Clinical Eye Research Centre celebrates its 15th Birthday

The Clinical Eye Research Centre (CERC) opened its doors on the 20th October 2004, making this our 15th year of providing patients with the very best treatment, care and support.

CERC at St Paul’s Eye Unit was created by the generosity of donors to a £2.3 million fundraising appeal launched by The Foundation for the Prevention of Blindness. The initial major trial has blossomed into a total of 85 trials with 22 currently under way and 22 in the pipeline. Of the 85 trials, 20 have been to tackle age-related macular degeneration, 19 are for diabetes and 10 for uveitis.

CERC has grown into a major research centre and sees over 2,700 people each year, and many benefit from sight saving treatment. Many mainstream treatments, including ranibizumab and aflibercept, used CERC as an investigational site, and its reputation means that it is now involved in most major ophthalmic trials being undertaken.

CERC is also home to the largest ocular oncology service in the UK.  Patients travel from all over the UK and from as far as New Zealand for specialist treatment. 

CERC innovations

There has been many innovations in CERC including  

  • Staff at CERC have refined the patient recruitment and participation processes
  • Created a Patient and Public Involved in Eye Research group to help the team review and refine clinical trials
  • Developed new relationships with pharmaceutical companies and other hospital departments
  • Developed nurse led clinics and wet AMD virtual clinics to cut waiting times
  • First ocular oncology service to offer a full range of eye cancer treatment
  • First ever treatment given for wet AMD treatment in the UK - photodynamic therapy (PDT)  
  • The creation of a rapid access clinic for prompt diagnosis of wet AMD
  • The creation of a one day 'Beacon' training session to disseminate skills across Europe

This quality of service will further improve when CERC moves to the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital with its purpose built facilities.