by Dr. Gearóid Tuohy
Dear EURETINA Members,
A very warm welcome to the December 2nd, 2019 edition of EURETINA’s web-based digital magazine, “EURETINA Brief”. EURETINA are delighted to continue our delivery of up-to-date summary briefs on a range of topics of interest to retinal clinicians, specialists and researchers across Europe. This resource is designed to accommodate the very busy schedules of all our members by providing them with a short overview of some new developments and announcements in our field over recent weeks.
As in previous issues we have incorporated a feedback section where you can comment on any of the news items or articles under discussion and we very much welcome all contributions. Previous articles and issues can be found in the archive section on this website.
The current issue highlights a number of research activities, clinical / regulatory milestones, and market / business developments in our field, including a research study of Stargardt disease (STGD1) identifying inter-sibling variability between genotype-phenotype; a clinical study reporting on pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), a treatment for interstitial cystitis, that has raised concerns for a contraindication of macular disease on long term effects, and an announcement from Editas Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ:EDIT), and Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN) aiming to dose first LCA10 patients for CRISPR gene therapy in Q1 2020.
Finally, the current EURETINA Brief features our bio-ophthalmology article and a book review section reporting on a new topical book published this year. The bio-ophthalmology article focuses on the need for expert research scientists to support the evaluation of new drug approvals for novel technologies, including retinal stem cell and gene therapies. Additionally, the current book review on Genetics and Genomics of Eye Disease: Advancing to Precision Medicine, examines the latest genomics methods “for studying eye disease, including complex eye disorders associated with multiple genes. GWAS, WES, WGS, RNA-sequencing, and transcriptome analysis as employed in ocular genomics”. Advancing to precision medicine through big data and artificial intelligence sets out the connections from genetics to artificial intelligence and machine learning. The combination of digital inputs – genomic data, fundus images, optical coherence tomography and others – are aimed to synthesise enormous information over the coming decade, likely useful to both clinicians and researchers in the field of ocular medicine.
As always, your increased interaction within the EURETINA web community serves to expand your professional network and keep you up to date with the latest initiatives, activities and research in your field. Our hope is that such cross-fertilisation in an active web-based platform, including our LinkedIn page, will lead to increased collaborative opportunities and ultimately to improved patient care. All readers are invited to submit comments or responses to any of the stories featured and we look forward to hearing from you over the coming month.
Dr. Gearóid Tuohy, EURETINA