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Singapore National Eye Centre receives S$ 1 M to combat age-related macular degeneration

08 September 2023 | News

Tanoto Foundation's donation will advance research into gene therapy to address eye condition that is a major cause of vision loss

Tanoto Foundation has announced a donation of S$1 million to the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) to support a three-year research programme into gene therapy to combat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a chronic, irreversible eye condition that affects 200 million people worldwide. Due to ageing population and longer life spans, this number is set to increase to 240 million by 2030.

AMD can result in loss of vision because of damage to the macula, or central part of the retina, and is a major cause of blindness in those over 50 years old. The condition is more prevalent in countries with ageing populations, such as Singapore, where around one in four citizens will be over 65 years old by 2030.

The research programme, which will be funded by Tanoto Foundation and led by scientists from the SNEC and the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), will focus on the development of new gene therapies to address AMD.

The research team comprises clinicians and scientists from SNEC/SERI, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*STAR) Genome Institute of Singapore and the Centre for Vision Research at Duke-NUS Medical School. This clinician-scientist collaboration is a testament to the ongoing strong collaborative efforts to translate novel therapies from bench to bedside.

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