Harrington Discovery Institute and Foundation Join Forces to Fight Blindness

The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals and the Foundation Fighting Blindness have launched the Gund-Harrington National Initiative for Fighting Blindness to discover and develop new treatments for eye diseases that cause blindness. More than 10 million Americans of every age and race suffer vision loss from the inherited and degenerative eye diseases this initiative will address.

The partnership’s centerpiece is the National Center of Excellence in Fighting Blindness at Harrington Discovery Institute, which will provide substantial funding and know-how to help selected physician-scientists nationwide to translate breakthrough discoveries into new drugs. 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.

The National Center of Excellence in Fighting Blindness will represent a new model in the fight against eye disease. The Center will simultaneously fund up to nine Gund-Harrington Scholars whose retinal-disease discoveries have high potential for commercialization. These scholars, from academic medical centers nationwide, will each receive up to $300,000 per year.

Gund-Harrington Scholars will access Harrington Discovery Institute’s acclaimed Innovation Support Center, where experienced experts will oversee drug development.

As commercially viable projects progress, BioMotiv and potentially other partners will shepherd them into pharmaceutical firms’ product pipelines. BioMotiv is the for-profit accelerator, aligned in mission and structure with Harrington Discovery Institute.

Native Clevelander and former Cleveland Cavaliers owner Gordon Gund III is co-founder and Chairman of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. He and the Harrington family, whose $50 million gift funded the creation of the Harrington Discovery Institute, share a deep belief in the power of philanthropy to accelerate cures.

Read more about how this team approach to exciting new discoveries speeds new therapies to patients. 

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