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​SERI-IMCB Programme In Retinal Angiogenic Diseases (SIPRAD)


SIPRAD is Singapore’s strategic response to the unmet medical needs of the global population suffering vision loss due to retinal angiogenic diseases (RAD). Retinal angiogenic diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) represent the leading causes of vision impairment in developed countries.

Our Vision

To develop an industry standard platform in retinal angiogenic diseases that leverages SERI & IMCB’s complementary expertise in clinical and pre-clinical science, with an aim to identify and validate novel biomarkers and targets, and evaluate potential anti-angiogenic therapeutics in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry.


  • To conduct clinical studies in order to identify new biomarkers and targets underlying RAD

  • To investigate a portfolio of 10-20 previously identified targets, and to validate their roles in RAD; to establish new relevant RAD animal models based on the most promising new targets

  • To collaborate with industry in drug repurposing for RAD

SIPRAD Capabilties Overview

SIPRAD'SAssay and Model Capabilities
In Vitro Cell-Based AssaysProliferation assay
Transwell migration assay
Matrigel assay
Spheroid based angiogenesis assay
HUVEC/fibroblast co-culture assay
Primary vascular co-culture assay
Ex Vivo Organotypic CultureMetatarsal assay
Aortic ring assay
Choroid sprouting assay
Zebrafish ModelsHypoxia-induced retinopathy
Hyperglycaemia-induced retinopathy
Rodent Models of RADCorneal Pocket Assay (Corneal Angiogenesis)
Alkali burn (Corneal Neovascularization)
Laser-induced Choroidal Neovascularization (wet AMD)
STZ-induced diabetic rodent model (DR)
Rodent Oxymeg-Induced Retinopathy (DR)
Transgenic Mouse Models of DRIns2 (Akita)
Preclinical RAD ModelsPig laser-induced CNV model
Non-human primate laser-induced CNV model
Rabbit persistent neovascularization model
State of the Art Proteomics and Bioinformatics
Medicinal Chemistry

Clinical Competencies & Expertise

  • Large, well characterized population-based studies with cohorts of AMD and DR subjects with biosamples are available

  • Prospective data from this existing clinical cohorts would fast track clinical development

  • Ability to rapidly execute clinical recruitment and trials with an established & experienced clinical research team

  • Extensive relationships with local & overseas institutions enabling multicentre efforts

  • The Genetics of AMD is Asians (GAMA) consortium with 6,300 nAMD cases and 16,000 controls from around Asia

  • Clinical, Imaging and blood biomarkers can be used to identify potential diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic targets

Pre-clinical Competencies & Expertise

State-of-the-art animal facility with small and large animal models for retinal diseases

  • Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (wAMD)

  • Dry Age-related Macular Degeneration (dAMD)

  • Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Venous Occlusion & Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

  • Type I diabete

  • Type II diabetes

World Class Retinal Imaging and Ocular Grading Centre

Industry Alignment & Engagement

Leverage and align SERI & IMCB expertise to create a unique, “Target to Clinic” platform

  • Clinical expertise and access (data, samples, cohorts)

  • State of the art animal facility aligns preclinical and clinical readouts

  • Integration of target/biomarker identification, pathway analysis and pre-clinical animal models for drug repurposing and MoA

Establish industry alignment

  • Adopt industry standards (timelines, milestones, deliverables)

  • Focus on communication

  • Culture of urgency

  • Hires with industry experience



Assoc Prof Gemmy Cheung (PI)
Prof Wong Tien Yin
Dr Gavin Tan
Prof Cheng Ching-Yu
Dr Amutha Barathi Veluchamy
Assoc Prof Yasuo Yanagi
Dr Zhou Lei
Dr Srivani Sistla

Professor Hong Wanjin (PI)
Professor Walter Hunziker
Dr Wang Xiaomeng
Dr Wang Haishan
Dr Jayantha Gunaratne
Dr Vladmir Korzh
Dr Tom Carney
Dr Vinay Tergaonkar
Dr Hyungwon Choi