Fight for Sight is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to funding pioneering eye research. There are more than 2 million people in the UK currently affected by sight loss. Due to our ageing population this figure is set to double to 4 million by 2050. The projects we fund take on the leading causes of blindness including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, inherited eye disease and sight loss linked to other conditions, such as diabetes. Our goal is to develop new treatments for the leading causes of blindness in the next ten years.
Many people believe sight loss is inevitable and cannot be cured, but our world-class eye research can unlock solutions and transform lives. The researchers we fund are on the cusp of so many breakthroughs, delivering over 117 projects at universities and hospitals throughout the UK.
The Syncona Foundation is helping us achieve our vision – we want to create a world everyone can see:
Fight for Sight has directed The Syncona Foundation’s funds towards research into inherited eye diseases and glaucoma.
The Syncona Foundation has become Fight for Sight’s most valuable annual supporter. The unrestricted support we receive allows the Foundation’s funds to be directed towards our most impactful research that is resulting in better treatments and outcomes for patients.
Sight loss can take away people’s independence and impact on every aspect of their lives from their finances and emotional wellbeing, to relationships and wider health. The Syncona Foundation is allowing us to stop sight loss in its tracks and ensure patients maintain their quality of life.
‘Stealth molecules’ help patients affected by childhood inherited blindness see light for the first time in decades
One of our projects, led by Professor Mike Cheetham from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, has resulted in an extremely promising clinical trial in which some patients saw light of the first time in decades.
Professor Cheetham pioneered a new genetic technique using a special ‘stealth’ molecule that is injected into the eye. This treatment has successfully restored the sight of ten patients with the most common form of childhood inherited blindness, known as Leber congenital amaurosis. This condition affects 2 or 3 in every 100,000 new born babies and eventually leads to blindness.
Professor Mike Cheetham from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology:
“It is really exciting to see the treatment in clinical trial and initial results are very promising, showing some real benefit to patients. I think this opens up the possibility of treating many forms of inherited blindness with drugs similar in design.”
Testimonial from Alicia Coghlan - mother of Jackson:
This breakthrough offers hope to children like Jackson, who has another type of Leber congenital amaurosis. At just two and a half months old, Jackson was diagnosed with the condition, causing the loss of his central vision.
“People often ask when Jackson is going to be treated and we have to explain that we aren’t there yet, even though we know that with more funding research has the answers. Jackson is an energetic young boy who enjoys living his life to the full – I just want him to be able to see so much more of the world.”
Jackson is just one of over 25,000 children in the UK affected by blindness or sight loss. With more support, we can radically reshape the future for children affected by sight loss.
Jackson’s story can be viewed in a short film available here: https://www.fightforsight.org.uk/about-the-eye/a-z-eye-conditions/leber-congenital-amaurosis/