Optos hails £10m initiative to detect eye disease

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Eyecare specialist Optos today announced a £10 million collaboration with the NHS to develop technology aimed at speeding up the detection of sight-threatening eye disease.

The Dunfermline-based firm will work with scientists and clinicians from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the Universities of Kent and Strathclyde, on the project.

An initial £1.1m study – funded by Optos and Innovate UK, the government-backed innovation agency – will develop a laser-based technology to monitor the function of the cells in the eye. The first clinical studies will focus on the leading causes of blindness – age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy – and are expected to be completed in the first half of 2017.

If successful, a further £9m will be invested to develop a fully-licensed medical device for the NHS by 2018.

Optos chief executive Roy Davis said: “Blindness is a largely preventable disease burden that we believe can be eased through earlier detection.

“This initiative demonstrates not only the importance of early intervention, but how innovation and investment through collaboration can translate into better patient outcomes.”