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Eye Moonshot - Cornea

Eye moonshot - Cornea

Eye Moonshot - Cornea

The RegMed XB Eye Moonshot - Cornea is an initiative focused on restoring vision through innovative advanced therapy medical products. This multi-year project relies on the collaboration of researchers, companies, a health foundation, and government agencies to achieve its goals.

About the Eye Moonshot - Cornea

The cornea is the clear outer layer of the eye. A healthy cornea is transparent and allows light to pass into the eye. The endothelium forms the back of the cornea and is one cell layer thick. The endothelial cells in this layer regulate the inflow and outflow of fluid, keeping the cornea clear.

The challenge

The corneal endothelium can be damaged by ageing, disease, or trauma. When endothelial cells are lost, fluid can accumulate in the cornea, making it thicker and less transparent, which impairs vision. The standard of care is a corneal transplant, an operation to remove all or part of a damaged cornea and replace it with healthy donor tissue. However, globally, an estimated 13 million patients cannot be treated due to a shortage of donor tissue. Traditional corneal transplants also come with complications in both the short and long term, such as graft failure and less favorable outcomes for re-transplantations.

Our solution

The RegMed XB Eye Moonshot – Cornea project focuses on developing a cell therapy using stem cells to address the shortage of donor tissue. Stem cells have the unique ability to develop into various cell types. By maturing these cells into corneal endothelial cells, a therapy can be developed that could eventually replace the need for donor material.

Additionally, a test will be developed to determine the functionality of these cells in the laboratory, and initial steps towards clinical application will be taken by testing the therapy's efficacy and safety in an animal model.


  • Reduces dependency on donor tissue.
  • Potentially fewer complications and higher success rates than traditional transplants.

Partners and collaboration

The project is carried out in close collaboration with various partners, including health funds, research institutes, companies, and government institutions. All involved parties are working together to accelerate the development and application of this innovative cell therapy.

Involved partners

In the near future, the project is expected to be strengthened by collaboration with Flemish partners.

Research and development

The research within the Eye Moonshot – Cornea follows several steps to ensure the safety and efficacy of the cell therapy:

  • Characterization of the stem cell derived corneal endothelial cell population inview of regulatory requirements.
  • Developing a test to determine the function of these cells.
  • Conducting preclinical testing to take the first steps towards a first-in-patient application.