Eye blinking inside pink and purple circle

Roche's innovation and collaboration in ophthalmology

Published 03 February 2021

Ophthalmology is one of our top focus areas at Roche. Our experienced team is working to discover and develop innovative solutions, aiming to redefine standards of care for people living with some of the leading causes of vision loss.

Globally, more than 1 billion people live with vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.1 Millions of people live with eye conditions that increase their risk of sight loss.2

Visual impairment can have a devastating impact on those people affected, including patients and their caregivers; potentially limiting social interaction and independence, impacting ability to work and leading to depression and anxiety. 3,4

With new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of ophthalmic conditions being explored as we speak, this is a global health challenge that we at Roche are committed to and excited to tackle, alongside the low vision community.

Hear more about Roche's unique approach to ophthalmology from CEO Severin Schwan

Roche’s approach to supporting hope

At Roche, we are passionate about saving people’s eyesight from the leading causes of vision loss. Our pioneering clinical programmes focus on some of the main causes of blindness and visual impairment globally, where the unmet need is high – diseases of the retina. These include neovascular age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, and geographic atrophy, for which there are currently no or limited treatment options.

We believe that the best chance of uncovering new possibilities in ophthalmology is through collaboration and innovation – allowing us, as a community, to advance science and improve care for people with eye diseases.

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Collaborating for innovation

We partner with researchers, clinicians and patient groups from the low vision community to ensure we understand the needs of people experiencing vision loss - so we can try to meet these needs through our approach to innovation, our clinical trial programme and our medicines and technologies in development.

What’s more, our team is built around the experience of ophthalmologists, ophthalmic surgeons and retinal specialists, who bring on-the-ground insights to their work at Roche every day.

At Roche, we are bringing together some of the most talented scientists from a diverse range of disciplines to address some of the biggest challenges in ophthalmology
Sascha Fauser
Global Head of Ophthalmology, Roche pRED
 

Retinal diseases can be difficult to treat because the way they develop and progress varies from person to person. We are innovating to improve diagnosis and transform patient experience and outcomes – by understanding the biology of ophthalmic conditions and what this means in practice to people living with vision loss; by examining new data and analytical sources such as real world data; by exploring new technologies, using artificial intelligence and machine learning, developing digital health solutions to help better detect and monitor disease progression; and by pioneering new therapeutic options like gene therapy, working to deliver a personalised approach to eye health.

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We believe this is how we can meet the needs of people living with vision loss, by improving diagnosis, eliminating preventable vision loss, and developing better treatments. Incredible progress has been made, but there’s still so much more to do to make this goal a reality.

References

  1. Word Health Organization. Blindness and vision impairment. [Internet; cited September 2021]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment
  2. Flaxman SR, Bourne RRA, Resnikoff S, et al. Global causes of blindness and distance vision impairment 1990-2020: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2017; 5:1221-1234
  3. Park SJ, et al. Extent of exacerbation of chronic health conditions by visual impairment in terms of health-related quality of life. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015;133:1267–75.
  4. Garcia GA, et al. Profound vision loss impairs psychological well-being in young and middle-aged individuals. Clin Ophthalmol. 2017;11:417–27.

Tags: Society, Patients