Retinal Research Groups Join Hands in the Fight to End Blindness

January 07, 2016

The Foundation for Retinal Research and the Foundation Fighting Blindness merged their two organizations on January 1

Two of the world’s premier groups supporting research on blindness caused by retinal disease, the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) and the Foundation for Retinal Research (FRR), have joined forces to maximize their impact on the rapidly advancing effort to cure blindness caused by retinal degenerative diseases.

“For the past 17 years, FFB Board member and Officer, David Brint and his wife Betsy have dedicated themselves to organizing, informing, and supporting individuals and families across the country affected by retinal disease through their leadership of the Foundation for Retinal Research in addition to their work with FFB,” said Foundation Fighting Blindness CEO William T. Schmidt.  “We are extremely thankful for their continued leadership role as our two groups merge,” Schmidt said.

Since its creation the Foundation for Retinal Research has exclusively focused its work on Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), a rare, inherited disorder.  LCA causes retinal damage and visual impairment in children.  Research funded by both FRR and FFB has helped identify the gene mutations that cause LCA and potential gene replacement therapies that could restore vision. In a similar but broader fashion, FFB funds research across the spectrum of retinal diseases including LCA.

 “As scientific progress in our field continues to accelerate – there are now roughly 20 clinical trials focused on retinal disease treatments – it is increasingly clear that greater collaboration is, and will be, needed in order to fund later stage projects and de-risk them sufficiently to draw commercial partners from the pharmaceutical, biotech and investments sectors.  This joining of forces between FFB and FRR is a prime example of just such collaboration,” said FFB Chief Scientist, Dr. Stephen Rose.

"We are at a particularly hopeful time in the history of retinal research,” said FRR and FFB’s David Brint. “The work of many organizations including FFB and FRR has advanced the field to the point where pharmaceutical and biotech investors have focused and continue to focus resources toward solving the problems. For FRR, this is the time to make sure the field works together, efficiently and with fewer voices to continue to attract the investments and knowledge necessary to bring treatments and cures to our families."

For more information about retinal disease or the work of the Foundation Fighting Blindness visit the FFB website at www.fightBlindness.org