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Joining forces to end AMD-related blindness

A group of organisations have formed a partnership in a bid to find a cure for the sight-threatening condition, AMD

15 Mar 2018 by Emily McCormick

A group of UK charities have announced a partnership with an artificial intelligence company with the goal of finding a treatment and potential cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Under the umbrella of Action Against AMD, the charities will work with BenevolentAI to use its technology to review and understand the millions of scientific papers, trials, images, formulas and data related to AMD.

Action Against AMD has been formed by Fight for Sight, the Macular Society, Blind Veterans UK and Scottish War Blinded as a way to increase funding for research into AMD, and to specifically help develop a treatment to prevent people losing their sight from the condition.

Speaking about the partnership, Dr Jackie Hunter, CEO of BenevolentBio, the bioscience subsidiary of BenevolentAI that focuses on accelerating drug discovery and development, explained: “BenevolentAI’s deep learning linguistic models, knowledge graph and algorithms will be applied to create a better understanding of AMD, generate new insights and identify promising new research areas for treating this devastating condition.”

The technology will use its findings to pin-point important research areas, possible ways of preventing AMD and potential treatments.

Chair of Action Against AMD, Rob Bryan said: “AI offers an exciting new way to approach medical research. We must find new treatments for AMD because it will affect tens of millions of older people across the world in the coming decades. We are delighted to be collaborating with BenevolentAI on this ground-breaking project.”

By 2020, it is predicted almost 700,000 people will have late-stage AMD in the UK. 

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