Glaucoma 360 covers all angles, all segments-all to finding a cure for glaucoma

February 6, 2014

Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) kicked off its 3rd Annual Glaucoma 360, a series of three events over this weekend that unites research, industry, and philanthropy with one mission-to finding a cure for glaucoma. The 3-day event began last night and runs through Saturday.

H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, co-founder of Glaucoma Research Foundation, provides an overview about Glaucoma 360-three events over 3 days focused on developing a cure for glaucoma. (Video courtesy of Glaucoma Research Foundation)

San Francisco-Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) kicked off its 3rd Annual Glaucoma 360, a series of three events over this weekend that unites research, industry, and philanthropy with one mission-to finding a cure for glaucoma. The 3-day event began last night and runs through Saturday.

Three separate events set from Thursday, Feb. 6, to Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Palace Hotel, feature the "Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala" held last night; the “New Horizons Forum” today; and the “CME Symposium,” which concludes the meeting on Saturday.

Ophthalmology Times is “The Official Partner and Media Sponsor” for the meeting.

Andrew Iwach, MD, chairman of GRF’s board of directors and co-chair of Glaucoma 360, reports that Glaucoma 360 continues to grow and has exceeded GRF’s expectations.

“It is a very unique platform for anyone who is interested in the glaucoma space,” Dr. Iwach said. “Whether it’s to help patients, whether it’s in research, or whether [it’s] someone who has an innovation that they would like to see move to the next step, [Glaucoma 360] is a one-stop shop for anyone who is involved in helping people who struggle with glaucoma.”

Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala

Glaucoma 360, sponsored by GRF, kicked off last night with the “Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala," which drew about 350 attendees. Researchers, physicians, volunteers, and donors shared in the evening of festivities that included a President’s Reception, silent auction, dinner and awards, and an exchange of viewpoints and ideas-topped off with a special performance by Grammy Award singer and song writer, Judy Collins.

GRF’s “Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala" is an annual fundraiser event, which has raised more than $2.5 million for the organization and its programs since its inception in 2007. The event, which took place at the historic Palace Hotel, also showcased the visionaries and catalysts who share GRF’s mission to prevent vision loss from glaucoma by investing in innovative research, education, and support with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for glaucoma.

The highlight of the last night’s event was the presentation of The Catalyst Award, GRF’s most prestigious honor, which was presented to William J. Link, PhD, a leading venture capitalist and entrepreneur specializing in ophthalmology. Dr. Link was honored for his dedicated career in advancing innovative concepts to help patients preserve their vision. Click here for more details.

GRF also presented its Visionary Award to singer Judy Collins. The award was presented to Collins for her lifelong activism and commitment to glaucoma awareness.

Attendees also heard a research update from the four principal scientists in the Catalyst for Cure Biomarker Initiative regarding their progress. The consortium of research labs has identified a series of targets for glaucoma biomarkers. Click here for more details.

New Horizons Forum

The New Horizons Forum, the centerpiece of Glaucoma 360, unites key clinical, industry, financial, and FDA leaders together in one place for a unique exchange over research innovation and advances in glaucoma treatment. The day-long agenda, which runs today, includes presentations, panels, and discussions, featuring key leaders from the clinical and ophthalmic arena, industry, venture capitalists, and the FDA.

Dr. Iwach said that one of the goals of the New Horizons Forum is to give companies that have a potential product idea with a platform to tell the glaucoma community about that idea. He added that in the audience, there are venture capitalists and representatives from the research and development divisions of the major pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies who are looking for new ideas to treat glaucoma.

“If you have an idea, you have individuals in that room that can serve as a catalyst, bringing that idea to an actual solution and product for our patients,” Dr. Iwach said.

“We created Glaucoma 360/New Horizons Forum to help speed the development of new products for glaucoma patients,” said Adrienne Graves, PhD, co-chair of Glaucoma 360. “By showcasing new glaucoma therapies and devices in a forum with venture capitalists, industry executives, regulatory experts, and leading researchers and clinicians, we aim to accelerate the successful development of new glaucoma products.

“The mixed audience and expert panelists provide the early-stage glaucoma companies with vital information and key connections to take their products forward,” Dr. Graves added. “And it makes for a fascinating agenda and lively discussions.”

The New Horizons Forum opens with the first Drs. Henry and Frederick Sutro Memorial Lecture-to be delivered by Robert N. Weinreb, MD, director of the Shiley Eye Center and the Hamilton Glaucoma Center. Dr. Weinreb is also chairman of ophthalmology at the University of California, San Diego. The topic of Dr. Weinreb’s lecture is “Personalizing Intraocular Pressure to Manage Glaucoma.”

The Drs. Henry and Frederick Sutro Memorial Lecture was established with a $3 million bequest from Henry A. Sutro, DDS, of Oakland, CA. The lecture, to be held each year at the Glaucoma 360 meeting, was created to promote innovation in glaucoma therapy in addition to a continuing education program for clinicians to highlight the latest advances in glaucoma management.

