Restore Vision 20/20: New Initiative Opens Up Greater Potential for Discovery

February 22nd, 2017 by FFB Canada

There are no cures for blindness. Once someone has lost their vision to a blinding retinal eye disease there are no treatments that can fully restore sight. This is a problem, especially because it is estimated that 1 in 9 Canadians will develop irreversible vision loss by the age of 65. In 2017, thanks to the incredibly generous support of Donna Green, Goldie Feldman and an anonymous donor, the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) is launching the Restore Vision 20/20 initiative: a bold and ambitious plan.

“This bold, new initiative signifies how much research progress has been made since the Foundation Fighting Blindness was first established. Our mission is to develop new treatments for blindness – Restore Vision 20/20 is a giant leap forward toward this clear end goal.”

– Sharon Colle, President & CEO, Foundation Fighting Blindness

The Restore Vision 20/20 initiative will invest $2.5 million dollars over the next five years to develop sight-restorative therapies. This $2.5 million will allow us to launch our largest research competition in the FFB’s 43 year history. The good news is that we are not alone. Around the world, experts are working together to understand why vision loss occurs and how to fix it.

Over the past decades, there have been tremendous strides forward in the race to restore sight and the pace is accelerating. Today, more than 250 causative genetic mutations have been linked to blinding eye diseases and advances in stem cell biology are ushering in a new era of regenerative medicine.

Photo: Goldie Feldman & Donna GreenThe Restore Vision 20/20 initiative builds on this international momentum and expertise by creating a new opportunity, designed to enable Canada to partner with international leaders in both the laboratory and in the clinic. The Foundation Fighting Blindness is proud that its long-term investment in vision research has contributed to many critical discoveries. The Restore Vision 20/20 Award will support world-class research teams who are ready to transform their discoveries into sight-restoring treatments. Research teams are preparing their research proposals, which will go through a rigorous selection process before we announce the winners later this year.

This transformative initiative would not have been possible without the visionary support of $1 million from Donna Green and Goldie Feldman and another $1.5 million from an anonymous donor. The time to cure blindness is now.