Ophthalmology research

ZeClinics provides preclinical CRO services to evaluate drugs targeting ocular disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, etc. Our ophthalmic diseases experts are ready to partner with you at the early stages of drug and target discovery, providing innovative zebrafish in vivo models to shorten your product’s time to market.

ZeClinics' preclinical ophthalmology research team has extensive experience, ranging from genetic manipulation, disease model generation, and phenotype-based drug screening. Zebrafish genetic models are customized for accurate characterization of the biological function of genes. Efficacy and safety screenings are conducted in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

Ocular Disease Models

Zebrafish Solutions Facilitating Successful Development of your Ocular Therapies

  • SAFETY TESTING: safety studies are used to identify any observable signs of ocular toxicity before performing proof of concept efficacy studies.
  • EFFICACY TESTING: proof of concept studies in zebrafish models of ophthalmic diseases to quickly and easily determine the efficacy of your compound.


The zebrafish eye is a suitable paradigm for investigating human ophthalmological disorders. Zebrafish facilitate early developmental studies and single-cell-resolution retinal characterization while allowing screening of compounds potentially accelerating retinal recovery or protecting from retinal damage.

Zebrafish mirror human eye pathology better than rodents due to their:

Large eye size, which allows easy eye manipulation and intravitreal (IV) injection of the compounds.

Very high conservation of the molecular mechanisms underlying retinal development.

High anatomic retinal conservation: zebrafish share retinal architecture with humans (3 nuclear layers separated by 2 plexiform layers) and have a similar structure of photoreceptor types.

High functional retinal conservation: zebrafish share with humans the 5 main neuronal cell types and Müller glial cells and have a human-like cone-dominant vision.

Regenerative capacity: they have a life-long replacement of neural retina cell types upon injury.

Embryonic and genetic accessibility

High throughput behavioral assessment of visual function


Our preclinical ophthalmic research services are developed to help you address:

Preclinical Ophthalmology Research Capabilities

All these techniques and analyses can be applied to study different ophthalmic indications, such as the ones below, among others.

Ocular Disease Models

ZeClinics ophthalmology experts can use genetic, chemical, and light tools to develop custom zebrafish models of the following eye disorders. We offer in vivo pharmacology studies in zebrafish models that simulate some human ocular diseases:

Age-related macular degeneration

Neural Retina Protection and Regeneration Assays: for efficacy evaluation of compounds with potential capacity to protect from degeneration and to enhance regeneration of retinal photoreceptors.

Cone-rod dystrophy

Diabetic retinopathy


Retinitis pigmentosa

Usher syndrome



Our experts assess the compatibility of our ready-to-use zebrafish models for your studies, to customize the study design according to your needs, and to develop new customized models as necessary.

Get the milestone data you need to make important decisions in the early stages of drug discovery. Contact us to learn more about ZeClinics’ preclinical ophthalmology research services and how we can help accelerate your R&D process.

We'd like to hear from you

If you want more information about our ophthalmology
disease models or have any other questions, please
contact our experts.


  1. Cocchiaro P, Di Donato V, Rubbini D, Mastropasqua R, Allegretti M, Mantelli F, Aramini A, Brandolini L. Intravitreal Administration of rhNGF Enhances Regenerative Processes in a Zebrafish Model of Retinal Degeneration. Front Pharmacol. 2022 Mar 7;13:822359.
  2. Di Donato V, De Santis F, Albadri S, Auer TO, Duroure K, Charpentier M, Concordet JP, Gebhardt C, Del Bene F. An Attractive Reelin Gradient Establishes Synaptic Lamination in the Vertebrate Visual System. Neuron. 2018 Mar 7;97(5):1049-1062.e6.

View our Ophthalmology research services