Our goal is to build a drug-development and preclinical testing platform for neurodegeneration. Growth and de-risking strategies include expanding our pipeline of investigational product candidates and contract research with strategic partners. 

Marcel Alavi is a vision scientist with over 10 years of experience in preclinical research and development for eye diseases. He has held research positions in the Department of Ophthalmology at UCSF and the Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the Eberhard Karls University in Germany, where he obtained his PhD. Dr. Alavi has made pioneering contributions to a rare disease of childhood blindness termed dominant optic atrophy (DOA) by uncovering the biology, which was at the heart of a 50-year mystery. He tested kinase inhibitors in animal models for retinal degeneration and helped optimize drug delivery to the eye. Dr. Alavi has characterized and studied animal models for DOA, retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Alavi also has helped to develop gene-editing approaches for Usher syndrome at the University Mainz in Germany. He has authored 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book-chapters. Dr. Alavi has also worked in the biotech industry in the area of marketing and communications and has formal training in FDA policy and regulations.