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SBIR Phase I: Novel Connexin-Based Peptide for the Treatment of Age-Related…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
300 West Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464-3429
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: SBIR Phase I: Novel Connexin-Based Peptide for the Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1215149
Award Amount: $148,803.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is a feasibility assessment of the ocular delivery of a synthetic peptide, ACT1, for the treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is a retinal disease in patients who progressively lose their central vision through pathological and damaging conditions of the macula primarily by the development of leaky blood vessels in the retina of the eye. The objective is to determine whether ACT1 can be transported passively to the retinal epithelial cell layer, elicit a response consistently on blood vessel lesions of the macula, and slow the progression or restore visual functions in vivo as a milestone for the further development of a topical eye drop formulation. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are manifold and foremost the potential commercialization of a much needed treatment option for patients suffering from AMD. AMD affects approximately 25 to 30 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of vision loss for Americans 60 years old or older, with close to 2 million people suffering in the United States. Current treatments of AMD require the use of drugs are administered chronically to patients by injections into the eyes that can be quite painful as well as eliciting further safety concerns, and are modestly effective in slowing the rate of vision loss. A topically delivered therapeutic may provide a variety of benefits including easier, faster, and cheaper treatments of patients, patient self-care, and potentially jumpstart a new industry for the optometric management of AMD.

Principal Investigator:

Gautam S. Ghatnekar

Business Contact:

Gautam S. Ghatnekar
Small Business Information at Submission:

FirstString Research, Inc.
475-A East Bay Street Charleston, SC 29403-6656

EIN/Tax ID: 870779272
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes