Over 30 million Europeans are blind or visually impaired, leading to reduced quality of life and a tremendous loss of productivity in society. Corneal blindness is the second largest cause of blindness globally and while treatable, millions remain unnecessarily blind due to issues of access to transplantable tissue, lack of standardized treatments, and the lag in translating new regenerative medicine therapies to the clinic.
The objective of ARREST BLINDNESS is therefore to develop new regenerative-based therapies for the cornea, addressing the translation of regenerative medicine, bio-artificial organs, tissue-engineered scaffolds, and advanced cell and molecular therapies into clinical use. Several preclinical studies and translational clinical studies will be performed to meet this objective, in order to help alleviate the worldwide problem of corneal blindness. In addition we will develop advanced methods to image and monitor therapy throughout the cycle from GMP-compliant cell and scaffold preparation through the pre- and intra-operative stages, to postoperative follow-up and evaluation.
ARREST BLINDNESS is a consortium of 12 partners across 7 European countries including 3 companies and some of the leading academic centers for corneal regeneration research in Europe. The consortium is led by Neil Lagali (Linköping, Sweden), and includes Hans Schuitmaker (AAE/Leiden, The Netherlands), Isabel Dapena (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), Nadia Zakaria (Antwerp, Belgium), Claus Cursiefen (Cologne, Germany), Juana Gallar (Alicante, Spain), Jesper Hjortdal (Aarhus, Denmark), Christian Gabriel (Wien, Austria), Shideh Tabe (LinkoCare/Linköping, Sweden), Eva Lankenau (OPMedT/Lübeck, Germany), Markus Beier (Novaliq/Heidelberg, Germany) and Martine Jager (Leiden, The Netherlands).
An External Advisory Board (EAB) has been appointed by the General Assembly to serve a key role in developing strategies to maximize utilization of the project results. It consists of external experts advising on scientific and technological developments, ethics and regulations.
Short project information
|Title||Advanced Regenerative and REStorative Therapies to combat corneal BLINDNESS|
|Type of action||RIA|
|Grant Agreement number||667400|
|Requested budget||€5 993 177,50|
|Project coordinator||Neil Lagali|
|Project manager||Svjetlana Stekovic|