Mid-Term Report Summary - OCULUS (A radical approach for improved glaucoma treatment.)
In order to keep the eye inflated, pressure must be maintained within its globe. A clear fluid, the aqueous humor, which is constantly being generated, moves forward into the anterior chamber of the eye and is drained through the tissues of the Trabecular Meshwork into a fine canal running around the periphery of the Iris. From this canal, termed the Canal of Schlemm, aqueous fluid passes into the episcleral veins (those veins which can be seen on the white of the eye), and hence into the peripheral circulation. Increased resistance to fluid outflow through the trabecular meshwork and the Canal of Schlemm results in inadequate clearance of aqueous humor from the eye and hence a build-up of intra-ocular pressure (IOP). The output neurons of the retina, termed ganglion cells and their fibers, which coalesce at the optic nerve head, are particularly susceptible to high IOP and degenerate under such conditions, frequently leading, if untreated, to extensive loss of vision. This is glaucoma. The disease, in its various forms, has a current world prevalence of approximately 65 Million people and in the developing world about 8.5 million people with this condition are currently bilaterally blind. Topical eye drops that either reduce fluid output or increase fluid drainage (including carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, prostaglandin analogues) are widely and successfully used, however 5-7% of glaucoma patients who have forms of disease potentially amenable to therapy with such medications, do not respond, or become resistant to them. Surgical intervention is possible, including Trabeculectomy, Trabeculoplasty and Canaloplasty. However, there are significant limitations to current therapeutic interventions - trabeculoplasty fails in up to 40% of patients and cataract and increased IOP can occur in up to 20% of patients given canaloplasty. Oculus targets those 5-7% of treatment-resistant people by developing a totally new molecular biological approach to reducing pressure within the globe of the eye.
Deirdre Savage, (Research Accounting Manager)
Record Number: 183577 / Last updated on: 2016-06-16
Information source: SESAM