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Tackling the Challenges of Product Development Through a Collaborative Rare Disease Network: The Foundation Fighting Blindness Consortium.


The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established an international consortium of inherited retinal disease specialists in 2016, with a mission to accelerate the development of treatments for rare, inherited retinal degenerations, such as retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, Leber congenital amaurosis, Usher syndrome, choroideremia, and achromatopsia. The Consortium accomplishes its mission by evaluating novel outcome measures, sharing standardized study protocols and datasets, and disseminating findings. Having established research infrastructure in the first 3 years, including 39 global research sites, the network is now poised to expand its infrastructure for trials of new therapies in partnership with industry. This model represents an innovative approach to overcome challenges of therapeutic development for rare diseases.

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