Is there a better way to stop blood vessel growth in wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy?

Research details

  • Type of funding: New Lecturers' Small Grant Award
  • Grant Holder: Dr James Whiteford
  • Institute: Queen Mary, University of London
  • Region: London
  • Start date: January 2015
  • End Date: December 2015
  • Priority: Treatment
  • Eye Category: AMD


An unhealthy amount of new blood vessel growth under the light-sensitive layer of the eye (the retina) is a major cause of sight loss and blindness. It can happen in conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and the wet form of age-related macular degeneration.

Drugs such as Avastin and Lucentis have been the main treatment. They target ‘growth factors’ in the body known as ‘vascular endothelial growth factor’ or VEGF. Anti-VEGF treatments can improve vision and slow down sight loss in many cases, but they may not work as well as expected in some people, so we need other approaches to reducing new blood vessel growth too.

The research team has discovered that a protein called CD148 is involved in a different route to stopping blood vessels from growing. In this project that team have tried to find out with CD148 is active in the mouse eye and whether it can also developed as a treatment.
  • Research update

    The team has gathered some early results showing that targeting CD148 can prevent unhealthy new blood vessel growth in a model of age-related macular degeneration. The team has obtained further funding for a new project to understand how the process works. This work needs to be done before the research can move into a clinical stage.