LumiThera Wins $500K Grant to Develop PBM Devices for Treatment of Macular Degeneration
SEATTLE, May 28, 2015 — LumiThera Inc. has received a $500,000 matching grant from the Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) to commercialize devices for noninvasive photobiomodulation (PBM) treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
"There are no approved treatments for dry AMD except vitamin supplements," said Clark Tedford, LumiThera's president and CEO. "The grant with investor matching funds will further support initiation of a pivotal clinical trial in subjects that have dry AMD. Since the LSDF announcement, we have secured the investor match and will prepare for a clinical trial later this year."
PBM, also known as low-level light therapy (LLLT) uses visible or near-IR light to stimulate cellular function and healing. LumiThera said it is developing multiwavelength LED-based PBM devices for ophthalmological use.
The new LSDSF grant also provides for collaboration between LumiThera and the Product Creation Studio Ltd. (PCS), a Seattle design house. Last year LumiThera received a $250,000 LSDF seed grant, which it used to build a prototype instrument with PCS.
"The use of PBM could give a large number of patients a noninvasive treatment wherein there are no alternatives," said Dr. Robert Devenyi, ophthalmologist-in-chief and director of retinal services at the University of Toronto. "If it can slow the progression of vision loss, that would be a tremendous advance in the field."
Devenyi, along with LumiThera founders Dr. Robert Dotson and Graham Merry, reported in a 2012 study that PBM treatments resulted in "positive and significant" changes to visual acuity and contrast sensitivity in nine patients with AMD.
For more information, visit www.lumithera.com.
- The branch of medicine involved in the study of the anatomy, functions, diseases and treatments of the eye.
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