ViewPoint Appoints Dr. Robert Kim as Chief Medical Officer

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 1, 2018 – ViewPoint Therapeutics, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company pioneering the development of crystallin stabilizers to prevent and treat cataracts and presbyopia, today announced the appointment of Dr. Robert Kim as Chief Medical Officer. A board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Kim brings over 19 years of strategic and operational drug development expertise to Viewpoint.

 

“I am honored to welcome Bob to the ViewPoint team. He has been a trusted consultant and advisor to the company to date, and we’re delighted to now have his full commitment in helping to transition ViewPoint into a clinical-stage company,” said Leah Makley, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ViewPoint. “Bob will play an instrumental role in implementing our preclinical and clinical plans to bring VP1-001 through human proof-of-concept.” 

 

“ViewPoint’s research into stabilizing crystallins, the predominant proteins in the lens of the eye, has the potential to result in the first pharmacologic approach to managing vision loss resulting from aging,” said Dr. Kim. “ViewPoint’s lead candidate, VP1-001, has demonstrated impressive activity to date in preclinical models of cataracts and I am eager to help advance this first-in-class product candidate into the clinic and through proof-of-concept,” added Dr. Kim. “If successful, VP1-001 could eliminate much of the need for corrective lenses and cataract surgery in the U.S., but it could also have tremendous impact in the developing world where over one hundred million people are blind or suffer from low vision due to the inaccessibility of cataract surgery.”   

 

Dr. Kim began his industry career in medical devices, first at Zeiss Humphrey Systems (now Carl Zeiss Meditec), followed by the German venture capital firm, Earlybird. He then transitioned to drug development at Genentech, where he managed the Lucentis Phase 3 clinical program through to its first product approval in wet age related macular degeneration. After Genentech, Dr. Kim was VP of Clinical Ophthalmology at GSK and VP and Head of Pharmaceutical Product Development at Novartis/Alcon. More recently, Dr. Kim was Chief Medical Officer and Head of R&D at Vision Medicines and Apellis Pharmaceuticals. Currently, he is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at UCSF, where he continues to see patients.

 

Dr. Kim has over 30 years of clinical experience in ophthalmology. He received his undergraduate and MD degrees from Brown University. Dr. Kim completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), post-doctoral training in molecular biology of lens crystallins at the National Eye Institute, and retina fellowship training at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London before joining the faculty at UCSF. Prior to transitioning to industry, Dr. Kim completed an MBA at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

About Cataracts
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens. Cataracts cause vision loss or vision impairment in approximately 50 percent of people over age 70 and are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Epidemiologic models estimate that approximately 15 million people in the world are blind due to untreated cataracts, with an additional 85 million suffering from low vision.

 

About Presbyopia
Presbyopia is age-related farsightedness caused by the loss of lens elasticity. It first affects individuals between the ages of 40 and 50, initially causing blurred vision, difficulty seeing in dim light, and eye strain.

 

About ViewPoint Therapeutics
ViewPoint is a preclinical-stage biotechnology company passionately committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of treatments for diseases of protein misfolding, which is implicated in numerous common disorders of aging including cataracts and presbyopia. The Company was founded in 2014 based on technology developed in the lab of ViewPoint co-founder, Dr. Jason Gestwicki, at the University of Michigan in collaboration with the lab of Dr. Usha Andley at Washington University in St. Louis. ViewPoint has a world-class Scientific Advisory Board with decades of experience in the fields of protein misfolding, crystallin biology, cataract etiology and medicinal chemistry. Targeting α-crystallin, a genetically validated target that drives cataract pathology and presbyopia, ViewPoint is developing VP1-001, a small molecule that is active in preclinical models of age-related cataracts. VP1-001 is the first preclinical candidate from ViewPoint’s discovery engine. For more information, please visit www.viewpointtherapeutics.com.

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Source: ViewPoint Therapeutics, Inc.

