Today at the 43rd Catalan Ophthalmology Society Congress, the Barcelona Macula Foundation will present its lines of research and its advances in the fight against certain forms of blindness such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt disease.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the western world, in patients over 50 years. In Spain, 26,000 new cases of macular disease are detected annually and it is estimated that more than 3,000,000 people are currently at risk of losing their sight in the coming years.
Research is the key
The Barcelona Macula Foundation, an organisation dedicated exclusively to research into diseases and surgery of the macula, the retina and the vitreous has focussed its research, in the last few years, on the fight against blindness. Among other research areas, in Catalunya it has tried out new drugs that are in the initial stages of clinical development.
Dr. Jordi Monés, director of the Foundation, today explained the different lines of research which they have developed in collaboration with other research centres such as the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. “Thanks to our joint effort we have managed to make progress in the treatment of wet macular degeneration, similar to the headway once made in the treatment of AIDS. Our challenge now is to achieve the same with dry AMD, a disease without a cure” explained Dr. Monés.
According to the Director of the Foundation, “The application of substitution techniques, such as the use of foetal tissue or embryonic stem cells, in the field of ophthalmology research can open up new possibilities to help people, who suffer from this vision degenerative disease, improve their quality of life, in the not too distant future”.
ABOUT THE BARCELONA MACULA FOUNDATION
A scientific foundation created to combat blindness through basic and preclinical research and collaborating in clinical research projects. Its scientific team has worked on research projects that have helped to improve current treatments for macula and retina related diseases. It is currently focused on the fight against macular and retinal degenerative diseases that cause blindness and have no treatment, such as dry AMD, retinitis pigmentosa or Stargardt disease, with innovative projects that include regenerative and cell therapy. It has collaboration agreements with organizations such as the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, Institute of Photonic Sciences, Catalan Institute for Bioengineering and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.