BrightFocus & Clinical Trials

The BrightFocus Foundation mainly supports the Basic Research/Drug Development and Pre-Clinical/Translational Research stages, noting that it is essential to pursue every promising candidate to determine if that could lead to the next diagnosis method, prevention, treatment, or cure. Since clinical trials can be expensive, BrightFocus has entered into special partnerships with other organizations to support clinical trials. However, BrightFocus has supported portions of human clinical trials with grants awarded through our regular open call for submissions in our three research programs.

As of July 2013, the latest stage of study supported by BrightFocus has been Phase I Clinical Trials. The seed money provided by BrightFocus has kept many promising leads alive (bridging the "Funding Valley of Death”**) and supported the careers of internationally important scientists and clinicians who have contributed to the discovery and development of many treatments and clinical diagnoses/imaging studies that are currently being used on the market (including involvement with Lucentis®/Avastin® for age-related macular degeneration, optical coherence tomography (OCT) for glaucoma, and the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) for Alzheimer’s disease).

It should be noted that some analysts believe that one cause of the early stage "Funding Valley of Death" is actually a reflection of “classic supply and demand.” There are more start-up companies, including academic university-based technology transfer offices, focused on their patent portfolios and competing for the same pool of dollars. Organizations like BrightFocus help bring more new potential diagnostic methods, preventions, treatments, and cures across the Funding Valley of Death, by providing the seed money needed to keep the ideas alive.


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**"Funding Valley of Death": Many promising potential drugs, devices, or other potential treatments are never tested in clinical trials due to lack of funding or other business difficulties. In many cases, further financial support or partnerships are needed to help "bridge the gap" across the "Funding Valley of Death" to begin Phase 1 Clinical Trials.

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