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€4m project to improve sight saving treatments

€4m project to improve sight-saving treatments

Wednesday 24 July 2019

The Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in collaboration with the University of Birmingham has launched a project to improve eye health treatments. The project has had €4 million invested into it from EU funds in order to improve treatment to diseases of the back of the eye such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease.

As a result of Europe’s ageing population and widescale obesity, the number of people with AMD and diabetic eye disease is predicted to significantly increase in the next few years. According to Ann Logan, Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham, ‘There is a clear need for efficient, safe, less-invasive and more patient-friendly strategies’ when it comes to treating eye health issues.

The project which has been named ORBITAL (Ocular Research by Integrated Training and Learning) will be looking at what patients and clinicians need in practice. Currently, treatments for AMD and diabetic eye disease can involve invasive drug delivery methods such as injections into the eye. The project aims to train researchers so that they have the skills necessary to develop patient-friendly methods of delivering treatment in order to improve the patient experience.

The research project will start this September. It will see academia, industry, clinicians, patient advocacy groups and hospitals all working together to meet the aims of the project. Recruitment has begun to hire 15 early career researchers to work on the project.

ORBITAL is made up of a consortium of 23 members which includes the Irish charity Fighting Blindness. Dr Laura Brady, Head of Research at Fighting Blindness believes that ‘ORBITAL holds the potential to develop technologies that are relevant, safe, cost-effective and patient-friendly’ so those suffering from AMD or diabetic eye disease should stay optimistic.


  1. Waterford team lead €4m project to train researchers to improve sight-saving treatments.

  2. University of Birmingham in €4m project to train researchers to improve sight-saving treatments .


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