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Herberts Pledge $5M to Eye Institute

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Gavin and Ninetta Herbert will give $5 million to the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute to back retinal research into diseases that include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment.

The Institute is part of UC Irvine Health, which oversees clinical, medical education and research work of University of California-Irvine.

Gavin Herbert founded Allergan Inc. above his father’s drugstore in 1948. The company is now known as Allergan Plc, with international headquarters in Dublin and $15 billion in annual revenue. It keeps an eye care and aesthetics medicine hub in Irvine that employs about 1,550 workers.

The Herbert family has given or pledged at least $24 million to eye care research at UCI, beginning with a $10 million gift from Gavin and his mother Josephine Herbert Gleis in 2007 to help start the institute.

The institute supports research and treatments for retinal diseases. Research areas include the development of artificial cornea for patients with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision loss, and work on age-related dry macular degeneration, the loss of vision in the center of the eye.

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