Glaucoma 360, a three-day event being held here by the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), will move from its “Celebrate” phase with Annual Gala on Thursday into its “Innovate” phase with the New Horizons Forum set for today.
This event is a full day of presentations, panels, and discussions featuring leaders from start-up companies, industry executives, ophthalmic experts, venture capitalists, and the FDA.
“If you walk into that room with an idea that can help patients, you have everything you need to turn that idea into a solution,” said Andrew Iwach, MD, one of the co-founders and co-chairpersons of Glaucoma 360.
Adrienne Graves, PhD, also a co-founder and co-chairperson of Glaucoma 360, said that putting all these innovators, experts, and investors in the same room helps bring ideas to fruition more quickly than might otherwise be possible.
“We are committed to putting new technologies and groundbreaking research in front of audiences that can help turn the ideas into new glaucoma products,” she said.
New Horizons enters 7th year
Dr. Graves said it is hard to believe this year’s New Horizons Forum is the 7th annual installment. “There has been a tremendous amount of innovation in glaucoma since it started,” she added.
Dr. Graves pointed out that 68 companies have presented at the meeting over those years, offering innovative ideas in glaucoma therapies, diagnostics, and drug delivery devices. Such innovation was the very reason the meeting was started.
When it began, no new glaucoma drugs had been approved since the 1990s. No minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) devices were approved, and no ROCK inhibitors has gotten past phase II development.
“We wanted to serve as a catalyst for the development of new products,” Dr. Graves said. “That vision has become a reality. It’s pretty clear looking at the number of new companies that continue to present that innovations in glaucoma treatment are flourishing.”
Dr. Graves has found it gratifying to see technologies presented at the New Horizons Forum receive additional funding, with a number of them acquired by strategics, and/or brought to market, over the years.
“Seeing connections form is what makes New Horizons so special,” she said.