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Moorfields Eye Hospital Announces Vision Research Collaboration on Novel Treatment for Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 12:01am
The Associated Press

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 8, 2013--Moorfields Eye Hospital is to collaborate with Salutaris Medical Devices, Ltd (SalutarisMD TM ) to advance the research and development of a novel medical device for use in the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The device enables retinal specialists to administer high precision localised radiation therapy to the back of a patient’s eyes to stem vision loss.

A Moorfields research team led by consultants Mr Adnan Tufail, Mr Praveen Patel and ophthalmic surgeon Mr Kam Balaggan will work with the SalutarisMD team on the further development, application and evaluation of this new technology.

Approximately 26,000 new cases of wet AMD occur in the UK each year and the disease is responsible for 90% of severe vision loss cases associated with AMD which primarily affects older adults.

Wet AMD is caused by the development of choroidal neovascularization and occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina at the back of the eye. The novel medical device allows the application of brachytherapy (a form of radiation) through the posterior sclera, avoiding the need for more invasive surgery or complex therapeutic machines.

The device enables lesion-specific targeting where the retina specialist delivers localised tissue irradiation, customized for each patient. The device is designed as a practical, clinic-based procedure that can be performed in the same environment as the current anti-VEGF injection treatments for wet AMD.

To date, the device has been tested in a phase 1 safety trial in the United States. Although the trial sample was small in size with a short follow-up period, all six subjects did show improvement in vision and three subjects required no additional anti-VEGF injections within the 90-day trial period.

Peng Khaw, Director of Research and Development at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology said: “We target diseases that are both clinically significant and where there is an outstanding existing track record of translational achievements, turning laboratory discovery into patient benefit. AMD is one of those disease areas where we continue to work to make a major impact for patients and we are highly committed to investigating new and improved treatments.

“We are delighted to have signed this collaborative agreement which will enable our AMD experts to work with SalutarisMD to take forward the development, application and measures for success of this technology.

“One of the attractions of this application is the way it enables the treatment to be administered in a non-invasive way, without the need for complex expensive equipment. A retinal specialist can use it in a normal clinical setting and that could be important in the development of better more cost effective protocols in the longer term. If patients have to return less frequently for follow-up visits, that is good news.” Dr. Laurence Marsteller, Managing Director of SalutarisMD, Ltd. said: “We at SalutarisMD are honoured and excited to collaborate with one of the world’s leading eye hospitals and largest ophthalmic research programmes in the world. We have a shared mission: to have a global impact for the improvement of vision and the preservation of eye health.” Work is scheduled to begin the setting up of a phase 1 clinical study in the UK in 2013.

Salutaris Medical Devices media contact details: UK Communications Director, Ms. Amanda Thomas, ajthomas@ajthomas.com US Communications Director, Ms. Joanne Vitali, jvitali@SalutarisMD.com, +001 610-518-5405 Notes to editors Salutaris Medical Devices, Ltd. (SalutarisMD™) is a clinical-stage medical device company dedicated to developing minimally invasive, patient-centric treatments for vision loss. For more information about SalutarisMD visit www. SalutarisMD.co.uk NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is a partnership between Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. Established in April 2007, its purpose is to conduct 'translational research' that is designed to take advances in basic medical research from the laboratory to the clinic, enabling patients to benefit more quickly from new scientific breakthroughs. Our centre is currently one of 12 biomedical research centres that were awarded in 2007 to NHS/university partnerships with an outstanding international reputation for medical research and expertise, and experience of translating that research into the clinical setting. For further information, please visit www.brcophthalmolgy.org/.

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the world’s leading eye hospitals, providing expertise in clinical care, research and education. We have provided excellence in eye care for more than 200 years and we continue to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs and developments. We are an integral part of one of the UK’s first academic health science centres, UCL Partners, and were one of the first organisations to become an NHS foundation trust in 2004. For further information, please visit www.moorfields.nhs.uk.

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is one of a number of specialised research centres within UCL (University College London) and is, together with Moorfields Eye Hospital, one of the leading centres for eye research worldwide. The most recent Research Assessment Exercise confirmed the outstanding quality of research carried out at the Institute, with 40 per cent of investigators ranked 4* (world-leading) together with a further 30 per cent ranked as internationally excellent. The combination of the Institute’s research resource with the resources of Moorfields Eye Hospital, which has the largest ophthalmic patient population in the Western World, opens the way for advances at the forefront of vision research. For further information, please visit www.ucl.ac.uk.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training. Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world-class facilities (both NHS and university), conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients. For further information, please visit www.nihr.ac.uk.

CONTACT: Moorfields Eye Hospital Press contact: Julia Jones, 020 7566 2628 KEYWORD: UNITED KINGDOM EUROPE IRELAND INDUSTRY KEYWORD: HEALTH CLINICAL TRIALS HOSPITALS MEDICAL DEVICES OPTICAL RADIOLOGY PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FINANCE RESEARCH SCIENCE GENERAL HEALTH SOURCE: Moorfields Eye Hospital Copyright Business Wire 2013 PUB: 01/08/2013 12:01 AM/DISC: 01/08/2013 12:01 AM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130107007064/

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