Regenerative Medicine and Pharmaceutics

We are targeting common disorders such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and cataract, but also rarer devastating conditions, including thyroid eye disease, corneal diseases and inherited retinal diseases.

The treatments that have and might emerge in the future from our research in these areas have the ability to improve the lives of millions in the UK and globally.

Aims:

1. Continue to develop cell-based therapies and diagnostics

2. Control repair (scarring) and restore function with biodevices and new technology

3. Improve therapeutics and drug delivery


AIM 1 - We are developing cell-based technologies and diagnostics in these areas:

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and other retinal diseases:

AMD is the single most common cause of blindness in the UK and accounts for blind or partial sight registration in almost 300,000 people, more than all other eye conditions combined. Globally, about 20 to 25 million people are affected with prevalence expected to rise threefold over the next 25 years with increased life expectancy worldwide.

Our stem cell research and drug delivery initiatives in AMD and other retinal diseases could reduce the frequency of treatment as well as improve patient outcomes.

Glaucomatous optic neuropathy:

Glaucoma affects 70 million people globally of which 7 million are blind. Our research suggests that repair and regeneration approaches could work faster than re-growing the entire optic nerve. Our next step is multiple proof-of-principle studies in this area, including the use of stem cells.

Inherited retinal diseases:

Inherited disorders of the retina are one of the leading causes of childhood blindness and, for the most part, there are no effective treatments. Loss of vision in these conditions is usually caused by the gradual loss of function and eventual death of the light-sensitive cells in the retina.


AIM 2 - We are working on controlling and improving repair scarring and restoring function with biodevices and new technology in the following areas:

Glaucoma surgery: We are developing treatments to reduce the effects of scarring when performing glaucoma surgery in conjunction with surgery and microdevices. We are continuing to work towards our ’10-10-10 Target’ (induce an intraocular pressure of 10 mmHg, lasting 10 years, and surgically achieved in 10 minutes) by changing and improving how glaucoma is successfully treated with surgical and therapeutic methods.

- Trachoma

- Ocular surface disease – corneal disease

- Orbital scarring in thyroid disease

- Retinal degeneration and scarring

- Devices and techniques for eye disease: We are developing multiple projects including the development of a device using implanted magnets to control abnormal ocular movements (nystagmus).


AIM 3 - We continue to strive towards improved therapeutics and drug therapy in areas such as:

- Novel pharmacokinetic models

- Reformation and repurposing of existing treatments for ocular disease

- New therapeutic molecules


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