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Clinical trials

Responding to the need for national and international collaboration on randomised clinical trials, we work with national and international partners to conduct clinical trials on different treatments for eye diseases such as dry eye, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

1. National Ophthalmology Clinical Research Strategy

Prof Rupert Bourne (NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Ophthalmology) co-ordinates the National Ophthalmology Clinical Research Strategy in collaboration with NIHR and NIH (USA).

The strategy seeks to explore the unmet need of ophthalmology research in the UK and facilitate a non-commercial and commercial "research pipeline" of therapies and technologies in order to encourage more coordinated funding streams.

Five ophthalmology subspecialty Clinical Study Groups (CSGs) have been established in the UK to act as key routes through which research themes are prioritised and studies are peer reviewed and developed.

One trial is a joint UK and USA Multicentre Uveitis Steroid Treatment Trial (MUST) based at Johns Hopkins University (USA) funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) resulting in two clinical trials (UK NIHR clinical trial portfolio MERIT and ADVISE). A third trial (THRIVE) will commence in 2022.

2. Severe dry eye disease

Supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) on the feasibility of fingerprick autologous blood (FAB) as a novel treatment for severe dry eye disease, in collaboration with Moorfields London and Bedford, shows promising results.

3. Ocular surface disease

An NIHR portfolio study investigating ocular surface disease among patients with glaucoma has involved a subsample of patients tested within VERI’s climate chamber to assess the behaviour of the ocular surface when environmentally stressed.

4. Management of diabetes and eye problems

In partnership with our local collaborators, we have been conducting clinical trials on improving the management of diabetes and its eye problems in Nepal and India.

5. Myopia

VERI researchers have been awarded industry funding to run a trial of a highly anticipated spectacle lens which is understood to slow down short-sightedness (myopia) in children. Dr Manbir Nagra, Prof Shahina Pardhan and Dr Holly Barr will investigate the efficacy of the lens as part of a 12-month trial in UK based children.

We also have full access to the ARU Clinical Trials Unit.