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Optometry Professor awarded significant Novartis grant

Money will be used to investigate treatments for age-related macular degeneration in NHS clinics
by George

nullProfessor David Crabb from City University London's School of Health Sciences has been awarded an unrestricted investigator-initiated project grant from Novartis, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, to investigate treatments used for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in NHS clinics. The total value of the grant is £458,000.

AMD is a leading cause of sight loss in elderly people. Relatively new therapies, involving injections in the eye, have revolutionised the treatment for one form of AMD. Clinical trials have already proven the utility of these treatments and many people have benefitted from having their sight loss stabilised or even improved. However, less is known about the benefit of these treatments in patients seen in everyday NHS clinics.

 Professor Crabb, who specialises in vision research and statistics, said: "This grant from Novartis will allow us to tackle the important question about how effective these treatments are in large scale practice.

 "The research is important because the therapies have recently been approved by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) for other eye diseases, like diabetic macula oedema, and evidence from this research will lead us to understand more about the benefits of these treatments for these conditions. This project is typical of others we conduct in our lab where we look at 'big' NHS data to learn about trends in the diagnosis, treatment and management of chronic eye disease. There will be a lot of number crunching!"

Professor Crabb is the principal investigator on the project. His lab will direct an electronic patient record provider to make data extractions from dozens of NHS clinical centres and work closely with clinical collaborators at Moorfields Eye Hospital and other Hospitals throughout England. Around £200,000 of the grant will be used to support his research laboratory.

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