Emmett Cunningham Jr., MD, PhD, partner with Clarus Ventures, will deliver a second presentation. His topic will look at the “Top Innovations in Glaucoma-A VC Perspective.”

A couple of one-on-one interviews will also complement the agenda.

Gil Kliman, MD, managing director of InterWest Partners, will interview Richard L. Lindstrom, MD, founder and attending surgeon at Minnesota Eye Consultants, Minneapolis, and adjunct professor emeritus of ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Lindstrom has been at the forefront of ophthalmology's evolutionary changes throughout his career-as a recognized researcher, teacher, inventor, writer, lecturer, and highly acclaimed physician and surgeon.

In the GRF Update, Thomas Brunner, president and chief executive officer of GRF, will interview Alfredo Dubra, PhD, assistant professor and co-director of the Advanced Imaging Program, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The topic of discussion will be “Adaptive Optics and Glaucoma Biomarkers.”

The planned panel discussions will cover a range of topics, including “The Challenges of Reimbursement,” “FDA: Getting to New Horizons,” “Advancing New Horizons: Funding Opportunities and Building Strategic Partnerships,” and “Industry Panel Discussion: Glaucoma Devices.”

Early-stage glaucoma companies also will present the latest information updates on drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, IOP monitoring, digital health, and devices.

The companies making presentations include: AßSee, AcuMEMS, Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Alcon Laboratories, Allergan, Amakem Therapeutics, Amorphex Therapeutics, AqueSys, Bausch + Lomb, CheckedUp, ClearSide Biomedical, Envisia Therapeutics, Glaukos, GrayBug, iCare, InnFocus, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Keep Your Sight, Ocular Therapeutix, Ono Pharma USA, pSivida, SKS Ocular, Solx, SwissMicro Technology, Transcend Medical, and Zordera.

The New Horizons Forum is made possible with sponsorship from many companies, including Abbott Medical Optics, AßSee, Alcon Laboratories, Allergan, Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Alloy Ventures, Amakem Therapeutics, Bausch + Lomb, Bryn Mawr Communications, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Diopsys, Endo Optiks, Ellex, Glaukos, Heidelberg Engineering, Icare USA, IOP Ophthalmics, Lumenis, Mobius Therapeutics, New World Medical, Nidek, Ocular Therapeutix, Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co., Ophthalmic Research Associates, Ophthalmology Innovation Summit, Ophthalmology Times, Optovue, Quantel Medical, Santen Inc., Shire, TearLab, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Glaucoma Symposium

Saturday, Feb 8, is dedicated to the science and clinical aspects in the search for a glaucoma cure. The 18th Annual Glaucoma Symposium will update ophthalmologists on key developments and current issues in glaucoma. Glaucoma specialists will discuss insights and advances related to glaucoma management, pharmaceuticals, and surgical techniques.

The symposium also offers the opportunity for physicians and clinicians to network and learn the latest updates on the most effective treatment options for patients.

“The CME Symposium is to help clinicians who are on the front lines-ophthalmologists who are doing their best to help glaucoma patients see,” Dr. Iwach said. “Our job is to bring them up-to-date with the latest, practical information that will help them help their patients.”

Michael V. Drake, MD, chancellor at the University of California-Irvine and the recently appointed president of The Ohio State University, will start the day’s clinical agenda with the Shaffer-Hetherington-Hoskins Lecture. Dr. Drake, an ophthalmologist, will present “The Teaching and Practice of Medicine: Where We Are Going and How Will We Get There.”

The rest of the symposium includes presentations from:

  • Ike K. Ahmed, MD - “Lesson Learned and Future Directions for Micro-stenting Schlemm’s Canal”

  • Robert T. Chang, MD - “Smartphone Adaptors for Ocular Image Capture”

  • Alan Crandall, MD - “Complexities Encountered with Cataract Surgery in Glaucoma Patients”

  • Andrew G. Iwach, MD - “Glaucoma: Managing the Odds”

  • L. Jay Katz, MD - “New IOP Monitoring Devices”

  • Shan C. Lin, MD - “Novel Risk Factors for Normal Tension Glaucoma You Should Consider”

  • Yvonne Ou, MD - “Is There a Link Between Glaucoma and Dementia?”

  • Terri Pickering, MD - “How to Survive Obamacare: Managing Millions of New Patients”

  • Sunita Radhakrishnan, MD -  “Glaucoma Medications: Diurnal Efficacy”

  • William L. Rich III, MD - “The Role of Registries and Glaucoma: Better Science and Device Surveillance”

  • Kuldev Singh, MD - “Glaucoma Care in the United States: The Big Picture”

  • Robert L. Stamper, MD - “Glaucoma Medications: Factors Beyond IOP”

  • Robert N. Weinreb, MD - “What is Next for Glaucoma”

  • Ruth D. Williams, MD - Cardiology vs Ophthalmology: Latrogenic Glaucoma

For more articles in this issue of Ophthalmology Times’ Conference Brief, click here.


 

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