OcuTher trains a group of 15 high potential young investigators to become professionals in ophthalmics, a recently emerged strategically important field in pharmaceutical drug development. OcuTher will yield valuable insights to systematically assess and develop future ocular therapies and their delivery systems. A direct consequence is the reduction of risks and costs associated with ocular drug development, which will stimulate biotech to develop more advanced therapies for ocular diseases and pharma to invest therein. Within the project, the consortium aims to advance a number of promising compounds and delivery systems to provide pre-clinical proof, which will fuel industrial interest.
OcuTher will enhance the career possibilities and employability perspective of its ESRs (Early Stage Researchers), as these PhD-students will be trained in a multi- and inter-disciplinary environment which allows ESR to acquire a comprehensive skill set that will position them uniquely in the labour market. OcuTher will provide a high-quality and versatile training that offers additional opportunities for personalised training, active mentoring and networking within a consortium of 9 academic, 8 industrial partners and 1 patient organisation.
The OcuTher training programme excellently fits to the European vision to support joint doctoral training programmes, as it is designed in such a way that all partners closely collaborate to provide a ‘beyond-the-state-of-the-art’ joint training programme. OcuTher represents a public-private partnership with direct involvement of business partners (SMEs and large companies) and end-users (Retina international patient organisation) in the training of the new generation of ESRs. It is the ultimate goal of OcuTher to structure an innovative and sustainable doctoral training that will advance the field of ocular therapeutics. Our ambition is to continue the training operations beyond OcuTher by integrating its innovative aspects in the current training programmes.