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EU-flag with yellow stars on blue background Ocuther logo

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and  innovation  programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 722717.


Ocular drug development has transformed from niche area to a major field in drug development in which many companies, including European big pharma has entered recently. Ocular drug development is a unique field in terms of drug targets and end-points of activity, local drug administration routes, tissue barriers and pharmacokinetics, drug delivery and formulation challenges and local toxicity issues. These issues are slowing down the development of drugs for the unmet needs in ophthalmology. The main objective of the project is to educate experts of preclinical ocular R&D to facilitate the success of European pharmaceutical industry and research community. This objective will be reached by joining forces of the leading European academic and industrial researchers in ophthalmology, materials science and nanomedicine, drug delivery and targeting, and systems pharmacology.

We shall educate 15 Early Stage Researchers in a network where they will receive tailored, multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral education in preclinical ocular drug development. The thesis projects are directed to the drug treatment of retinal diseases, the major challenge in the field. The project combines new drug candidates from the experts of ophthalmology, innovative drug delivery technologies from pharmaceutical scientists and companies, and modern in vitro, in silico and in vivo methods from various partners. The thesis projects include secondments in academic and industrial partner laboratories and course programme that encompasses the relevant fields in ocular drug development. Therefore, this project presents unique combination of innovation and education in the field with obvious need for such education. The ESRs and other outcomes of this project will greatly benefit the future competitiveness of European science and industry in this field of expanding importance.


  • Acronym: OcuTher
  • Full title: Educational Network in Ocular Drug Delivery and Therapeutics
  • Funding authority: Horizon 2020 – Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)
  • Funding scheme: Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Networks (ITN)
  • Grant Agreement number: 722717
  • Duration: 1 November 2016 – 31 October 2020
  • Budget: 3,933,729.36 €
  • Coordinator: University of Eastern Finland, Professor Arto Urtti
  • European Commission CORDIS


OcuTher flyer with information on the project, including the picture of an eye, the OcuTher logo and EU-flag

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