Research into retinal disease and development of new ophthalmic drugs utilises a large number of animals, however the results are not always easily extrapolated to humans. OcuScience offer an alternative and unique platform based on human tissue, providing a more physiologically relevant system. The platform comprises neural retina from human donor eyes coupled to a proprietary system for conducting repeated trans-retinal recordings. The recordings repeatedly show function that is nearly identical to electroretinography data from living humans and the technique can also be used by researchers to monitor the effects of drugs on the central nervous system by observing the effect on retinal nerves.
To facilitate widespread adoption of their technology, OcuScience are seeking collaborations with academics, pharmaceutical companies, contract research organisations and organ donation specialists to:
- Provide direction and validation for OcuScience’s human disease models
- Utilise this novel biosensor platform in their preclinical drug development to test safety and efficacy of compounds
- Collaborate and provide guidance to enable recovery and processing of donor retinal tissue worldwide.
Using this system, donor retina tissue which was once discarded can be used in place of animals for investigating human diseases and enabling drug effects to be tested in human retina tissue before advancing to human trials. This has the potential to reduce the use of animals in the discovery of new ophthalmic drugs by more than 10%, as well as avoiding unnecessary animal testing by screening out a significant number of compounds that would fail later in the development pipeline.
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