Glaucoma 360 expands its ‘horizons’ with new program, sessions

February 2, 2017

Over the years, Glaucoma 360 has brought the concept of innovation in glaucoma to the forefront. This year’s meeting will surpass the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s (GRF) own “Horizons” by adding a few more “degrees” to its 360-degree concept.

Over the years, Glaucoma 360 has brought the concept of innovation in glaucoma to the forefront. This year’s meeting will surpass the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s (GRF) own “Horizons” by adding a few more “degrees” to its 360-degree concept. 

Glaucoma 360 is an all-encompassing event where clinicians, researchers, members of the ophthalmic industry, and philanthropy converge on San Francisco for fund-raising activities, education, and awareness to achieve one goal––finding a cure for glaucoma. The event began Thursday night (Feb. 2) with the Glaucoma 360 annual Gala and runs through Saturday (Feb. 4) at the Palace Hotel.

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

Adrienne Graves, PhD, and Andrew Iwach, MD, both of whom serve on GRF’s Board of Directors, founded the Glaucoma 360 meeting 6 years ago and serve as its co-chairpersons.

“What GRF is most excited about is the amount of innovation and change in the field of glaucoma since we started Glaucoma 360,” Dr. Graves said. “It reinforces the importance of GRF and a meeting like Glaucoma 360, highlighting new technologies and bringing together all of the parties that are needed to develop new technologies successfully.”

The 2017 Glaucoma 360 meeting expands the program to include clinical topics on dry eye and telemedicine. The biggest expansion, however, is the second annual Optometric Glaucoma Symposium, planned for Saturday afternoon.

Dr. Iwach initiated the program for optometrists last year with a soft rollout to make sure GRF had the right formula. He was sure optometrists would be receptive to the concept. The program was well-received with 150 attendees.

This year, GRF has made a push to build the program with a mixture of topics and a diverse faculty. Almost 400 optometrists are expected to attend.

“Ultimately, it’s the same basic principles (of Glaucoma 360),” Dr. Iwach said. “We want to leave practical considerations and points with the attendees. We took the information we learned from last year’s meeting and tried to make it better.”

Dr. Graves added that optometrists play a pivotal role in treating glaucoma patients.

“It was very important to expand the universe that (GRF) is exposing to new technologies,” she added. “Optometrists have been very responsive and are very excited to have a program that addresses their needs.”

Dry eye and telemedicine

 

Dry eye and telemedicine were added to this year’s program for both the New Horizons Forum on Friday and Glaucoma Symposium CME on Saturday. Dr. Iwach pointed out that there is an increased interest for information about the impact of dry eye disease and the use of telemedicine in treating glaucoma.

Dry eye in glaucoma patients is growing clinical problem, Dr. Iwach added.

“Understanding dry eye, being aware of the (clinical) options, what is new in research, what options are being done by industry,” he said, “this is another hot area, so we are happy to touch on that in the program.”

Telemedicine is the other topic that has increased in interest over the past 5 years. It has become a fast-moving concept in medicine and the technology, especially with the growth of smartphones, is making a major impact in diagnostics and for physicians to follow with their patients.

Dr. Graves said members of the Glaucoma 360 Advisory Board pushed to feature the telemedicine session on the New Horizons Forum agenda.

“Apparently, two academics will present presentations and talk on telemedicine, followed by two companies outlining their technologies,” Dr. Graves pointed out.

“Our goal is to bring everyone up-to-date,” Dr. Iwach said. “We are all going to learn something-and there may be an opportunity for further partnerships among the attendees.”

Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala

 

Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala

The Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala kicked off this year’s festivities when about 400 researchers, physicians, volunteers, and philanthropists gathered for an evening of fun, glaucoma awareness, and recognition. The gala, held at the historic Palace Hotel, is GRF’s annual fundraiser event, which has raised more than $4 million for the organization and its programs.

The event included an Innovators Circle Reception, the President’s Reception, a silent auction, dinner, and an evening of networking and brainstorming among clinicians, industry, and donors.

Since the Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala is about raising funds to support GRF’s many research initiatives and programs, the organization this year honored an ophthalmic innovator and an up-and-coming opera singer (See related articles in this conference brief)-both of whom have been instrumental in developing glaucoma awareness.

