Currently, an estimated 61 million adults in the United States are at high risk for developing vision loss. Of this population, only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months, as reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Receiving treatment that is effective at countering eye illnesses is vital in preventing irreversible eye damage.
After working together at Allergan for 10 years, Jenny Wang, Ph.D., and David Woodward, Ph.D., combined their extensive research skills in pharmacology to provide successful treatments for eye illnesses and co-founded JeniVision, a biopharmaceutical company that designs innovative drug therapy for eye and skin diseases. Both scientists have comprehensive track records with over 300 publications and patents between them.
To assist in the commercialization of their invention, both Wang and Woodward joined UCI Applied Innovation’s Wayfinder Program, an incubator designed to provide support and resources for startups. With this program, they have utilized various resources including the Experts-in-Residence (EiR) network, local business leaders and faculty who volunteer their time to support startup companies and entrepreneurs.
“Applied Innovation has access to EiRs at the Cove that we can talk to,” said Wang. “They even have a system to help us interact with potential advisors and funds.”
JeniVision currently has two major projects in the works. One is a medication designed to relieve and reverse pain associated with dry eye. The team is also working on a new drug that will help reduce increased eye pressure caused by glaucoma.
“The second drug, an anti-glaucoma agent, is far more effective and long-acting than any drug that is available,” said Woodward. “Moreover, we’ve invented a new delivery route, which is more convenient than the conventional eye drops.”
In the past year, JeniVision has received funding to further their research and complete an Investigational New Drug application, which they will submit to the Food and Drug Administration. Once approved, the team will begin clinical trials.
For more information about JeniVision, click here.