PITTSBURGH, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Neuro Kinetics, Inc. (NKI) (www.neuro-kinetics.com), manufacturers of noninvasive medical diagnostic equipment used worldwide to test for vestibular and neurological conditions, said today that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to further the company's development of a new ophthalmic screening device and testing protocols for the detection and diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy.
The Phase II SBIR grant is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that causes impaired vision from damage to the eye's retina stemming from high blood glucose levels. Left untreated, it can cause blindness. About seven million people in the United States alone suffer from diabetic retinopathy and close to half of them remain undiagnosed.
"The epidemic of diabetes is a major public health challenge confronting healthcare systems around the world. As with many diseases, early detection is key to successful patient treatment and controlling long-term costs of patient care," said J. Howison Schroeder, NKI president and CEO. "We believe our non-invasive diagnostic technology holds great promise in confronting the scourge of diabetes. We are grateful for the Phase II SBIR grant so we can move forward with this important work."
Schroeder noted that NKI's Phase II grant funds expanded clinical trials and the next evolution of the product design. The objective is a new, noninvasive and cost-effective commercial device to diagnose diabetic retinopathy and help screen for diabetes.
"If the success of our Phase I SBIR grant carries through the Phase II study, our I-Portal® technology could provide faster, more objective and earlier-stage diagnosis than current evaluation methods," Schroeder said.
NKI's current work builds on its I-Portal technology as well as earlier design and research conducted and patented by the University of Pittsburgh. NKI licenses rights to commercialize the University's intellectual property.
The prime researcher and lead investigator of NKI's Phase II work is Dr. Alex Kiderman, the company's chief technology officer. Other researchers will include experts from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA): Dr. Michael B. Gorin (Jules Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine); Dr. Maria Ortube (Stein Eye Institute); and Fei Yu (UCLA Public Health-Biostat).
Dr. Gorin, while in Pittsburgh, was a pioneer in developing the first ophthalmic tests for diabetic retinopathy.
NKI's Schroeder also said that the company's diabetic retinopathy research and the eventual commercialization of its envisioned device are in line with the company's strategy of expanding the clinical utility of its I-Portal® technology and the range of tests than can conducted with the technological platform. NKI is collaborating with the U.S. military on research into the diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries caused by combat blasts.
ABOUT NEURO KINETICS, INC.
Neuro Kinetics, Inc. (NKI) is the world leader in eye tracking technology and non-invasive neuro-otologic diagnostic testing.
Central to its product mix and technological advances is the premise that the eye is the portal to the brain. Research has shown the detection of abnormal eye reflexes can indicate the presence of over 200 diseases and medical conditions.
For more than 25 years, NKI has supplied comprehensive neuro-otologic diagnostic tools to audiologists, ENT's, neuro-otologists, neuro-ophthalmologists and neurologists around the globe. The company's patented products include the I-Portal® NOTC (Neuro-Otologic Test Center), I-Portal® VNG (Video Nystagmography) and I-Portal® VOG (Video Oculography), along with related accessories, software, training and support services.
Buckman Communications, for Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
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SOURCE Neuro Kinetics, Inc.