The Catalyst Award was presented to Eugene de Juan Jr., MD, in recognition of his outstanding leadership and commitment to advancing ophthalmology. Dr. de Juan is the Jean Kelly Stock Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, and founder and vice chairman of ForSight Labs.

“I can’t think of an individual that is more deserving, given the significant impact (Dr. de Juan’s) work has had in our field,” Dr. Iwach pointed out. “He has shown how you can take an idea, start a small company, then eventually a large company comes in as a partner, and off the idea goes.”

The Visionary Award was presented to Janette Márquez, a talented and accomplished opera singer from the Dominic Republic, who is blind from congenital glaucoma. Márquez later concluded the evening’s events with special performance for Gala attendees.

“(Ms. Márquez) is inflected with glaucoma, and she has given her time to help GRF raise more money to do more research,” Dr. Iwach said.

The 2017 Shaffer Prize for Research was presented to Richard Libby, PhD, for his project to better understand the molecular pathways that are responsible for axonal degeneration in glaucoma. Dr. Libby is associate professor of ophthalmology, Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester Medical School, Rochester, NY.

Catalyst for a Cure

 

Catalyst for a Cure

Catalyst for a Cure: 2017 Research Progress from Glaucoma Research

Attendees also received a research update from the scientists in the Catalyst for Cure Biomarker Initiative. The principal scientists-Jeffrey L. Goldberg, MD, PhD; Andrew Huberman, PhD: Alfredo Dubra, PhD, all at the Beyers Eye Institute, Stanford University; and Vivek Srinivason, PhD, of the University of California, Davis-have identified a series of targets for glaucoma biomarkers. The initiative, funded by GRF, is a collaborative research effort designed to accelerate the pace of discovery toward better treatments and ultimately a cure for glaucoma. 

The Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala is co-chaired by Nobuko Saito Cleary and Gary Cleary, PharmD, PhD.

New Horizons Forum

The New Horizons Forum was designed to unite ophthalmic leaders from the areas of science, research, industry, venture capital, and the FDA in a single place for unique dialogue about research innovation and advances in glaucoma treatment. The daylong meeting, which runs today, includes lectures, presentations, panel discussions, and networking on everything glaucoma.

Now in its sixth year, the New Horizons Forum has offered a unique venue to bring everyone in glaucoma together to stimulate and facilitate discussions and connections. It is a unique way the GRF has served as a “catalyst” in the development of new glaucoma therapies that will help patients preserve their vision.

Joel S. Schuman, MD, will start the day of New Horizons with the Drs. Henry and Frederick Sutro Memorial Lecture. Dr. Schuman, chairman of ophthalmology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York University School of Medicine, will present on "Optical Coherence Tomography–Past, Present, and Future."

Other presentations will include Dr. Goldberg, who also heads the Catalyst for Cure Biomarker Initiative. He will expand on the initiative’s update with a presentation on “Biomarkers and Drug Delivery: Integrating Therapeutic and Diagnostic Trials.”

Andy Whitlock, PhD, vice president, preclinical research and development, Ora Inc., will explain “Animal Models of Glaucoma and their Translatability into the Clinic” in his presentation.

4 New Horizons sessions

 

4 New Horizons sessions

This year’s Forum will offer four New Horizons sessions, during which companies will outline their innovations or provide updates to platforms introduced at past New Horizon Forums. This year’s New Horizons sessions will cover glaucoma drug delivery, glaucoma devices, pharmaceuticals, and telemedicine.

The newest New Horizons on telemedicine will feature a panel of four distinguished researchers who have been working in the area of telemedicine. The University of California, San Francisco, and Visulytix also will deliver presentations on their technologies.

The New Horizons in Pharmaceuticals session will cover the latest glaucoma therapies and one company will present on a dry eye drug. The companies presenting are Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Bausch + Lomb, Inotek Pharmaceuticals, Allergan Inc., and Shire.

Glaucoma drug delivery is a hot topic in the segment, especially with issues associated patient drug compliance. New Horizons in Glaucoma Drug Delivery session will feature six companies: Envisia Therapeutics, Eximore, Graybug Vision Inc., Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School, Mati Therapeutics Inc., and Ocular Therapeutix.

Glaucoma devices have changed the landscape of glaucoma devices. The New Horizons in Glaucoma Devices session will present the latest updates. The companies presenting include Alcon Surgical, Allergan Inc. Equinox LLC, Glaukos, InnFocus Inc. (A Santen company), and New World Medical.

