The Foundation and Harrington Discovery Institute Join Forces to Fight Blindness

October 08, 2014

The Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) and Harrington Discovery Institute are joining forces to create a new nationwide initiative “The Gund-Harrington National Initiative for Fighting Blindness,” aimed at finding treatments and cures for people affected by inherited retinal diseases that lead to blindness. 

Together, the two organizations will provide up to $50 million in new funding and resources to support up to 30 physician-scientists. The funding will play a significant role in setting the scientific and innovation agenda in leading-edge research of sight. In addition to funding innovative discoveries initiated by physician-scientists at academic medical centers nationwide, The Gund-Harrington National Initiative for Fighting Blindness will provide experienced pharmaceutical oversight to Gund-Harrington Scholars to ensure that the most promising opportunities enter the clinic. 

Through this joint effort, the National Center of Excellence in Fighting Blindness will be created to seek drug development projects not only based on scientific and creativity criteria, but also on their potential to rapidly advance to commercialization.  As part of the Initiative, Gund-Harrington Scholars will carry out their research at their home institutions and will receive direct oversight from the Innovation Support Center of the Harrington Discovery Institute.  

The selection process of the Initiative will focus on the potential of discoveries made by the Gund-Harrington Scholars to cure some of the most devastating causes of sight loss. The intention is to transition these projects into commercialization by a pharmaceutical company using a variety of support and funding mechanisms including the non-profit arm of FFB – the Clinical Research Institute; the for-profit arm of the Harrington Discovery Institute – BioMotiv; along with other investment and pharmaceutical partners.