LA JOLLA, Calif., Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Alume Biosciences, Inc. (Alume) announced today that it has been awarded a $2.5M Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This grant will support Alume’s clinical development of its novel nerve illumination technology in surgery. The Principal Investigators on this grant are Michael Whitney, PhD, Scientific Co-Founder and Vice President of Discovery and Brett Berman, MD, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Alume.

“This award validates Alume’s scientific and technical merit and commercial potential,”  said Eben Rosenthal, MD.

Alume previously received a Phase I SBIR grant in 2019 from the NINDS to develop nerve illumination agents for surgical use. The Phase II SBIR grant is a follow-on 2–year award that will support testing of Alume’s fluorescent nerve targeting agent in an ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial in patients undergoing Head and Neck Surgery.  “Alume’s technology was developed out of the unmet need to improve intraoperative identification of nerves to avoid inadvertent injury,” said Quyen Nguyen, MD/PhD (Professor of Surgery & Pharmacology, Division of Otolaryngology, UCSD), Alume’s Founder and CEO.  “The award of this grant is very significant as it validates Alume’s scientific and technical merit and commercial potential through a rigorous NIH peer-reviewed process,”  said Eben Rosenthal, MD, (Medical Director, Stanford Cancer Center; Professor of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery and Radiology at Stanford Medical Center) the Stanford site Principal Investigator for the trial.

About Alume Biosciences, Inc.

Alume is a biotechnology company founded in 2017 that is developing nerve-targeted pharmaceutical agents for surgical and therapeutic use. The company’s first product, ALM-488, is a targeted fluorescent label that makes human nerves “glow,” helping surgeons reduce injury to critical nerves during surgery. Alume is conducting a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of ALM-488 in patients undergoing Head and Neck surgery at UC San Diego, Stanford and Harvard ( NCT04420689). To learn more about Alume, visit

About the SBIR program

The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) with the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive evaluation process, the SBIR program provides capital to early stage businesses creating innovative technologies for improving health. Program grants are awarded to companies with promising technologies that have a strong potential for commercialization, to help translate life-saving innovations to consumer markets and create jobs in biotechnology.


This award was granted by the National Institutes of Health.  The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Contact: Catherine Eng,

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