Today Novavido S.r.l. has been founded. It’s an innovative startup aiming to develop a new therapy that could potentially revolutionize the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.
Following a joint investment of Alfasigma, Utopia SIS, Istituto David Chiossone, and Club 2021, the startup, acelerated by G-Factor, secured a 6 million euros investment in two rounds. It can now work to develop its device and translate this vision-recovery solution to the human.
The project behind Novavido forsee the development of a biocompatible device that can be implanted in the posterior part of the eye. This so-called “liquid retina” can potentially recover the vision in people affected by blindness due to eye’s photoreceptors death.
The technology is the results of a 10-years-long research project lead by the Center for Nano Science and Technology (CNST) directed by Guglielmo Lanzani and by the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology (NSYN) directed by Fabio Benfenati, both being centers of the Italian Institute of Technology. The collaboration also saw the participation of Grazia Pertile and Maurizio Mete from Sacro Cuore Don Calabria di Negrar Hospital in Verona. Together they’ve obtained encouraging preliminary experimental results testing the device in specific rodents that are naturally affected by a debilitating illness very similar to the retinits pigmentosa. The results have been published in 2020 on the important scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology. The liquid retina does not require any external visor, camera, or power supply and can be implanted through subretinic injection, allowing a limitedly traumatic surgical intervention.