Charities unite to tackle leading cause of blindness

Four leading sight loss charities have announced a unique partnership to find a treatment for one of the world’s leading causes of blindness. 

Blind Veterans UK, Fight for Sight, the Macular Society and Scottish War Blinded are jointly launching a collaboration to transform the funding of research to address age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The collaboration, called Action Against AMD, is a response to the increasing prevalence of sight loss among the world’s ageing population. AMD is by far the biggest cause of visual impairment in the developed world and the third biggest globally.

In the UK 600,000 people are living with late-stage AMD today, a figure set to double by 2050.

In spite of this, only a small fraction, 0.2%, of public funding of research is spent on AMD.

The aim of the partnership is to develop an intervention that prevents early stage AMD progressing to the point where people lose their sight. The charities have agreed to co-fund a three-year development project, worth £1m, to kick-start the generation of new funding streams to invest in the necessary research.

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