Progress Milestones

  1. Our Diabetic Retinal Disease (DRD) Staging Update has benefitted from the input of 50 clinician and scientific experts from across 12 countries. Five of our six Working Groups have completed their narrative review papers and have submitted them to Ophthalmology Science for peer-review for publication (Neural Retina, Vascular Retina, Systemic Factors, Basic and Cellular Mechanisms and Quality of Life).  The Visual Function working group paper is being updated based on workshops and protocol development meetings held over the last year and will be finalized shortly.
  1. In a series of in-person and virtual workshops with the participation of experts from all over the world, including at a gathering in New Orleans at ARVO in April 2023, we have completed protocol design of 2 clinical studies aiming to validate the retinal structural and visual function measures identified in our Clinical Endpoints and Biomarkers Identification and Validation project.  These protocols were enthusiastically received at the annual meeting of DRCR Retina Network investigators and coordinators in Denver on August 11-12, and approved by the DRCR Executive Committee for further joint protocol development. 
  1. Established our Ocular Biorepository at University of Michigan, accepted and processed our first 16 samples for detailed characterization to support our therapeutics target identification efforts and provide a core asset (along with the clinical endpoints studies data) for our cross-sector (academia and pharma) pre-competitive MTM Vision Consortium.  Partnering with the well-established, groundbreaking nPOD at the University of Florida and led by Dr. Mark Atkinson (pancreas biorepository), to help guide our scaling, position us on a data platform with common architecture, features, and functions, and assist in sample collection logistics and donor data acquisition. 
  1. Engaged with numerous pharma leaders, including Bayer, Regeneron, Roche, Genentech, Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Perfuse Therapeutics, OcuTerra, Janssen and diagnostic device leaders (AST, Konan, LKC) around participation in our Consortium, leveraging consortium development support from the University of Michigan’s Business Development/Technology Transfer groups.
  1. Proposed, organized, and led a symposium entitled “Creating a World Without Visual Loss from Diabetes” for the ADA’s 83rd Scientific Sessions in San Diego, held in June 2023. Presenters included: Jennifer Sun, MD, MPH, Chief, Center for Clinical Eye Research and Trials of the Beetham Eye Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School; Chair, DRCR Retina Network, and Scientific Co-Chair of MTM Vision; Stela Vujosevic, MD, PhD, FARVO, FEBO, Professor and Head of the Medical Retina Unit, University Eye Clinic, San Giuseppe Hospital, Milano, Italy and Chair of MTM Vision’s Quality of Life Working Group; Patrice E. Fort, PhD, MS, Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Associate Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center and Director of MTM Vision’s Ocular Biorepository; and S. Robert Levine, MD, Concept Creator and Chair, MTM Vision.
  1. Funded, in partnership with Research to Prevent Blindness, our first Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative Physician-Scientist Award. In a first for RPB, at our request, MTM Vision’s Lay Advisors participated in the grant review and offered inputs on the proposals from the perspective of people personally affected by diabetes.  The RPB/MTM Vision Physician-Scientist Award focuses on research to develop methods to preserve and restore visual function in Diabetic Retinal Disease (DRD).  Relevant areas include research related to DRD clinical endpoints and biomarkers, assessments of visual function and patient quality of life, retinal vascular dropout and vessel integrity, neuroprotection, regeneration, as well as related stem-cell research, gene therapy, tissue transfection.  
  1. Have had the report of the 2022 MTM Vision Clinical Endpoints Workshop accepted for publication in Translational Vision Science and Technology (TVST) journal.
  1. S. Robert Levine, MD participated as a panelist for all-day National Eye Institute/FDA Workshop on the development of new Patient Reported Outcomes Measures for ocular disease. Emphasized the incorporation of patient derived objective data relevant to visual function (such as collected through mobile device sensors) into PROs, consideration of caregiver observations as well as inclusion of questions designed to assess patient state of depression, anxiety, and distress due to fear of/occurrence of visual loss.
  1. Established an External Scientific Advisory Board of field leaders from academia and industry, including:
  1. Partnered with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), to serve as MTM Vision’s fiduciary and help accelerate its development and growth through Entertainment assets, partnerships, and media inventory to include TV, Digital, Radio and Print for MTM Vision campaigns and initiatives.  EIF is the non-profit and creator/producer of, “Stand Up 2 Cancer” which has raised or received commitments of close to $800 million dollars for cancer research since 2008.   EIF harnesses the strength of the Entertainment Industry and has committed its time, energy, and resources to make MTM Vision the next “Stand Up 2 Cancer”.  
  1. Initiated substantive discussions with The Walt Disney Company and ABC to move forward on the production of a TV special recreating the iconic Mary Tyler Moore Show original episodes with contemporary actors in the lead roles.  Our goal is to design this production and broadcast as a fundraising event in support of MTM Vision. 
  1. Initiated discussions with Penske Media (Variety Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and the Golden Globes) to create an annual specific fundraising event adjacent to the annual Golden Globes Awards show.  This night will be dedicated to MTM Vision and will create the first “Mary Tyler Moore Vision Award” granted to the artist or executive working within the entertainment industry that exemplifies Mary Tyler Moore’s grace, philanthropy, and creativity.   
  1. “Being Mary Tyler Moore” has been nominated for an Emmy award which will allow MTM Vision to take advantage of ongoing media attention.   Dozens of stories presented around the release of “Being Mary Tyler Moore” on HBO/MAX, including cover stories in People and Parade Magazines as well as features on the TODAY Show have built a strong foundation of awareness for the work of MTM Vision.