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About 3D-NET

3D-NET, “Drug Discovery & Development of Novel Eye Therapeutics”, is a new European research consortium of industry and academic partners focusing efforts to enhance the discovery and development of drugs targeting ocular pathologies that lead to blindness. This project is funded through a €1.8 million Marie Curie Industry-Academia Pathways and Partnerships grant award from the EU Seventh Framework Programme (EU FP7 2013 - 612218/3D-NET). IAPP actions are based on the transfer of Knowledge and Technology between Industry and Academia, which is achieved through the exchange of staff (researchers from the private sector are seconded into the University and vice versa).


3D-NET Objectives

  1. Discovery and development of drugs that target ocular pathologies, namely: retinal vascular permeability, unwanted blood vessel growth, inflammation and cell degeneration. Novel ophthalmic drugs will be discovered from unbiased screens of small molecules (random and customised libraries).
  2. The 3D-NET consortium encompasses the capabilities and infrastructure required to test these drugs in relevant pre-clinical models of ocular disease.


3D-NET Partners

Dr Breandán Kennedy from University College Dublin (Senior Lecturer in UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Fellow of the UCD Conway Institute) will head and coordinate the consortium that includes leading researchers in the back and front of the eye, as well as medicinal chemists from the Institute of Applied Ophthalmo-biology IOBA in the University of Valladolid (Spain),  KalVista Pharmaceuticals (UK),  RenaSci Ltd  and  Gadea GrupoFarmacéutico.


UCD Conway InstituteDr Breandán Kennedy’s lab in the UCD Conway Institute is internationally renowned for its research into diseases of the retina.  Over the last 6 years, Dr Kennedy’s lab has undertaken chemical screens for drugs able to inhibit the development or survival of the retinal vessels/neurons, and has been able to identify a number of leads (some of them under patent application).  This team of researchers will contribute to the consortium by efficiently screening compounds for effects on ocular angiogenesis and visual function in the zebrafish model and validate ‘hit/lead’ drugs discovered and developed within the consortium in pre-clinical mouse models of ocular disease.



The IOBA (Instituto de Oftalmobiología Aplicada) in University of Valladolid, is a Health Care Centre and Research Institute focussed on the deeper understanding of the biological basis and the diagnostic and therapeutic methods related to eye diseases, as well as the practical application of such knowledge to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients. IOBA provides to 3D-NET their extensive knowledge in inflammatory diseases of the anterior part of the eye and their specialized skills in state-of-the-art models (in vitro, in vivo, ex vivo) of different ocular pathologies.





KalVista logo + closeup

‌ KalVista Pharmaceuticals is an ophthalmology company with a focus on diabetic macular edema, which is the leading cause of adult visual loss in developed countries. They contribute to 3D-NET with their expertise in ocular diseases resulting from diabetes, such as diabetic macular edema, an extensive library of novel compounds already screened for activity in the eye and proven capabilities in the development of drugs from target identification through to in vitro pharmacology and safety.




Rena Sci Building


The SME RenaSci offers an integrated blend of consultancy and experimental services to all sectors of the global pharmaceutical industry. In 3D-NET they will be evaluating vascular retinal permeability and pathological angiogenesis in their innovative experimental models of type 2 diabetes, especially relating to the assessment of safety and efficacy for novel ocular drugs. 




Gadea Facilities



‌ Gadea Grupo Farmacéutico is one of the largest manufacturers of ophthalmic compounds with worldwide presence. They are experts in medicinal and synthetic chemistry bringing to the consortium their vast knowledge in SAR (structure activity relationship) to improve drug efficacy.