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Stanford joins FFB Consortium

Feb 13 2019

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20/20 Blog

Palo Alto, CA — Byers Eye Institute was recently selected to join the Foundation Fighting Blindness Consortium (FFB). The FFB Consortium was created to standardize care for patients with rare inherited retinal disorders across institutions in centers of excellence so they are better candidates for potential clinical trials. 

Vinit Mahajan M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of the Molecular Surgery Program at the Byers Eye Institute, explained, “This is a great opportunity to align ourselves with our colleagues around the country and to tackle the challenges of treating rare eye diseases.”

The goal of the FFB Consortium is to promote clinical trial collaborations on hypotheses, study designs, and publications to hasten the development of new therapies for patients. FFB will house an open, central repository where researchers can access data from completed trails that could help accelerate their own studies.

The consortium is organized around an Executive Committee, Operations Committee, Investigators, and Clinical Centers. Participation in this consortium was based on the expertise and experience of the research investigators, technicians, and photographers at the Byers Eye Institute, along with available clinical equipment and participation of patients with inherited retinal disorders. 

“Stanford has provided highly skilled and compassionate care for many patients with inherited retinal disorders over the years,” Mahajan added. “Our current focus is to perform genetic testing for these patients, partly using resources provided by FFB.” 

FFB was founded in 1971 by a group of people who had degenerative retinal diseases themselves or had family members who were affected. The Foundation's focus on research and development was driven by the lack of understanding and treatment for these rare diseases at its conception. In its effort to eradicate retinal degenerative diseases, FFB has raised more than 725 million dolloars to support translational research and gene therapy clinical trials.