Experimentica Ltd. is pleased to announce its participation as beneficiary in the ORBITAL consortium who were awarded a Horizon 2020 framework Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network award.
The ORBITAL (Ocular Research By Integrated Training And Learning) consortium, led by Dr. Laurence Fitzhenry at The Waterford Institute, Ireland, received €4M from the European Training Network (ETN) programme to develop novel treatment strategies for blinding eye diseases in an international, intersectoral, and interdisciplinary research and training environment that will support 15 Early Stage Researchers (Ph.D. students) between 2019 and 2023. Made up of 23 members from Europe, Canada and the United States, ORBITAL brings together academia, industry, clinicians, patient advocacy groups and hospitals to create patient-friendly solutions for posterior segment diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic eye disease.
An ageing population and the obesity epidemic are responsible for a sharp increase in the prevalence of AMD and diabetic retinopathy. While Diabetic Eye Disease is the most common cause of blindness among working-age adults, AMD is the overall primary cause of visual deficiency in industrialized countries. ORBITAL addresses an urgent unmet clinical need for novel innovative and patient-friendly treatment approaches that can offer sight-saving alternatives to current disease management and could lead to more widespread use of less invasive drug delivery methods such as eye drops, contact lenses and microneedle technologies.
As industry partner, Experimentica Ltd. will play a key role in providing a state-of-the-art training environment for the group of Early Stage Researchers to test these novel treatment modalities in clinically-relevant model systems.
“Training the next generation of researchers is a vital part of our mission to Scientific Excellence in Ocular ModelsSM”, says Dr. Simon Kaja, Chief Scientific Officer of Experimentica Ltd. “We are proud to contribute our expertise to this outstanding team of scientists, clinicians and healthcare professionals in an effort to develop urgently needed therapies for these devastating conditions.”
The recruitment has already started for 15 brilliant, early career researchers to work on the project.
Contact for media enquiries:
Dr. Leona Damalakiene
Phone: +370 (686) 14 280
Notes for editors:
About Experimentica Ltd.:
Experimentica Ltd. is a global contract research organization (CRO) that specializes in preclinical models for ophthalmic indications. The world class scientists and technicians apply a comprehensive set of skills on various in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo modelling platforms. With proprietary laboratories in Kuopio, Finland and Vilnius, Lithuania alongside a global representation, Experimentica Ltd. delivers the highest quality science in preclinical ophthalmic drug discovery.
The ORBITAL network is an EU funded innovative training network that will recruit and train 15 early stage researchers (PhD students) across Europe to develop drug delivery technologies that can help treat posterior segment diseases of the eye, e.g. age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The network is built on an intersectoral (academia, industry, clinicians, patient advocacy groups, hospitals) consortium of 23 members from Europe, Canada and the United States. The goal is to train researchers to Ph.D. level, ensuring that they have a clear focus on patient needs and interdisciplinary skills. We will have a strong focus on outreach, dissemination, patient and public engagement.
Beneficiaries: Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland; Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain; The Queen’s University of Belfast, NI; Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal; University of Iceland (Haskoli Islands), Iceland; University of Birmingham, UK; Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain; University College Dublin, Ireland; Experimentica Ltd., Finland; Nanovector SRL, Italy; Ocupharm Diagnostics, Spain.
Partner organisations: Neuregenix Ltd., UK; HGBeyond, Spain; Rowan University, USA; Colorado School of Mines, USA; Loyola University Chicago, USA; University of Waterloo, UWL; University of Parma, Italy; OcuMedic Inc., USA; The Vision Clinic, Ireland; Fighting Blindness, Ireland; Hospital das Forcas Armadas, Portugal; Egas Moniz, Portugal.
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