PERSPECTIVES

“Join forces to fight eye disease in developing countries”

Retina Global's goal is to save the world from blindness, specifically related to retinal diseases. “This focus on the retina makes us unique as a global organization,” says Rajat Agrawal, MD, CEO. Retina Global concentrates its work in developing countries in Africa and Central and South America, and wants to partner with research companies pursuing novel treatments to the best international standards.

“In those parts of the world there are many patients who lack access to routine retinal care,” Dr. Agrawal explains. “We aim to provide clinical care by sending retina specialists to Africa and Central and South America. But our bigger goal is to create a sustainable outcome. We want to train local people as retina specialists and share their expertise with the next generation.”

Beyond doubt, the diabetic retinopathy (DR) pandemic is larger in the Third World. “Patients there often aren’t aware they have diabetes, let alone DR. Moreover, they often must travel far to clinics or medical centers and can’t take time off from their work because their whole family’s income depends on it. That is why we often see patients an a very late and severe stage of DR.”

“If they do come at an early stage and the medicines are available, we try to treat them with anti-VEGFs. But this requires repeated injections and many times they’re unable to return in time for those. For them, an innovative new treatment requiring fewer injections could be a godsend. That is why we’re keenly interested in the clinical trials Oxurion has in the pipeline. We’re eager to join forces with the industry and research community to fight retinal diseases globally.”

Dr. Agrawal sees it as vital for patient organizations like Retina Global and research companies like Oxurion to partner for clinical trials. “Many patients in the Third World have never been exposed to medication before. Such patients are ideal to explore in early clinical trials. If we work together we truly can make a difference in finding new treatments to the best international standards,” concludes Dr. Agrawal.

Thomas
Rajat Agrawal

MD, CEO Retina Global