As part of a £346,000 unrestricted grant – which does not give Roche any claims to intellectual property to research findings – a team at the university’s Division of Optometry and Vision Science, led by Professor David Crabb, will study the difficulties which AMD patients face in dealing with sight loss.
This is the second grant received by Professor Crabb in the last 12 months, following a £458,000 award from Novartis in July to investigate AMD treatments.
AMD is a leading cause of sight loss in the UK, with late-stage disease estimated to affect more than half a million people in the UK.
The work will involve laboratory-based experiments on volunteers with AMD to test their ability to perform a number of visual tasks, such as facial recognition and hazard detection. The grant will also fund a research fellow and PhD student.
Commenting on the award, Professor Crabb, said: “This grant from Roche will allow us to tackle the important question about how AMD impacts upon people’s everyday life.”
He added: “We hope this study will help shed light on the issue, especially for those with the ‘dry’ form of the disease who, at the moment, are generally untreatable. However, there are some exciting potential treatments in the pipeline and our work might help to show the benefit of these.”