LONDON and CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Beacon Therapeutics Holdings Limited, an ophthalmic gene therapy company that works to save and restore the vision of patients with blinding retinal diseases, has announced it has raised $170 million in Series B funding to advance the development of ophthalmic gene therapies. The company also announced appointments to its board of directors. According to the announcement, life sciences venture capital firm Forbion led the financing, which included existing investors Syncona Limited, Oxford Science Enterprises and the University of Oxford, as well as initial investments from TCGX and Advent Life Sciences.

The company said the funds will be used to support the continued clinical development of Beacon's lead asset, AGTC-501 for X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa (XLRP), and generate phase 1/2 clinical trial data for its dry age-related macular degeneration (dAMD) program.

Beacon Therapeutics also announced the appointment of Dmitrij Hristodorov and Wouter Joustra, general partners of Forbion, and Cariad Chester, managing partner of TCGX, to its board of directors. Dominic Schmidt, general partner of Advent Life Sciences, joins as a board observer, the company said.

"We are focused on progressing our pipeline of ophthalmic gene therapies to save and restore the vision of patients with a range of prevalent and rare retinal diseases that result in blindness," said David Fellows, chief executive officer of Beacon Therapeutics. "I am confident that along with the addition of Dmitrij Hristodorov, Wouter Joustra and Cariad Chester to the Beacon board, these funds will support the ongoing development of our late-stage and pre-clinical pipeline and enable acceleration of the development of AGTC-501 as we progress through the clinic and toward commercialization."

The company announced that it has raised approximately $290 million in funding to date. J.P. Morgan acted as sole placement agent to Beacon Therapeutics for this transaction.