The invention of the femtosecond laser technology has allowed great advances in the field of corneal transplant surgery.
Translational funding leads to surgical breakthroughs
The femtosecond laser revolutionized eye surgery. All-laser LASIK, also known as Intra-LASIK, uses the femtosecond laser instead of a mechanical blade to make very precise cuts in the cornea, reducing complications and improving outcomes of the surgery. Additionally, it is safer to use for doctors than previous mechanical technology.
Discovery-Stage Research Project
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, affecting the macular region of the retina at the back of the eye.
Funding Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are an essential step in the road to preventing, treating and, hopefully, curing disease. They test the safety and effectiveness of treatments before they are made available to the public. While clinical trials are necessary to ensure safety, getting a treatment approved by the FDA is a very long and very expensive process.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Phase I/II clinical trials using retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to treat patients with Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD).
There's good news on the research front for those with severe damage to the surface of the eye, for whom corneal transplants have not been an option. A recently published article in the New England Journal of Medicine describes a successful approach that is being used to restore vision to numerous patients with limbal stem-cell deficiency.