 

ViewPoint Therapeutics Contact:

Denise Powell

denise@redhousecomms.com

 

ViewPoint Therapeutics Raises $35 Million in Series B Financing

-- Proceeds will advance lead product candidate through clinical proof-of-concept studies in cataracts and presbyopia --

-- Series B led by The Rise Fund, a global impact fund -- 

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 5, 2018 - ViewPoint Therapeutics, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company pioneering the development of crystallin stabilizers to prevent and treat cataracts and presbyopia, today announced the closing of a $35 million Series B financing. The financing was led by The Rise Fund with participation from Novo Holdings A/S. Additional participants included ViewPoint's existing investors, Biotechnology Value Fund, L.P. and certain of its affiliates, Mission Bay Capital, LLC, Lagunita BioSciences LLC, the University of Michigan through its MINTS initiative, which is part of the endowment's venture capital portfolio, and Ed Hurwitz, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Company. In conjunction with this financing, the Company has expanded its Board of Directors to include Heath Lukatch, Ph.D., Partner at TPG, and Peter Moldt, Partner at Novo Holdings A/S.

"Cataracts remain the world's leading cause of blindness, and this financing will meaningfully advance our efforts to develop and commercialize a groundbreaking treatment," commented Leah Makley, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ViewPoint. "The high level of interest in our Series B from reputable life science investors, as well as the company's existing investors, is a testament to the progress we've made to date and the promise ViewPoint's approach holds. I am especially honored to have Heath and Peter join our Board of Directors; their involvement further strengthens the outstanding team of individuals helping shepherd ViewPoint's technology forward."

ViewPoint plans to use the proceeds of the financing to develop its lead product candidate, VP1-001, through clinical proof-of-concept studies in patients with cataracts and presbyopia. In addition, ViewPoint anticipates that the proceeds will also allow the Company to advance second-generation compounds from its ongoing medicinal chemistry efforts.

"ViewPoint is the world leader in targeting the stabilization of misfolded crystallin proteins as a non-surgical means of preventing vision loss associated with presbyopia and cataracts," said Dr. Lukatch. "ViewPoint's product has the potential to disrupt the current surgical paradigm for patients with cataracts and to provide a safe and accessible alternative to patients in the developing world where surgery is not available. This potential to substantially impact society is a perfect fit for The Rise Fund."

About Cataracts
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens. Cataracts cause vision loss or vision impairment in approximately 50 percent of people over age 70 and are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Epidemiologic models estimate that approximately 15 million people in the world are blind due to untreated cataracts, with an additional 85 million suffering from low vision.

About Presbyopia
Presbyopia is age-related farsightedness caused by the loss of lens elasticity. It first affects individuals 

between the ages of 40 and 50, initially causing blurred vision, difficulty seeing in dim light, and eye strain. 

About ViewPoint Therapeutics
ViewPoint is a preclinical-stage biotechnology company passionately committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of treatments for diseases of protein misfolding, which is implicated in numerous common disorders of aging including cataracts and presbyopia. The Company was founded in 2014 based on technology developed in the lab of ViewPoint co-founder, Dr. Jason Gestwicki, at the University of Michigan in collaboration with the lab of Dr. Usha Andley at Washington University in St. Louis. ViewPoint has a world-class Scientific Advisory Board with decades of experience in the fields of protein misfolding, crystallin biology, cataract etiology and medicinal chemistry. Targeting α-crystallin, a genetically validated target that drives cataract pathology and presbyopia, ViewPoint is developing VP1-001, a small molecule that is active in preclinical models of age-related cataracts. VP1-001 is the first preclinical candidate from ViewPoint's discovery engine. For more information, please visit www.viewpointtherapeutics.com.

About The Rise Fund
The Rise Fund is a global fund committed to achieving measureable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns -what we call "complete returns." The Rise Fund is managed by TPG Growth, the global growth equity and middle market buyout platform of alternative asset firm TPG. The Rise Fund was co-founded by TPG Growth Founder and Managing Partner Bill McGlashan, U2 lead singer Bono, a well-known activist and a special partner with TPG Growth, and Jeff Skoll, a global entrepreneur, film producer, and impact investor. They were joined by a group of influential thought leaders with a deep personal and professional commitment to driving social and environmental progress, who came together to form the Founders Board. The Rise Fund's objectives align with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. The Rise Fund invests in education, energy, food and agriculture, financial services, growth infrastructure, healthcare, technology, media and telecommunications companies that deliver complete returns.

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Source: ViewPoint Therapeutics, Inc.

