By Beth Thomas Hertz
Glaucoma 360-the annual three-day event held by the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF)-will be held again in San Francisco in 2018, from Thursday, Feb. 8, to Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Palace Hotel.
This meeting includes a celebratory gala, a day focused on innovation, and a day of continuing medical education for ophthalmologists and optometrists.
“We like to say that we celebrate, we innovate, and then we educate,” said Thomas Brunner, who is the foundation’s president and chief executive officer (CEO).
Attendees can participate all three days or only attend one or two, as their availability and interest allow.
Ophthalmology Times is a sponsor for the event.
Andrew Iwach, MD, co-chairman for Glaucoma 360, noted that the meeting continues to grow each year, drawing those interested in glaucoma innovation, as well as clinicians who are seeking to learn the newest information to benefit their patients.
“The meeting appears to be resonating with our colleagues because we have identified a need and we are able to provide a platform for open, frank discussions about where we are and what are the next steps that are needed,” Dr. Iwach said. “We are driven by a commitment to find solutions to help patients suffering from glaucoma today, while ultimately trying to find a cure.”
He noted one of the biggest challenges in glaucoma care today is that most interventions will give symptoms to a patient who previously did not have any. This makes it even more important to find new solutions that save vision without having a major detrimental impact on patients’ immediate quality of life.
He noted the field of glaucoma has grown dramatically over the years since Glaucoma 360 began. For example, microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) had not been approved in the United States when it started.
“We are pleased to be a resource for the community to help move things along,” he said.
As in recent years, the meeting kicks off on Thursday night with a black-tie-preferred fundraising gala to benefit glaucoma research. This year’s theme is “The Cure is in Sight.”
Thomas W. Burns, president and CEO of Glaukos Corp., will receive the 2018 Catalyst Award in recognition of his leadership and commitment to the development of innovative treatments that have advanced the existing glaucoma standard-of-care and enriched the lives and treatment alternatives for patients worldwide, according to the GRF. Under Burns’ leadership, Glaukos pioneered MIGS, which revolutionized the traditional glaucoma treatment and management paradigm.
In addition, Carl V. Migliazzo, MD, will receive the President’s Award, which honors outstanding volunteerism and dedication to GRF’s work. Dr. Migliazzo has served as editor-in-chief of the GRF Gleams newsletter and is chairman of GRF Ambassadors, a group of more than 60 physicians dedicated to patient education.
The evening will include a performance by Tony Lindsay, a Grammy Award-winning recording artist. Lindsay was born in New York but calls San Francisco home. He performs with Santana, a group with which he began touring in 1991. His unique style has made him a favorite collaborator with such notable artists as Al Jarreau, Steve Winwood, Aretha Franklin, and Lou Rawls.
Gala tickets are $495 per person, which includes dinner, silent and live auction, entertainment, and research progress reports. It will be held at the Palace Hotel.
On Friday, the New Horizons Forum, a full day of presentations, panels, and discussions featuring leaders from start-up companies, industry executives, ophthalmic experts, venture capitalists, and the FDA, will be held.
Adrienne Graves, PhD, co-founder and co-chair 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,” Dr. Graves said.
She said it has been gratifying to see technologies that were presented at New Horizons receive additional funding, with a number of them acquired by strategics and/or brought to market.
“We have witnessed some of these connections taking place, and that is rewarding,” Dr. Graves said.
She also noted one of the most valuable aspects of this meeting is the opportunity it gives to highlight the latest glaucoma advances.
“It is never the same meeting twice,” she said. “The field has seen an enormous proliferation of new surgical devices, new drug delivery systems, and new drug candidates. We are excited to showcase these advances to our attendees.”
One focus of this year’s forum will be the use of virtual reality in glaucoma care, with presentations on research and product development.
The Opening Keynote Address will be given by Ike Ahmed, MD, FRCSC, medical director, Prism Eye Institute; associate professor of ophthalmology, University of Toronto; and clinical professor of ophthalmology, University of Utah. His topic will be “Interventional Glaucoma: The Why, The Who, and The How.”
Registration for New Horizons is $495 for physicians until Dec. 15 and $595 after that date.
On Saturday, the focus shifts to professional education. The morning will feature GRF’s 22nd annual Glaucoma Symposium, a continuing medical education event for ophthalmologists, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dr. Iwach noted that more than 400 people attended from 30 states and 10 countries last year.
“When we started this meeting, we didn’t imagine that the meeting would grow to this magnitude,” he said.
The Shaffer-Hetherington-Hoskins Lecture Keynote Speaker will be Alan Crandall, MD, who is director of glaucoma and cataract and senior vice chairman of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah. His topic will be “The Marriage of Glaucoma and Cataract.”
Other speakers will focus on topics such as glaucoma imaging devices, complications, refractive surgery considerations in glaucoma patients, changes in trends of how care is delivered, and how to use technology in a way that doesn’t leave patients with unmet expectations, Dr. Iwach said.
In the afternoon, the focus shifts to optometric issues. These will include diagnostics and appropriate strategies for maximum patient outcomes. This will be the third year for this continuing education event, scheduled for 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., which drew more than 350 optometrists last year, Dr. Iwach said.
The Saturday educational events are free, but advance registration is required.