EU project to tackle age-related macular degeneration

A new European-wide project involving researchers from Moorfields and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology aims to develop new tests and therapies for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The MACUSTAR project will develop these clinical tests and therapeutic options over the course of the five year project to help reduce the disease burden of AMD worldwide. The new tests will be adopted to see if subtle changes in AMD can be accurately detected over time, studying 700 patients from 20 clinical sites across Europe.

Dr Adnan Tufail, clinical co-leader for the project, and Professor Gary Rubin, principal investigator, are amongst a group of experts from Moorfields and UCL contributing to the study.

AMD is a painless eye condition that causes you to lose central vision, usually in both eyes. AMD currently affects more than 600,000 people in the UK and is the leading cause of sight loss. By 2020, it's predicted almost 700,000 people will have a late-stage form of the condition in the UK.

MACUSTAR is the first exclusively eye disease-focused project approved by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), Europe's largest public-private initiative aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients. The project involves several European universities, medical-technology and pharmaceutical companies. In total, 16 million euros have been pledged to the project. 

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