Unmet needs

Corneal blindness is one of the leading causes of vision loss. According to WHO world health organization, more than 40 millions people suffer from corneal loss of function worldwide, and the number will increase to 60 millions by 2020. The number of new cases are rising because infection is the number one cause of corneal scarring.

Corneal ulcers, vascularization and ocular trauma also contribute major parts of corneal dysfunction. Cornea scarring is the most common blindness in children due to vitamin A deficiency, viral, fungal and bacterial infections, resulting more than 1-3 million cases.

Every minute a child goes blind due to corneal dysfunction. Corneal transplant is the only effective treatment available to restore vision from corneal blindness. Although corneal transplant is the most common transplant, the gap between corneal demands and supplies remains largely unmet.

For example, there are more than a million people suffer from corneal blindness in the United States, but only 50,000 corneal transplants performed per year.

In Asia, the waiting-list for corneal transplants is reported as long as 5-years. The shortage of corneal donors is the rate-limiting step. Supplies of complete corneal cell therapy are urgently needed.