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NEI Awards a Two-Year $2.18 Million SBIR Grant to Aciont
Date:12/10/2009

uveitis patients in North America to be as high as 500,000. Vitale added, “The real utility will be the delivery of medication to the back of the eye for intermediate and posterior uveitis particularly that are complicated by macular edema.”

Furthermore, Vitale concluded, “Certainly a transscleral delivery of drug would be preferable to intravitreal injection. This in my opinion has definitive potential.” The NEI peer review council, which recommended the funding of Aciont’s project, generally agrees with Vitale in principal. The council said that “the development of a non-invasive ocular drug delivery system allowing for a simple and quick application of medications for the treatment of uveitis” is “significant since it would allow treatment of this painful and potentially blinding disease in the doctor’s office by a nurse or paraprofessional.” The project described is supported by Award Number R44EY014772 from the National Eye Institute. The content of the grant is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Eye Institute or the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Balbir Brar, who had a significant role in the development of the grant application stated, “Acquiring this NIH grant is a great achievement and a major milestone for the Aciont team. Obtaining the NIH grant in a highly competitive environment essentially is an endorsement by peers in our field of research and industry.” Bal Brar, D.V.M., Ph.D, is well known for his success as a drug/device developer; he is a former Vice President at Allergan®, Inc. where he played a major role in the development of a number of high selling dermal and ophthalmic drugs such as Alphagan®, Lumigan® for glaucoma, Restasis® for dry eye and a number of other drugs including Botox®.

According to NIH’s website (

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