ARREST BLINDNESS Annual General Assembly Meeting, Rome, Italy, 14 – 15 February 2019

The 4th ARREST BLINDNESS General Assembly meeting including all External Advisory Board members took place in Rome, on 14-15 February, 2019. Project activities, deliverables, and milestones from 2018 were reviewed. An update on the project management (WP1) and the project dissemination and exploitation (WP8) as well as update on exploitation activities from the industrial partners was delivered. The Ethical Advisors attended and presented their feedback and advice concerning scientific activities, ethical considerations in ongoing and upcoming clinical trials, and regulatory advice for strategy positioning of new medical devices, as well as an overview of the new EU Medical Devices Directive. A scientific symposium was finalized, where project results will be disseminated in the form of a Special Interest Symposium at the 2019 European Vision and Eye Research (EVER) Annual meeting in Nice, France in October 2019.

Photo of the consortium taken at the ARREST BLINDNESS General Assembly Meeting in Rome.

As of Jan 2019, 75% of the project period has elapsed, with the following accomplishments:

  • 37 of 52 project deliverables have been submitted
  • 12 of 16 project milestones have been achieved
  • 15 peer-reviewed articles published
  • 90 conference talks and posters presented
  • 14 workshops with ARREST BLINDNESS participation
  • implantation of Bicornea in additional patients in Germany
  • recruitment of further patients for the limbal stem cell therapy Phase II trial in Belgium
  • successful pre-clinical study with BPCDX intra-stromal implant, ethical permission granted, regulatory decision pending for first clinical studies
  • successful corneal endothelial cell culture/adhesion/ex vivo transplantation on HALC, first in vivo transplantation in a preclinical model in Denmark
  • first high-resolution OCT able to visualise lymphatics in rodents and in humans achieved the CE-mark
  • optimisation of physical methods targeting corneal lymphatics and combination physical/pharmacotherapy has received approvals for first clinical study in Germany
  • novel candidate neurotrophic regenerative agent AB10 identified and tested pre-clinical for wound healing, tear film and blink reflex, etc.

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