ViewPoint Therapeutics Contact:
Denise Powell
denise@redhousecomms.com

The Rise Fund Contact: 
Frank Thomas
FThomas@TheRiseFund.com
 

ViewPoint Therapeutics Raises $4 Million in Series A Financing

See full release

-- Proceeds Will Advance Preclinical Crystallin Stabilizers for Treating and Preventing Cataracts and Presbyopia --

-- Founders, Board and Scientific Advisors Bring World-Class Experience in Protein Folding Disorders, Ophthalmology Drug Development and Venture Capital --

SAN FRANCISCO, May 05, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ViewPoint Therapeutics, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company pioneering the development of crystallin stabilizers to prevent and treat cataracts and presbyopia, today announced the closing of a $4 million Series A financing.

The transaction was co-led by Mission Bay Capital and Lagunita BioSciences LLC. Also included in the syndicate was healthcare-dedicated investor, the Biotechnology Value Fund, L.P., as well as the University of Michigan through its MINTS initiative, Asset Management Ventures, and other sophisticated individual investors. ViewPoint plans to use the proceeds of the financing to advance its lead candidate, VP1-001, a small molecule identified via a target-based screening and optimization effort, through preclinical proof of concept experiments. ViewPoint anticipates that the proceeds will also allow the Company to advance second-generation compounds from the Company’s ongoing medicinal chemistry efforts.

With this financing, the Company has expanded its Board of Directors to include Dr. Douglas Crawford, Managing Director of Mission Bay Capital and Dr. Mark Blumenkranz, Co-Founder and a Director of Lagunita BioSciences LLC. Other members of ViewPoint’s Board of Directors include: ViewPoint co-founders Dr. Jason Gestwicki, Associate Professor at the University of California San Francisco Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dr. Leah Makley, ViewPoint’s Chief Scientific Officer, and Ed Hurwitz, Managing Director at Precision BioVentures, LLC.  Dr. Emmett Cunningham, Partner at Clarus Ventures is an independent member of ViewPoint’s Board of Directors. For more information, please visit www.viewpointtherapeutics.com/bod/.

“We are thrilled to welcome such a sophisticated group of investors and advisors to ViewPoint,” said Ed Hurwitz, J.D., M.B.A., ViewPoint’s Executive Chairman. “Their shared vision, expertise and commitment to building an industry-leading company focused on crystallin biology will accelerate our efforts to develop first-in-class drugs that may transform the treatment paradigm for vision loss associated with presbyopia and cataracts.”

ViewPoint is focused on developing drugs to prevent or reverse protein misfolding, which is implicated in numerous common disorders of aging including cataracts, presbyopia, and neurodegenerative diseases. The Company’s efforts are supported by a world-class Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with decades of experience in the fields of protein misfolding, crystallin biology, cataract etiology and medicinal chemistry. The Company’s SAB is chaired by Dr. Jeffery Kelly, Chairman, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute, founder of FoldRx and inventor of tafamidis. Other members of ViewPoint’s SAB include Dr. Usha Andley, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the Washington University School of Medicine, Nobel Laureate Dr. Stanley Prusiner, Director, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor, Department of Neurology at the University of California San Francisco Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Dr. Richard Labaudiniere, prior CEO of FoldRx. For more information about the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board, please visit www.viewpointtherapeutics.com/sab/.

“Recent advances in our fundamental understanding of crystallin protein folding, coupled with our development of high-throughput screening assays for crystallin protein ligands, have enabled ViewPoint to develop a potential non-surgical, disease-modifying treatment for cataracts for the first time,” said Leah Makley, Ph.D., ViewPoint’s Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer. “With this financing, we plan to build on our promising preclinical results and prepare for initial human clinical studies in patients with cataracts that are poorly addressed with conventional surgery.”

About Cataracts
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens. Cataracts cause vision loss in approximately 50 percent of people over age 70 and are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Epidemiologic models estimate that approximately 15 million people in the world are blind due to untreated cataracts, with an additional 85 million suffering from low vision.

About ViewPoint Therapeutics
ViewPoint is a preclinical-stage biotechnology company passionately committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of treatments for diseases of protein misfolding, including cataracts. ViewPoint was founded in 2014 based on technology developed in the lab of Jason Gestwicki at the University of Michigan in collaboration with the lab of Dr. Usha Andley at Washington University in St. Louis. Targeting α-crystallin, a genetically validated target that drives cataract pathology and presbyopia, ViewPoint is developing VP1-001, a small molecule that is active in preclinical models of age-related cataracts. VP1-001 is the first preclinical candidate from ViewPoint’s discovery engine. For more information, please visit www.viewpointtherapeutics.com.

Investor and Media Contact: 
Denise Powell
510.703.9491
denise@redhousecomms.com