Diseases of the eye explored with McClay Foundation and UU
May 30, 2016
Almac Discovery, McClay Foundation and Ulster University join forces to explore diseases of the eye
Craigavon, N.I., UK, – 30 May 2016 – Under a two year research collaboration funded jointly by the McClay Foundation and Almac Discovery, Ulster University will initiate research aimed at investigating the effects of the protein FKBP-L on diseases of the eye.
Professor Tara Moore, an expert in ophthalmological conditions, and her team at Ulster University, will look at the effects of fragments of the protein FKBP-L in the ocular setting and seek to understand, in detail, their mode of action.
A peptide of FKBP-L (ALM201) is already in clinical development by Almac Discovery for cancer indications. The peptide has anti-angiogenic properties and it is these properties that have already proved valuable, with drugs such as Lucentis®, in treating ophthalmological conditions.
Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels and it is a process that is critical for the growth of tumours beyond a certain size. However, ocular conditions such as wet age related macular degeneration also have issues with unwanted vascular growth. Here unwanted blood vessels grow under the retina causing distorted vision and blind spots.
Professor Moore commenting on the collaboration said: “We will use state-of-the-art technologies including gene editing to conduct research into the mechanism of action of FKBP-L based peptide fragments in the eye. My research team consisting of scientists and clinicians are excited to be involved in discovering how they can be utilized in Ophthalmology and treatment of blinding eye diseases. We welcome this opportunity for collaboration with such a globally successful industrial partner as Almac Discovery.”
For Almac Discovery Stephen Barr, President observed ‘It is great to have such excellence on our doorsteps in Northern Ireland and we therefore look forward to a productive and informative collaboration with Professor Moore and Ulster University’.
About Almac Discovery
Almac Discovery is a research driven oncology company that is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel and innovative approaches to the treatment of cancer. Almac Discovery focuses on the discovery to preclinical stage seeking to partner programmes at an early time point with the pharmaceutical industry. Exceptionally the company will undertake clinical development to an early stage before partnering. Almac Discovery is part of the Almac Group.
About The McClay Foundation
The McClay Foundation, established by Almac founder, the late Sir Allen McClay in 2008, is a charitable foundation which aims to advance the use of diagnostic tools and drugs in the prevention, control and cure of the disease; support and encourage research and innovation in the field of healthcare and allied technologies increase capacity of all people and specifically those in the developing world to access the latest benefits in healthcare and to generate and promote employment opportunities for the people of Northern Ireland.
About Ulster University
Ranked in the top 3 per cent of universities worldwide, Ulster University is one of the top 150 global young universities under 50. Ulster University is a modern, forward-looking institution with student experience at the very heart of everything we do. Our high quality teaching, informed by world-leading research across key sectors, boosts the economy and has a positive impact on the lives of people around the world. Ulster University has an international reputation for biomedical sciences research and is ranked among the top five universities in the UK in terms of research power in this area with 100 per cent of its research rated 4 star world-leading. Specifically, Ulster University’s pioneering research in ophthalmology has led to significant global advances in the treatment of blinding eye conditions, potentially changing the lives of countless people around the world.
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