Although there are ~300,000 to 600,000 individuals in the United States with active uveitis, there is no clinically accepted method for quantitative assessment of ocular flare that would result in rapid, non-invasive diagnosis of uveitis. Current methods of diagnosis for uveitis involve a thorough examination of the eye with a slit lamp microscope and ophthalmoscopy. Higher levels of flare in particular have been associated with poor visual outcomes in patients with certain forms of uveitis, such as uveitis associated with juvenile arthritis (Holland &Stiehm 2003)(Rosenberg et al. 2004). These tests are both time intensive and largely subjective (Kempen et al. 2008). The only FDA approved device that currently is able to provide an objective assessment of the degree of uveitis is the KOWA laser flare meter (FM-600);this is a bench top device and is not suitable for cost effective for widespread field use. To overcome this major health need, ChromoLogic LLC (CL), will develop and validate a handheld Ocular Flare meter (OFAM) - a non-invasive instrument platform that has shown promise in diagnosing disease and radiation induced blood eye barrier disruption in less than 1minute. Preliminary in vitro and pilot clinical data obtained with an early generation prototype has demonstrated the efficacy of the technology. The results also show initial sensitivities that far exceed (100X) the commercially available bench top KOWA product. During Phase I of the proposed project, CL will further optimize the OFAM technology and demonstrate its sensitivity and specificity through staged animal and clinical studies. The results from Phase will be used towards an FDA IDE filing.

Public Health Relevance

The mammalian eye, like the brain, is considered an immunologically privileged organ because it includes multiple mechanisms that stave of inflammation. This is a biological necessity developed to preserve visual acuity. As a result, any inflammation to the eye, known as uveitis affects vision and sometimes, permanently damages it. At any given time, there are approximately 300,000 to 600,000 individuals in the United States that have active uveitis. Approximately 10% of visual handicaps in the western world and up to 15% of all cases of total blindness in the United States is attributed to uveitis. The key to managing active uveitis and preventing deleterious effects resulting form it is timely actionable diagnosis. Current methods of diagnosis for uveitis involve a thorough examination of the eye with a slit lamp microscope and ophthalmoscopy - resulting in a subjective score known as ocular flare. Higher levels of flare in particular have been associated with poor visual outcomes in patients with certain forms of uveitis, such as uveitis associated with juvenile arthritis. Thes tests are both time intensive and largely subjective. The only device that currently is able to provide an objective assessment of the degree of uveitis in the KOWA laser flare meter (FM-600);this is a bench top device that is neither cost effective nor has the sensitivity to diagnose early stages of uveitis. As a result, this 20+ year old technology is not being used for clinical diagnosis today. Given the severity and scale of deleterious outcomes that could result from uveitis and the lack of an objective method to diagnose the condition and monitor any therapies administered, there is an urgent need for a rapid, portable and highly sensitive diagnostic solution.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Type
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
Project #
1R43EY022548-01
Application #
8314785
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ETTN-E (12))
Program Officer
Wujek, Jerome R
Project Start
2012-06-05
Project End
2014-03-31
Budget Start
2012-06-05
Budget End
2014-03-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$155,466
Indirect Cost
Name
Chromologic, LLC
Department
Type
DUNS #
168312028
City
Pasadena
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
91107