BrightFocus Foundation Awards Nearly $24 Million in New Research for Alzheimer’s and Vision Diseases
CLARKSBURG, MD, April 20, 2022—BrightFocus Foundation, a leading nonprofit funder of scientific research on Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, today announced $23.8 million in new 2022 grants, a five-fold increase in funding from a decade ago.
“These new grant awards continue to expand, strengthen and diversify our global scientific portfolio,” said BrightFocus President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller. “More than ever before, we are seeing great signs of progress to reverse the trajectory of these heartbreaking diseases.”
Guided by its world-class scientific advisory committees, BrightFocus awarded a total of 95 new grants to carry out its full, 360-degree approach to research, fostering a better understanding of the root causes of disease onset, improving early disease detection and diagnosis, and developing effective new drugs and treatments.
To broaden the field of research and include new, emerging perspectives, 44 percent of this year’s awarded scientists are women; nearly 25 percent were granted to leading institutions outside the U.S.; and 80 percent of the new awards will support promising, early-career researchers.
“This investment in science is made possible by BrightFocus donors who have witnessed the powerful impact of our bold, innovative research,” said Haller, noting that a vast majority of support for BrightFocus is through individual donations.
BrightFocus-funded scientific research continues to advance medical breakthroughs, including:
- The development of the first commercially-available blood-based screening test for Alzheimer’s, boosting early diagnosis and recruitment into clinical trials in the United States and Europe.
- FDA-approved dual-action AMD medicine that combines an anti-VEGF agent with a new drug to significantly reduce the frequency of injections for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is rooted in key, early research funding from BrightFocus.
- Ground-breaking glaucoma research showing the strong promise of gene therapy to “reprogram” eye tissue to restore vision lost to glaucoma.
Details on the new projects, which begin July 1, 2022, will be announced upon the completion of individual agreements with the partnering institutions and scientists. (Application information for the 2023 BrightFocus grants is now available at: science.brightfocus.org/apply-grant).
BrightFocus Foundation is a private funder of research and public awareness to defeat Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, and is currently supporting a $65 million global portfolio of over 260 scientific projects. For more information, visit brightfocus.org.