The GLAUrious Project, part of the Horizon 2020 Project promoted by the European Union, is funded with 2.5 Million Euro. The purpose of the project is the development and validation of a commercial laser device for first-line treatment of Glaucoma. The External Automatic Glaucoma Laser (EAGLE) shall on one side operate automatically and be easy to handle, on the other side it shall be available for a very low price.
Glaucoma, a chronic disease causing progressive optic nerve degeneration, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness globally. Although incurable, disease progression is delayed by reducing intraocular pressure, thus preventing blindness. Some 64 million people worldwide suffer from glaucoma. Current first-line treatment requires daily eye drops, a strict regimen causing 50% patient dropout after 1 year.
Laser treatment for glaucoma has been in use for many years. Its effect lasts for 2-5 years and is repeatable. This traditional 10-minute procedure, involving contact with the patient’s eye, requires the expertise of glaucoma specialists. Consequently, costs are high and accessibility to the general population is low.
The novel EAGLE procedure is automated, non-invasive, non-contact, painless and user friendly - 1 second of treatment by one press of a button. This revolutionary cost-effective device could be safely used by the world’s 212,000 ophthalmologists, thus becoming a primary treatment for glaucoma, overcoming serious problems of eye drop non-compliance and effectively preventing disease deterioration.
GLAUrious project aims to ease commercialization of the EAGLE device by securing clinical prototype validation, streamlining commercial production, optimizing component costs, disseminating to key opinion leaders and distributors, and refining commercial strategy. Validation of EAGLE will allow its commercialization within 3 years of project initiation, enabling penetration of the ophthalmic market and boosting of the industrial consortium partners (BEL, FLC and MCI).
The multidisciplinary GLAUrious Consortium, with its five partners from four member states (Belgium, Germany, Italy, UK) and one associated state (Israel), incorporates three SMEs and two academic hospitals.