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INSIGHT FOR EYESIGHT – Novel mRNA medicines for eye disease

Project description

Pioneering mRNA therapy could promote healing and reduce loss of vision

Messenger RNA (mRNA) plays a pivotal role in gene expression. During transcription, the code carried in DNA is copied to a single strand of mRNA. The mRNA is then used as a template to assemble the appropriate sequence of amino acids into the protein. INSIGHT EU has developed a proprietary mRNA-delivery platform that is already being used to treat chronic kidney disease. The project has now turned its sights to treatments for impaired vision and blindness. Development of mRNA therapies delivered to the eye could promote healing and ameliorate vision loss. Success could open a new window on life for millions with impaired vision.


Proper eyesight is essential for nearly all aspects of our life. Yet, over 4 million people suffer from reduced eyesight or blindness worldwide each year (30 million blind or partially sighted in EU, 1 in 3 senior (65+) EU citizens faces sight loss). Common reasons include glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, corneal injury and inflammation, as well as complications of surgery of the eye and physical injury. Despite continuous improvements in treatment of various underlying causes, much is still to be gained in the promotion of healing of damaged eye tissue. While the patient suffers pain, loss of quality of life and participation in society, socio-economic costs include increased reliance on care-takers, increased healthcare cost and burden. Overall, the societal cost of eye disease is estimated to around 200 €Bn for the developed world.
We envision the development of novel drug candidates, based on Mercurna’s proprietary messenger RNA (mRNA)-delivery platform, for greatly improved treatment of eye disease. A particularly interesting opportunity to explore in this project, is the use of mRNA to accelerate healing of the eye, a strategy that is applicable to multiple causes of eye disease. For this project, we aim to hire a researcher with a skillset and knowledge in the field of ophthalmology, who can critically strengthen Mercurna’s Innovation potential in this area.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 75 937,50
Geurdeland 17g
6673 DR Andelst

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Oost-Nederland Gelderland Arnhem/Nijmegen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 0,00