Fight for Sight supports new treatments search

Researchers will explore the developement of treatments for autoimmune uveitis

Optical equipment

Fight for Sight has partnered with the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) to support Scottish researchers in developing a treatment for autoimmune uveitis.

Researchers Dr Heather Wilson and Professor John Forrester, from the University of Aberdeen, and Dr Lucia Kuffova, from NHS Grampian, have been awarded £200,000 to investigate the use of T regulatory cells as a potential treatment for the sight-threatening condition.

Uveitis is typically managed with therapies such as steroids and immunosuppressants, which can have harmful side effects.

This research aims to provide evidence for a personalised therapy as an alternative approach to a treatment which could potentially “reset” the patient’s immune system and prevent future recurrence of the condition.

Intraocular inflammation within the eye can be sight-threatening. It is believed that in sight-threatening uveitis, an uncontrolled immune response to the patient’s individual antigens, is the result of a failure of T regulatory cells, which have a role in controlling inflammation.

Researchers will seek to identify, harvest, amplify and transfuse isolated T regulatory cells to suppress the inflammatory cells that are causing damage.

Director of research, policy and innovation at Fight for Sight, Dr Neil Ebenezer, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the CSO to support vital sight saving research in Scotland. This exciting research project could potentially prevent the future recurrence of uveitis, which will have a significant impact on the lives of those living with this condition.”

CSO’s Dr Alan McNair added: “It is through research that effective new treatments for debilitating eye conditions such as autoimmune uveitis will be developed. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Fight for Sight in supporting this exciting project at the University of Aberdeen.”

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