Action Against AMD and BenevolentAI - new partnership to find a cure for the UK’s leading cause of sight loss

15 March 18

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Press Office

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Action Against AMD (AAA) and BenevolentAI have launched a partnership to use BenevolentAI’s technology to help find treatments and a potential cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the UK.

AAA is a collaboration between Fight for Sight and three other sight loss charities (Blind Veterans, Macular Society and Scottish War Blinded) which has been formed to develop an intervention that prevents early stage AMD progressing to the point where people lose their sight. The partnership with BenevolentAI will harness the power of artificial intelligence for scientific innovation.

BenevolentAI will use its proprietary technology platform to comprehensively review and understand the millions of scientific papers, clinical trials information, images, formulas, patents and additional data sets relating to AMD. The technology will then conduct complex reasoning to create a new understanding of the disease, learn, explore, create and translate what it has learnt from this vast volume of information to pin-point important research areas, possible ways of preventing AMD and potential treatments.

AMD is the main cause of sight loss in developed countries and the third biggest worldwide. In the UK more than 600,000 have late stage AMD and this is set to double by 2050 as people live longer. Many more older people have early stage AMD that does not yet affect their sight so finding ways to detect and treat the disease before it causes sight loss is vital.

Michele Acton, Fight for Sight's CEO, said: "We at Fight for Sight have long recognised the need to invest in vital eye research and to develop new, innovative ways to help develop treatments. Being able to extend the research effort to benefit from the most recent advances in artificial intelligence is a huge and welcome step forward in the fight against AMD.”

Dr Jackie Hunter, CEO BenevolentBio, the bioscience subsidiary of BenevolentAI, commented: “BenevolentAI’s deep learning linguistic models, knowledge graph and algorithms will be applied to create a better understanding of AMD, generate new insights and identify promising new research areas for treating this devastating condition.”

Action Against AMD Chair, Rob Bryan, said: “AI offers an exciting new way to approach medical research. We must find new treatments for AMD because it will affect tens of millions of older people across the world in the coming decades. We are delighted to be collaborating with BenevolentAI on this ground-breaking project.”

If you'd like to find about more about AMD, have a look at the Fight for Sight A to Z of eye conditions.

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Further information about BenevolentAI (www.benevolent.ai):

BenevolentAI is the global leader in the development and application of AI for scientific innovation. It is the largest private AI company in Europe and one of the world’s top five private AI companies.

The company has built a proprietary AI technology platform that ingests and processes knowledge from any source of vast complex scientific data and then analyses, reasons and extracts knowledge. The technology enables BenevolentAI to generate new scientific insights very quickly at a massive scale.