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Research to Prevent Blindness

New Glaucoma Research Grant Available

NEW YORK and DURHAM, N.C. – May 17, 2022 – Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) and Aerie Pharmaceuticals are partnering to provide outstanding early- to mid-career vision scientists with opportunities to pursue glaucoma research of unusual significance and promise. Glaucoma, a progressive condition that affects the transmission of visual signals from the eye to the brain, is one of the most common sight-threatening conditions in the U.S. Because glaucoma can affect vision subtly at first, many people do not realize they have it until visual changes are more pronounced and treatments are less effective. Therefore, it is important to better understand the underlying causes of the disease, as well as develop new methods for early diagnosis and treatment.

RPB is proud to launch the RPB / David L. Epstein Career Advancement Award in Glaucoma Research sponsored by Aerie Pharmaceuticals. Two awards—one available now and one in 2023 —will provide $150,000 each to outstanding scientists focusing on glaucoma research who have already received their first independent federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant (the R01 grant) and are collecting new and novel data to apply for a second R01.The award offers $150,000 to researchers focusing on glaucoma research who have already received their first independent federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grant and are collecting new and novel data to apply for a second R01. RPB’s esteemed Scientific Advisory Panel identified the time period between R01s as a critical “gap” in the funding pipeline, leading RPB to create the Career Advancement Award. Filling this gap allows talented researchers to build upon previous research and make important advances in vision science.

This award is named in memory of David L. Epstein, MD (1943-2014), a gifted glaucoma researcher who served on RPB’s grant review committees and who went on to co-found Aerie Pharmaceuticals, along with Eric Toone, PhD, and Casey C. Kopczynski, PhD, who now serves as Aerie’s Chief Innovation Officer.

“We are so pleased to partner with Aerie Pharmaceuticals on this important award to further glaucoma research,” said Brian F. Hofland, PhD, President of Research to Prevent Blindness. “Organizationally, we are located at opposite ends of the research pipeline—from RPB at the basic research end to Aerie at the forefront of clinical research and application—but we’ve come together to support vision researchers in a critical period in their scientific careers because we both acknowledge that excellent science leads to effective treatments.”

In 2022, the RPB / David Epstein Career Advancement Award in Glaucoma Research sponsored by Aerie Pharmaceuticals will offer one award to an Assistant Professor (MDs, PhDs, or MD/PhDs) with a primary appointment in a department of ophthalmology or any relevant department from any institution of higher education in the U.S. Candidates must have their first NIH R01 with at least one year remaining.

“Aerie Pharmaceuticals is delighted to sponsor the RPB / David Epstein Career Advancement Award in Glaucoma Research this year,” said Gary Sternberg, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Aerie. “With this award we honor the legacy of our co-founder Dr. David Epstein and demonstrate our continued commitment to support research to identify novel therapeutics to treat glaucoma.”

For more information on this award, visit the RPB website.

About Research to Prevent Blindness 

Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) is the leading nonprofit organization supporting eye research directed at the prevention, treatment or eradication of all diseases that damage and destroy sight. As part of this purview, RPB also supports efforts to grow and sustain a robust and diverse vision research community. Since it was founded in 1960 by Dr. Jules Stein, RPB has awarded more than $393 million in research grants to the most talented vision scientists at the nation’s leading medical schools. As a result, RPB has been associated with nearly every major breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of vision loss in the past 60+ years. Learn more at www.rpbusa.org.

About Aerie Pharmaceuticals

Aerie is a pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class ophthalmic therapies for the treatment of patients with eye diseases and conditions including open-angle glaucoma, dry eye, diabetic macular edema (DME) and wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). Aerie’s first novel product, Rhopressa® (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02%, a once-daily eye drop approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, was launched in the United States in April 2018. In clinical trials of Rhopressa®, the most common adverse reactions were conjunctival hyperemia, corneal verticillata, instillation site pain, and conjunctival hemorrhage. More information about Rhopressa®, including the product label, is available at www.rhopressa.com. Aerie’s second novel product for the reduction of elevated IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, Rocklatan® (netarsudil (0.02%) and latanoprost ophthalmic solution (0.005%), was launched in the United States in May 2019. In clinical trials of Rocklatan®, the most common adverse reactions were conjunctival hyperemia, corneal verticillata, instillation site pain, and conjunctival hemorrhage. More information about Rocklatan®, including the product label, is available at www.rocklatan.com. More information on Aerie Pharmaceuticals is available at www.aeriepharma.com.

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