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South East Technological University is pleased to announce our continued research into targeted micronutrition for vitreous health and vision-related quality of life.

Unveiling Our Vision

The Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI), School of Health Science, at South East Technological University (SETU), Waterford, has successfully secured funding from ebiga-VISION GmbH for this new project. 

Floater Intervention Study

The study will build upon the previous Floater Intervention study “FLIES” which was published in 2021. Floater Intervention Study (FLIES) Floaters are spots in your vision like black or grey specks, strings, or cobwebs that drift about when you move your eyes. Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes in the vitreous body (the jelly part of the eye), caused by shadow casting of intra-vitreous conglomerates of collagen on the retina. Floaters are painless and mostly harmless, however they frequently cause significant visual discomfort and, at times, mental stress for the sufferers. In some cases, floaters may be associated with retinal detachment, a potential sight-threatening complication that requires immediate medical attention.

The original FLIES trial was the first double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical supplementation trial in patients with primary floaters (vision degrading myodesopsia) that demonstrated a success rate of 77% in reduction of floater areas as well as improvements in visual function among 67% in the active group, following a 6-month targeted dietary intervention. While many studies report importance of research findings in terms of statistical significance using a p value, this classical approach does not tell the whole story. New statistical approaches reporting on the “effect size” allows for the evaluation of the clinical significance of an intervention. 

A continued effort 

Dr Warren Roche, the lead statistician on the FLIES study, will use his statistical expertise to build upon the initial analysis by exploring the clinical relevance of the original findings. He says “I am delighted to join this very timely and important study. It is important for patients to understand not only that targeted nutrition can affect eye health, but also be able quantify how big an improvement can be expected. We hope that this project can pave the way for future, and even more patient-oriented, research in target micronutrition – not only for floater sufferers.” Robert Kuchling, CEO of ebiga-VISION – the licensee of SETU for the intellectual property for the commercialization of the FLIES results via its VitroCap food supplement said, “I am enthusiastic that the leading research body in nutrition and eye health - the NRCI - continues its efforts also in the field of vitreous degeneration. There are so many questions by eye floater sufferers and eye care providers left which need answers. We are happy and proud that we can contribute and support the NRCI to fill these research gaps.”

The FLIES trial was originally sponsored by Waterford Institute of Technology and ebiga-VISION GmbH through a WIT Co-Fund PhD scholarship (WD_2007_43).


References: Ankamah E, Green-Gomez M, Roche W, Ng E, Welge-Lüßen U, Kaercher T, Nolan JM. Dietary Intervention With a Targeted Micronutrient Formulation Reduces the Visual Discomfort Associated With Vitreous Degeneration. Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2021 Oct 4;10(12):19. doi: 10.1167/tvst.10.12.19. PMID: 34647961; PMCID: PMC8525826.