalmic drug development, is the ideal partner to drive the further development of the PDS."