Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

Foundation Fighting Blindness

The National Center for Excellence in Fighting Blindness, a Gund-Harrington Initiative

Foundation Fighting Blindness

Foundation Fighting Blindness and Harrington Discovery Institute have partnered to form The National Center for Excellence in Fighting Blindness, a Gund-Harrington initiative. This initiative is focused on accelerating the translation of research findings in inherited retinal degenerative diseases (IRD) with the ultimate goal of developing new therapies to prevent, treat or cure blindness.

Learn more about the scholars and their research here.

Executive Summary

  • This initiative seeks to award Gund-Harrington Scholar Awards that recognize innovators in the United States and Canada whose research has the potential to advance standard of care.
  • There will be an average of three awards per year, which will be restricted to researchers working at institutions in the United States and Canada. Applications from institutions outside these two countries are not accepted.
  • The Gund-Harrington Scholar Award provides funding for translational drug development and cell therapy along with non-financial project support to help bridge the gap between laboratory-based research and the clinic.
  • Funding includes up to $900,000 over three years. Non-financial support will be provided by Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Support Center, a team of pharmaceutical experts. This support includes project management and experienced industry advice in all aspects of drug development, encompassing chemistry, formulation, toxicology, regulatory, intellectual property and business development.
  • Selected projects must demonstrate a reasonable expectation that they can develop a lead product with strong potential for clinical and commercial application by the end of the three year funding period.
  • Gund-Harrington Scholar Award projects should have the following characteristics:
    1. Innovative science that addresses a significant opportunity leading to treatment or prevention of inherited retinal degenerative diseases (IRD).
    2. The potential to be developed into a commercial product.
    3. Development of a small molecule or biologic.
    4. Diagnostics are only acceptable if linked to a therapeutic product.
  • Multi-disciplinary investigators outside the field of retinal disease are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applicants from for-profit biotechnology companies must enquire about eligibility before preparing a letter of intent, by sending a short synopsis about the company and their proposed project to .

Learn more about the application and selection process and funding.