(File photo: IC)
To address eye health in China, Novartis signed a series of strategic collaboration agreements with local hospitals and foundations during the ongoing China International Import Expo on Wednesday.
One such collaboration was for the Eye Hospital affiliated with Wenzhou Medical University in Zhejiang province, a key player in clinical scientific research in eye health in the country, to jointly explore approaches of conducting scientific research of innovative eye disease therapies in the country and improve the possibility of accelerating their clinical medical use, according to the Swiss pharmaceutical company.
The collaboration also involved providing professional training to doctors and exploring eye surgical operations with streamlined clinical procedures, so that patients do not need to be hospitalized.
Novartis also signed a collaboration agreement with the Eye Hospital affiliated with Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Shandong Provincial Light Charity Foundation to focus on the eye health of diabetes patients in the province.
The three sides will cooperate to set up an alliance of hospitals to standardize the diagnosis and treatment of eye health problems among diabetes sufferers, and promote early screening and checkups at local community health centers.
The number of diabetes patients is estimated at 8.7 million in Shandong province, and roughly 2 million are thought to suffer from diabetic retinopathy, according to Bi Hongsheng, a national legislator and director of the Eye Hospital affiliated with Shandong University of TCM.
"Through this cooperation, we hope to gather advantages and resources from the (involved) parties to standardize the eye health treatment available to diabetes patients, and to prevent blindness for such patients through early prevention and screening," he said.