Working to develop topical solutions (eye drops) that will intercept presbyopia and cataracts and improve visual acuity, the Presbyopia/Cataracts Venture team is developing collaborations to protect the vision of individuals in the future.
“Presbyopia and cataracts are both linked to protein misfolding and aggregation. Initial aggregation leads to lens stiffening, presbyopia and the need for reading glasses. With aging, this process is followed by more pronounced protein aggregation leading to opacification and cataracts. The interception of protein aggregation in the lens could have additional benefits, including a reduction in asthenopia [tired eyes] and decreased incidents of falls and auto accidents among the elderly.”
Eric George, Ph.D.
Venture Leader, Presbyopia/Cataracts
Disease Interception Accelerator
Presbyopia is considered a visual condition of everyone over the age of 40 and census figures estimate that 112 million people in the United States (U.S.) had the condition in 2006.2 The formation of cataracts remains the leading cause of blindness worldwide, affecting 20 million people. Though treatable through surgery, access barriers exist in many countries, preventing individuals from getting surgery.3 More than 3.2 million surgical procedures are performed each year to address the condition in the U.S. alone.4 Cataract surgery, while known to be highly successful, comes with risks and may require follow-up surgery.
3 World Health Organization. Priority eye diseases. http://www.who.int/blindness/causes/priority/en/index1.html. Accessed January 2016.
4 Lindstrom R L. Adoption of refractive cataract surgery essential for anterior segment surgeons. Healio. Dec 11, 2011. http://www.healio.com/ophthalmology/cataract-surgery/news/print/ocular-surgery-news/%7Bd566b9fc-4c60-4167-9ba4-e627a93c42e0%7D/adoption-of-refractive-cataract-surgery-essential-for-anterior-segment-surgeons. Accessed June 9, 2015.