Centre of Excellence Program Candidate

Eye4Sight is a multi-disciplinary project that focuses on new solutions to serious unmet needs in ophthalmology. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a growing health problem in aging populations with predicted 288 million patients in 2040. Dry form of AMD with 85% of patients is untreatable, while wet form of the disease is treated chronically with repeated intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF agents.

Eye4Sight aims to 1) explore new potential drug targets in dry AMD and to develop drug candidates with preclinical drug discovery platform; 2) develop translational tools for preclinical ocular drug discovery and development; 3) investigate new retinal drug delivery strategies for long-acting and targeted retinal drugs.

Eye4Sight is a concerted action of experts in the fields of ophthalmology, cell biology, drug design and synthesis, bioactivity screening, pharmacokinetics, biomaterials and drug delivery. Eye4Sight is expected to result in drug candidates with preclinical proof-of-concept in dry AMD, translational toolbox for ocular drug discovery and development, and successful retinal drug delivery systems for later clinical translation. Eye4Sight is well connected to the national and international clinics and companies enabling effective technology transfer and clinical translation. Furthermore, the translational toolbox will be useful globally in ocular drug discovery and development.

Eye4Sight is a multi-disciplinary project of four teams: drug delivery (Arto Urtti, Eye4Sight director, University of Helsinki and University of Eastern Finland), ophthalmology (Kai Kaarniranta, vice-director, University of Eastern Finland), drug discovery (Antti Poso, University of Eastern Finland and University of Tubingen) and stem cells (Heli Skottman, University of Tampere).  Eye4Sight is internationally linked to top-level laboratories in ophthalmology and pharmaceuetical sciences. Eye4Sight partners have been running many research projects that have been funded by European Commission, U.S. FDA, pharmaceutical industry and Finnish funding sources.