12/18/2020 | News

New Con­sor­ti­um Against Heredita­ry Re­ti­nal De­ge­ne­ra­ti­on Starts

This year, the TargetRD consortium will be launched with the participation of the Kassel University and under the leadership of the Tübingen Research Institute of Ophthalmology. Its goal is to develop new forms of treatment for hereditary retinal degeneration (RD). To this end, a novel group of pharmacological agents is to be validated. The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with more than 1.1 million euros over the next two years.

Image: Konsortium TargetRD.
The participants of the TargetRD kick-off conference. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this conference was conducted via video chat.

Hereditary retinal degenerations are a group of severe eye diseases that lead to progressive vision loss and ultimately blindness. To date, virtually all forms of RD are incurable and represent a tremendous reduction in quality of life for affected patients.

In up to 30 percent of patients affected by RD, the disease is triggered at the molecular level by an excess of the neurotransmitter cGMP. Partners of the TargetRD project have previously shown that inhibition of cGMP targets can stop the rapid progression of cGMP-dependent RD. The new TargetRD project will now validate cGMP target proteins as targets for new therapeutic developments over the next two years. This should lay the foundation for further therapeutic development of RD that is currently untreatable. In addition, close collaboration with partners from the pharmaceutical industry will ensure that the research results obtained can indirectly benefit RD patients.

The partners in TargetRD

Participants in the project are the Kassel University with Prof. Friederich W. Herberg, the University Hospital Tübingen with Prof. Mathias W. Seeliger and the company Biolog Life Science Institute GmbH & Co. KG (Bremen) with Dr. Frank Schwede. The consortium is led by Prof. François Paquet-Durand, also from the University Hospital Tübingen. For aspects of translational medicine and clinical development, TargetRD is also supported by Dr. Andreas Wenzel of Roche Pharma AG (Basel, Switzerland).

For more information, visit the website of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF):


Dr. Daniela Bertinetti | geb. Moll
Universität Kassel | Department of Biochemistry
FB 10 | Mathematics & Natural Sciences
Heinrich-Plett-Strasse 40 | 34132 Kassel
Phone: +49 (561) 804 4229 | Fax +49 (561) 804 4466
E-mail: d.bertinetti[at]uni-kassel[dot]de