A $26.35m (£20.42m) partnership to halt the global myopia epidemic has been announced by The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), The Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and Johnson & Johnson Vision.
The public-private partnership is designed to generate a better understanding of how the condition develops, its progression and how it can be intercepted.
It will focus on developing predictive tools to identify those who may be at risk of developing high myopia, conduct research on the underlying mechanisms of myopia, progress novel therapies, and discover and validate methods to prevent the onset and progression of the condition.
Vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson Vision, Paul Stoffels, said: “The incidence of myopia is increasing at an alarming rate around the world and if left unchecked, the human and financial toll could skyrocket in the coming decades, especially in Asia.”
Executive director of SERI, Professor Aung Tin, shared that SERI is excited to be collaborating on the research project “to break new ground against the epidemic.”
“Documented increases in myopia, especially among young people, are a serious concern and if we can understand the underlying mechanisms that are contributing to its rapid rise, we can work to tackle the problem at its roots,” Professor Tin added.
Speaking about the partnership, medical director at the SNEC, Professor Wong Tien Yin, said: “SNEC is honoured to be working with collaborators coming together to address the growing burden of myopia by leveraging the diverse strengths of our clinicians, clinician scientists and strategic partners to establish new disease frameworks and share this knowledge across world communities to help eradicate myopia.