General project information

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A group of leading European ophthalmologists, endocrinologists and researchers have gathered together under EUROCONDOR, the European Consortium for the early treatment of diabetic retinopathy, with the aim of implementing the first clinical trial using eye drops for the treatment of the earliest stages of the condition.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) –the general term for microvascular complications of the eye caused by diabetes- is the leading cause of blindness among working-age individuals in developed countries.
DR has been classically considered to be a microcirculatory disease of the retina. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that retinal neurodegeneration is an early event in the pathogenesis of DR. For this reason, it is reasonable to hypothesise that therapeutic strategies based on neuroprotection will be effective not only in preventing or arresting retinal neurodegeneration but also in preventing the development and progression of the early stages of the disease.
Current treatments of DR such as laser photocoagulation or intravitreal injections of corticosteroids are only indicated in advanced stages of the disease and are invasive, costly and associated with significant side-effects. As the number of people with diabetes rises throughout Europe, so does the number of patients at risk of developing DR. It is therefore essential to find new non-invasive treatments for the early stages of the disease.

By developing a new treatment, EUROCONDOR aims to improve the lives of people living with diabetes and to have a positive impact on the health of European citizens.

The main objectives of the project are:

Primary objective:

  • To assess whether the selected neuroprotective drugs (somatostatin and brimonidine) administered topically as eye drops are able to prevent or arrest neurodegeneration, as well as the development and progression of the early stages of DR.

Secondary objectives:

  • To determine the prevalence of functional abnormalities related to neurodegeneration in those patients without or with minimal microvascular damage under ophthalmoscopic examination.
  • To compare the effectiveness of the selected drugs.
  • To evaluate the local and systemic adverse effects of the selected drugs.
  • To identify those patients most prone to progressive worsening (characterization of phenotypes and circulating biomarkers).
  • To determine the molecular mechanisms by which the selected drugs exert their beneficial effects.

To ensure its successful completion, EUROCONDOR has been divided into 6 work packages, each dealing with specific tasks.