Research Strategy

Our Vision and our Goals

Fight for Sight’s vision is simple. We believe in a future everyone can see. We want to stop sight loss.

Our research goals include:

  • Understanding: Increasing understanding of how eye diseases and conditions start and develop
  • Prevention: Preventing eye diseases and conditions
  • Early Diagnosis: Enabling eye diseases and conditions to be detected earlier
  • Treatment: Developing new and improved treatments for eye diseases and conditions

Fight for Sight’s primary way of delivering its goals is through funding the highest quality medical research.

Which Eye Diseases and Conditions

Fight for Sight does not have sufficient funds to be able to fund research to address all sight loss conditions. We have to carefully consider how best to use our limited resources.

During the period 2017-22 we decided that, whilst we will continue to allocate funding to research that aims to address sight loss from any eye disease or condition, the majority of our funding will be allocated across a small number of areas that will form core Strategic Programmes for the charity.

  • Strategic Programme 1: Age-related macular degeneration

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the commonest cause of severe visual impairment in older adults in the developed world. It is estimated that there are 600,000 people in the UK with sight loss caused by AMD and this number will more than double to 1.3m by 2050.

    There are two forms of AMD (wet and dry) with the dry form affecting nearly 80% of those with the condition. Our Strategic Programme is focused on finding ways of stopping the sight loss caused by both wet and dry AMD.

    As part of our AMD Strategic Programme, we have launched a major collaboration called Action Against AMD together with three other sight loss charities (Macular Society, Blind Veterans and Scottish War Blinded). The top AMD priority identified by the Sight Loss and Vision- Priority Setting Partnership was the development of a treatment to stop early stage AMD progressing. Action Against AMD’s objective is to facilitate the funding of medical research with the aim of building a pipeline of therapeutic approaches.

    It is expected that over the course of our strategy period we will work closely with Action Against AMD with regard to addressing early stage AMD, whilst also addressing prevention and the development of treatments for late stage AMD.

  • Strategic Programme 2: Glaucoma

    Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness in the world. In the UK it is estimated that there are 480,000 people with open angle glaucoma.

    Sight lost from glaucoma cannot be recovered. However, early diagnosis, monitoring and regular treatment can help prevent vision loss. Regular eye tests can help to detect glaucoma early. Our Strategic Programme is focused on improving diagnostics that can lead to early interventions and on improving therapeutics.

  • Strategic Programme 3: Inherited eye diseases

    There are a large number of genetic disorders that cause disease of different structures of the eye (including the retina, lens and cornea), which are associated with visual impairment. Although individually rare, collectively inherited eye diseases are a significant cause of sight loss. Our Strategic Programme is focused on understanding the mechanism of disease and the development of improved diagnostics and therapies for inherited eye diseases.
  • Strategic Programme 4: Sight loss linked to other diseases (Multi-morbidities)

    It is increasingly being recognised that there is a growing group of people who are affected by the loss of sight while also dealing with other conditions. The ageing population is a key driver of increasing levels of people with multiple conditions and this presents a challenge for healthcare services, researchers and research funders.

    Fight for Sight has established this Strategic Programme to encourage and support research that helps increase our understanding of how sight loss co-exists with other long-term conditions including diabetes, inflammatory conditions and Alzheimer’s disease. The Strategic Programme is focussed on understanding and exploiting similarities in disease mechanisms and pathways to develop new therapies.

We will assess the feasibility of additional Strategic Programmes during the course of the strategy period.

Further information about our Research Strategy, our funding opportunities and our ways of working can be found in the downloadable document.

Download our Research Strategy