BrightFocus Foundation Joins US Army-Affiliated Effort on Regenerative Medicine

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Glaucoma Project Will Help Focus on New Technology

BrightFocus Foundation has joined a new partnership to support innovative science to regenerate damaged visual pathways in glaucoma.

The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC), a biomedical technology consortium bridging the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, BrightFocus, and other organizations, will help select and fund research projects through its “Regenerative Medicine in Visual Loss” program.

This important initiative will help our military and millions of Americans with glaucoma through high-impact research with near-term clinical relevance that:

  • Enhances optic nerve regeneration

  • Re-establishes neuronal connections between retinal ganglion cells and the relay center in the brain for the visual pathway

   MTEC – whose mission includes restoring vision, rebuilding functionality, and making the wounded whole again – invited BrightFocus to join this new partnership because of the strength of its National Glaucoma Research program and its vast reach within the scientific community.

See below for more details on the project and to view the Request for Project Proposal submissions for this partnership with MTEC.


Detailed information

The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) is excited to post this pre-announcement for a Request for Project Proposals (RPP) focused on providing innovative solutions to critical problems in visual loss.  The overarching goal of this program is to provide biomanufacturing or advanced development for an emerging area of medical technology and innovation that supports standard procedures toward a prototype aimed to re-establish or regenerate damaged visual pathways.

Technology Focus Areas

Applications must address one or more of the following focus areas in nerve regeneration or end-organ health. Specifically, MTEC seeks prototype development and/or biomanufacturing of a device, biologic, or combination prototype that:

  • Enhances optic nerve regeneration

  • Re-establishes neuronal connections between retinal ganglion cells and the lateral geniculate nucleus with high efficiency

The current effort aims to promote highly innovative, groundbreaking research; high-impact research with near-term clinical relevance; multidisciplinary, synergistic research; and translational studies to support the fluid transfer of knowledge from basic principles to clinical solutions. Purely in-vitro efforts will not be considered.  Proposed projects must be based on logical reasoning and sound scientific rationale that spread biomanufacturing and prototype development. Please note that awards are not to be exploratory in nature and require a foundation of preliminary data.  Research involving animal or human subjects is allowed. 

Potential Funding Availability

Potential funding available for awards made from this Funding Opportunity is $6.0M. Potential funds will be made available by the U.S. Government, Glaucoma Research Foundation, and BrightFocus Foundation.

Funds are intended to support areas of regenerative medicine manufacturing and prototyping that require development and harmonization into reproducible, consistent procedures which could stand the test of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

MTEC intends to make one or two awards at $3.0M each (direct and indirect costs) composed of teaming arrangements demonstrated to achieve the prototype development and manufacturing standardization.

The Period of Performance (POP) is not to exceed 36 months.

Acquisition Approach

Papers using the format contained in the RPP. The Government, Glaucoma Research Foundation, and BrightFocus Foundation will evaluate White Papers submitted and will select White Papers that best meet their current technology priorities using the criteria specified in the RPP. Offerors whose technology solution is selected for further consideration based on White Paper evaluation will be invited to submit a proposal in Stage 2. Notification letters will contain specific Stage 2 proposal submission requirements.

Other Information

Under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), Glaucoma Research Foundation and BrightFocus Foundation will have access to white papers and proposals submitted through this RPP for the purposes of the evaluation and selection process.

The RPP will be posted to the MTEC website and a notice will be posted on FedBizOpps.gov to notify interested parties. MTEC membership is required for the submission of a white paper in response to this upcoming MTEC RPP. To join MTEC, please visit http://mtec-sc.org/how-to-join/

For inquiries regarding this pre-announcement, please direct your correspondence to the following contacts:

Link to this pre-announcement on the MTEC website:
https://mtec-sc.org/upcoming-solicitations/ 

Link to where the official announcement will be posted in the near future:
https://mtec-sc.org/solicitations/