Research and Innovation

Prioritise research and innovation for AMD, including basic, translational, social, and patient-centric research

The understanding of how AMD develops requires ongoing research due to its complex pathology, including genetic and environmental risk factors; exploration of new biological pathways and molecular targets; and the development of novel treatment modalities, such as gene therapies, stem cell therapies, and advanced drug delivery systems. To support this research, bottom-up funding mechanisms like those provided by the European Research Council and Horizon Europe are essential.

Despite considerable advances in the understanding of the neovascular form of AMD, the complete understanding of the mechanisms of Geographic Atrophy (advanced form of dry AMD) remains a future prospect. Consequently, Geographic Atrophy remains without a therapeutic option in Europe; a fact that further highlights the urgent need for both basic and translational research.

Studies to understand the patient perspective of the disease – including socio-economic studies, patient preference studies and the impact on caregivers – must be prioritised to ensure better therapeutic outcomes for the affected population.

To ensure the much-needed prioritisation of research and innovation for AMD, including basic, translational, social, and patient-centric research, Retina International calls on incoming MEPs and political parties and groupings to:

  • Continue to promote cross-border and cross-sectoral collaboration on AMD research, particularly under the Horizon Europe programme, and to invest in infrastructures that advance research led by patients’ needs.

 

  • Optimise the use of resources through strategic investments and the incentivisation of all stages of research to achieve excellence in basic, translational, social, and patient-centric research; and to develop and fund a robust European science agenda with particular attention to the specificities of AMD.

 

  • Promote and facilitate patient engagement in AMD research, and to make Europe a leader in patient involvement.

 

  • Enhance long-term multinational public-private research partnerships and to spearhead international research collaboration through international consortiums.

 

Retina International welcomes the long-awaited revision of the EU pharmaceutical legislation. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make the EU regulatory framework more person-centred by promoting patient involvement in the regulatory process; improving access to and availability of medicines; and developing new treatments to better address unmet patient needs.

The definition of ‘unmet medical need’ should be created in cooperation with patients and include criteria important to them, such as quality of life.

 

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