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The project, ORBITAL, will contribute to research which could lead to more widespread use of less invasive drug delivery methods such as eye drops, contact lenses and microneedle technologies, instead of traditional treatments such as injections.

By understanding what patients and clinicians need in practice, the project aims to train researchers to have the skills necessary to develop these patient-friendly drug delivery technologies and ultimately improve patient experiences and outcomes.

Ann Logan, Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham’s Institute if Inflammation and Ageing, said:

“There is a clear need for efficient, safe, less-invasive and more patient-friendly strategies for the treatment of AMD and diabetic eye disease. 

“These diseases represent a considerable and growing burden on patients and healthcare systems throughout the world. 

“Given the statistics, there is a lack of researchers being trained with the necessary interdisciplinary skills needed to combat such increasing burdens.”

The ORBITAL (Ocular Research By Integrated Training And Learning) European Training Network is a research and training programme, supported by €4m through a Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Training Network award. This pan-European research project, which starts this September, will see academia, industry, clinicians, patient advocacy groups and hospitals working together to create patient-friendly solutions for blinding diseases and recruitment has started for 15 brilliant, early career researchers to work on the project.

Find out more here