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10 November 2015

Nightstar burns bright with $35m

Oxford’s life sciences firm NightstaRx raises $35m in series B.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

NightstaRx (Nightstar), an Oxford University spinout developing gene therapies for inherited retinal dystrophies, secures $35m in its series B round.

The UK-based firm saw its round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Syncona, a venturing unit of charity investor the Wellcome Trust, returned to back Nightstar for the second time after leading the Oxford firm’s $20m series A. As part of the deal, NEA general partner David Mott will join Nightstar’s board.

Nightstar’s gene therapy for inherited form of progressive blindness showed promising results in clinical trials. The funds will be used to continue development, as well as pursuing five new licenses from Oxford provided by its tech transfer arm Isis Innovation.

David Fellows, CEO of Nightstar, said: "We are delighted to welcome a high quality investor such as NEA who supports our goal to build Nightstar into a leading commercial retinal gene therapy enterprise. Our mission is to restore or maintain sight in patients suffering from a range of untreatable blinding diseases and the participation of both NEA and Syncona is essential to realising that mission."

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