 

Panel discussion

Industry Panel Discussion on Glaucoma Devices and Pharmaceuticals will later complement the New Horizons Forum. Moderators are James D. Brandt, MD, director of Glaucoma Service, professor of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, University of California, Davis; and K. Angela Macfarlane, JD, president and chief executive officer, ForSight Labs.

The panel offering insight to the program includes Thomas Mitro, president and COO,

Aerie Pharmaceuticals; Jane Rady, DVP Business Development, Abbott; Shawn O’Neil, head of sales and marketing surgical glaucoma, U.S. Surgical Division, Alcon Surgical; and Aziz Mottiwala, vice president of marketing, U.S. Eye Care, Allergan Inc.

Other panel members include Tracy Valorie, senior vice president/general manager, Ophthalmology Rx, Bausch + Lomb; Angelo Rago, head of ophthalmic diagnostics, Carl Zeiss Meditec; Melissa Liew, medical unit head, ophthalmology, Novartis Alcon Pharmaceuticals; Naveed Shams, MD, PhD, head of global R&D, chief scientific officer, senior corporate officer, Santen Pharmaceuticals Co., Susan Benton, head of business development, ophthalmics, Shire; and New World Medical.

Industry spotlights

 

Industry Spotlights

One of the new additions to the New Horizons program last year were the Industry Spotlights. This year, four companies will outline their glaucoma and pharmaceutical platforms. They are Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Alcon Pharmaceuticals, Bausch + Lomb, and Shire.

Two related sessions will round out the New Horizon Forum agenda–FDA: Getting to New Horizons and Venture Capital Session.

Tieuvi Nguyen, PhD, chief of Intraocular and Corneal Implants Branch, Division of Ophthalmic and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices at the FDA. will represent the FDA during the discussion, FDA: Getting to New Horizons. The session will be moderated by Dr. de Juan and Gary Novack, PhD, president, PharmaLogic Development Inc. and visiting professor of pharmacology and ophthalmology, University of California, Davis.

Emmett Cunningham, Jr., MD, managing director, Clarus Ventures; and William J. Link, PhD, co-founder and managing director, Versant Ventures, will moderate the Venture Capital Session. Mark S. Blumenkranz, MD, H.J. Smead Professor of Ophthalmology, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University; Firas M. Rahhal, MD, associate clinical professor, UCLA; and Jeffry Weinhuff, managing partner, Visionary Ventures, will serve as the panel.

Glaucoma Symposium CME

Glaucoma 360 on Saturday is dedicated to the science and clinical aspects in the industry’s search for a glaucoma cure.

The 21st Annual Glaucoma Symposium CME will update ophthalmologists and attendees on developments and clinical issues in glaucoma. Glaucoma specialists will discuss insights and advances related to glaucoma management, pharmaceuticals, and surgery. This year, dry eye and its role in glaucoma will be featured.

This year’s Shaffer-Hetherington-Hoskins Lecture will be delivered by Alan S. Crandall, MD, director of glaucoma and cataract, senior vice chairman of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, UT. His lecture will focus on "The Marriage of Glaucoma and Cataract."

The remainder of the clinical presentations includes: 

 Robert T. Chang, MD - New Innovations in Hacking Glaucoma;

E. Randy Craven, MD - Micropulse Transscleral Cyclophotocoagulation: Effective New Tool in Glaucoma?

Andrew G. Iwach, MD - Glaucoma: Managing the Odds;

J. Michael Jumper, MD - Intraoperative Antibiotics That I Approve for My Own Eyes;

Malik Y. Kahook, MD - Enhancing Adherence Through Novel Therapies;

L. Jay Katz, MD - IOP Measurement: Who Are We Kidding?

Richard Lewis, MD – Glaucoma and Dry Eye;

Shan Lin, MD - Anterior Segment Imaging: Is It Necessary for Angle Closure?

Yvonne Ou, MD - Lifestyle Modifications in Glaucoma: Truth or Fiction?

Terri Pickering, MD - Steroids & Glaucoma: Sudden Impact;

Sunita Radhakrishnan, MD - Cannabis: Is It High Time?

Robert L. Stamper, MD - Management of End Stage Glaucoma;

Steven Vold, MD - New Horizons in Glaucoma Devices.