LONDON, UK, 6 October 2014 – Optos plc (LSE: OPTS), the leading medical retinal imaging company, today announces a £10 million collaboration with Scientists and Clinicians from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the Universities of Kent and Strathclyde, for the development of a new imaging technology that could allow earlier detection of sight threatening eye disease.
An initial £1.1 million study, funded by Innovate UK and Optos, will develop a laser based technology to monitor the function of the cells in the eye. The enhanced technology is expected to detect and monitor eye disease at a very early stage, enabling earlier intervention and better treatment regimes. The first clinical studies will focus on the leading causes of blindness – Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy – and are expected to be completed in the first half of 2017. If successful, a further £9 million will be invested to develop a fully licensed medical device for the NHS by 2018.
Worldwide it is estimated that seven million people lose their vision every year and that 285 million people are visually impaired. These rates are expected to double by 2020 unless prevention efforts intensify, as an ageing population contributes to more cases of cataracts, glaucoma and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the leading causes of blindness. According to the World Health Organisation, 80% of blindness can be prevented or treated if caught early enough.
Roy Davis, CEO of Optos, commented: "We are delighted to play a key role in this important collaboration with the NHS supported by clinical research. Blindness is a largely preventable disease burden that we believe can be eased through earlier detection. Optos strives to create the tools for professionals at the forefront of eye care and disease management. This initiative demonstrates not only the importance of early intervention, but how innovation and investment through collaboration can translate into better patient outcomes.”
Dr Stuart Parks lead for the NHS consortium, said: “It is critical that the NHS works closely with partners, both in the development of new technology and in the evaluation of its effectiveness, this research marks the start of a new collaborative framework to deliver solutions for the NHS.”
Dr Graeme Williams, one of the Consultant Ophthalmologist working with the Glasgow Centre commented: “I am really excited about this innovative research which could provide early detection of sight threatening disease, allowing for more effective management of the conditions.”
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 Prevent Blindness America
 World Health Organisation, Fact Sheet No 282, June 2012
 Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 2012:90:728–738
Note to Editors: Images available upon request
About Optos Plc
Optos plc has the vision to be The Retina Company. We aim to be recognised as a leading provider of devices and solutions to eyecare professionals for improved patient care. Optos' core devices produce ultra-widefield, high resolution digital images (optomaps®) of approximately 82% of the retina, something no other device is capable of doing in any one image.
Optos has a range of imaging devices that support different customer segments and patient levels: the P200 and 200Dx devices are concentrated on wellness screening carried out by ophthalmic professionals in primary care; the P200C devices are designed to meet the need for more exacting clinical imaging capabilities and standards in secondary care within the ophthalmology market and at optometric practices that are clinically managing a patient base with advanced ocular disease; and the P200MA and 200Tx devices supports ophthalmologists and retinal specialists in the medical care market.
Our latest product Daytona, represents the next generation of Optos ultra-widefield retinal imaging technology, and has been scaled to accommodate smaller office spaces while providing high resolution imaging, and adding new autofluorescence capabilities. Daytona's new, ergonomic body is designed to increase patient comfort, as well as make it easier to correctly position the eye. In addition to the smaller, sleeker design, Daytona features an improved user interface with its intuitive, workflow based software. Daytona also offers "plug-n-play" installation, a modular robust build-design to simplify product support, image review capabilities and electronic image storage options. Daytona was designed to allow the globalisation of the core Optos imaging technology, giving the opportunity to offer the benefits of optomaps® technology to more eyecare professionals and their patients around the world.
Additionally, Optos offers optical coherence tomography ("OCT") diagnostic devices and optical ultrasound scanners, used in the diagnosis and management of eye disease and conditions. Optos' widefield retinal imaging technology, combined with the specific data that can be derived from OCT images, has the potential to offer ophthalmologists and optometrists the most powerful tools for disease diagnosis and management. The optomaps® images provide enhanced clinical information which facilitates the early detection, management and treatment of disorders and diseases evidenced in the retina such as retinal detachments and tears, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Retinal imaging can also indicate evidence of non-eye or systemic diseases such as hypertension and certain cancers. OCT delivers an image that shows a three dimensional, cross-sectional view of the retina in any particular area, typically in the central pole area of the retina around the optic nerve and macula and is used to detect the presence of and understand the severity of disease, determine treatment approaches and monitor post-treatment effect. Beyond ultra-widefield imaging and OCT, the company’s expanded product range includes visual acuity, perimetry and treatment laser products.
For more information please visit our website www.optos.com.
Certain statements made in this announcement are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but rather are based on the Company's current expectations, estimates and projections about its industry, its beliefs and assumptions. Words such as 'anticipates,' 'expects,' 'intends,' 'plans,' 'believes,' 'seeks,' 'estimates,' and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company's control, are difficult to predict and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements. The Company cautions shareholders and prospective shareholders not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the view of the Company only as of the date of this announcement. The forward-looking statements made in this announcement relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. The Company will not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions or updates to these forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or unanticipated events occurring after the date of this announcement except as required by law or by any appropriate regulatory authority.