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Ocular Biopharmaceutical Company Charlesson Announces $1.6MM in New Funding and Upcoming Presentations at The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Date:4/21/2008

Company aims to develop novel therapies to prevent blindness

OKLAHOMA CITY, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Charlesson LLC, an ocular biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it is the recipient of two Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The two grants total approximately $1,600,000 and will support development of a nanoparticle-formulated therapy for eye disease as well as commercialization of a preclinical genetic animal model for Age- Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Dr. Rafal Farjo, Director of Research and Development at Charlesson, is principal investigator on both grants.

Mike Moradi, Chief Executive Officer of Charlesson said, "We are proud to be NIH's partner in success. These competitive grant awards demonstrate the national enthusiasm for our development activities and the success of Charlesson's ongoing research program." Since its inception in 2003, Charlesson has received 11 grants from the NIH. "We are also pleased to receive our first SBIR grant that will aid in the development of Charlesson's preclinical services division to provide outsourced ophthalmic research and development. In addition, these funds will greatly assist the company in expanding our scientific team and finalizing preclinical studies for an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)," said Mr. Moradi.

Charlesson was awarded $210,357 in a Phase I SBIR award from the NIH to validate and commercialize a genetic mouse model of AMD. "An unmet need currently exists for a reliable genetic model of AMD that can be used to assess the efficacy of AMD-therapeutics in development. There are only a few genetic mouse models which have been reported to present with features of AMD, but this phenotype only develops at very late ages. Therefore, a genetic, reproducible, economical, and quantifiable mammalian AMD model is of great significance to aid in the
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