Leading the Fight Against AMD - A Global Summit Seeking Change
This week (June 5 and 6) marked the start of an exciting and ambitious initiative led by Fight for Sight, Blind Veterans UK and Macular Society in the global fight against age related macular degeneration (AMD).
There are currently around 15 million people living with AMD and this figure is estimated to rise to over 18 million by 2024. Doing nothing is not an option. It is a global challenge we cannot ignore. People with AMD continually tell us about the importance they value on investing more into research to help them manage their condition and one day stop it altogether.
At Fight for Sight, we know the extent of the challenge we face in the fight to overcome AMD and that is why with Blind Veterans UK and Macular Society we have decided to pool our knowledge and expertise to work towards finding a breakthrough to combat this eye disease. We know this won’t happen overnight or by chance. That is why our partnership is for the long-term and a priority for all three charities.
So earlier this week, we started on our journey by hosting a global summit on AMD with Wellcome Trust at their Genome Campus in Cambridge, UK. With a diverse and geographic spread of leading eye researchers from across the UK, Europe and USA attending the summit, there was a wealth of knowledge and ideas that stimulated healthy and extensive debate on importance areas such as: the key challenges; identifying complement pathways and AMD; attempting to identify research priorities to solve the challenge of early AMD; as well as the challenge of generating funding to deliver impactful research.
Our work has started. What struck me, was not only the depth of expertise and richness of discussion throughout the summit, but the optimism that percolated throughout the two days. Maintaining this discourse and momentum will be a key priority for us going forward. A report is now being written up, which will be made available shortly, setting out the key themes and views from the summit, creating a solid basis on which we can act.