Glaucoma 360 reaches milestones in search of glaucoma cure

January 29, 2016

The 2016 Glaucoma 360 features a year of major milestones for the three-day meeting as the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) honors leaders in philanthropy, business, and medicine. This year’s Glaucoma 360 marks milestones for all three segments of the event. The “New Horizons Forum,” the centerpiece of Glaucoma 360, registers its 5th anniversary; the “Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala” posts its 10th anniversary; and the Glaucoma Symposium CME will highlight its 20th year in presenting the latest clinical advancements in glaucoma.

Glaucoma 360 - January 28-30, 2016. Courtesy of Glaucoma Research Foundation.

 

San Francisco––The 2016 Glaucoma 360 features a year of major milestones for the three-day meeting as the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) honors leaders in philanthropy, business, and medicine.

This year’s Glaucoma 360 marks milestones for all three segments of the event. The “New Horizons Forum,” the centerpiece of Glaucoma 360, registers its 5th anniversary; the “Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala” posts its 10th anniversary; and the Glaucoma Symposium CME will highlight its 20th year in presenting the latest clinical advancements in glaucoma.

Glaucoma 360 is an all-encompassing event in which 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 (Jan. 28) with the Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala and runs through Saturday (Jan. 30) 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 five years ago when GRF decided to merge all three events into one major meeting. Drs. Iwach and Graves also serve as co-chairpersons for Glaucoma 360.

“I am really pleased with how the Glaucoma 360 concept has grown, especially the New Horizons Forum,” Dr. Graves said. “The meeting has grown every year in terms of participation, sponsors, and key opinion leaders.”

The great part of Glaucoma 360 is that the meeting covers more than one aspect of glaucoma research and finding a cure, Dr. Iwach added. He referred to the meeting as an opportunity to celebrate, innovate, and educate.

“On Thursday night, we celebrate and do fundraising (with the Gala),” Dr. Iwach pointed out. “On Friday with the New Horizons Forum, we do our innovation, and on Saturday, we educate. That’s where we bring everyone up-to-date from all over the country and parts of the world to make sure everyone is providing top-notch care.”

Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala

 

Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala

The Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala kicked off this year’s milestones when more than 360 researchers, physicians, volunteers, and philanthropists gathered for an evening of fun, awareness, and recognition. The gala, held at the historic Palace Hotel, is GRF’s annual fundraiser event, which has raised more than $3 million for the organization and its programs since its inception 10 years ago.

The event included a Innovators Circle Reception, the President’s Reception, a silent auction, dinner, and an evening of networking and brainstorming among clinicians, industry, and donors. The Glaucoma 360 Gala concluded with a private performance from award-winning soprano Julie Adams, the 2016 alder fellow of the San Francisco Opera, and pianist John Churchwell, PhD, head of music staff at the San Francisco Opera.

Since the Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala is about raising funds to support GRF’s many research initiatives and programs, GRF this year honored leaders in philanthropy, business, and medicine-individuals who have been instrumental in “developing a cure for glaucoma” (See related articles in this conference brief).

The Catalyst Award was presented to Charlot and Dennis Singleton of Atherton, CA, in recognition of their outstanding leadership and philanthropic contributions to medicine and education.

The Visionary Award was presented to James B. Wise, MD, for his many contributions to the field of ophthalmology. The recipient of the President’s Award was Masashi Oka, executive chairman emeritus for MUFG Union Bank and special advisor to the president and CEO of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Stuart J. McKinnon, MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology and neurobiology, Duke University, Durham, NC, was awarded the 2016 Shaffer Prize for Research for his research to determine whether therapies can be designed to modulate the immune system to prevent vision loss and blindness in glaucoma patients.

Catalyst for Cure

 

Attendees also received a research update from the scientists in the Catalyst for Cure Biomarker Initiative. The principal scientists-Jeffrey L. Goldberg, MD, PhD, of the Shiley Eye Center, University of California, San Diego; Andrew Huberman, PhD, also of the University of California, San Diego; Vivek Srinivason, PhD, of the University of California, Davis; and Alfredo Dubra, PhD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Madison-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.

2016 Catalyst for a Cure Progress Report. Courtesy of Glaucoma Research Foundation.

New Horizons Forum

 

New Horizons Forum

The New Horizons Forum unites the leading ophthalmic leaders from the areas of medicine, science, industry, venture capital, and the FDA in one place for unique dialogue about research innovation and advances in glaucoma treatment. The daylong meeting, which runs today, includes key lectures, presentations, panel discussions, and networking on the important topics in glaucoma.

Over the past four years, the New Horizons Forum has provided a unique venue to bring everyone in the glaucoma space together to stimulate and facilitate key discussions and connections, Dr. Graves pointed out. It's a unique way the GRF has served as a catalyst in the development of new glaucoma therapies that will help patients preserve their vision.

“The whole idea of starting this conference was to help spur the early-stage research, transforming those new ideas into products to help glaucoma patients,” Dr. Graves explained. “We’re really proud of the fact that, as we look back since 2012, the number of FDA approvals of companies that have presented, the number of initial public offerings (IPOs), and the merger and acquisitions (the number of companies that have presented and have been acquired by strategics.”

“At New Horizons, we have numerous companies presenting their new technologies and approaches to glaucoma care,” Dr. Iwach added. “At the same time, we have venture capitalists looking for their next investment opportunities, and the FDA is here to provide useful tools and advice to the innovators to help them take these new ideas into practice. Each year there have been significant new developments and we are anxious to learn more details at our 2016 meeting.”

Richard A. Lewis, MD, of the Sacramento Eye Consultants and former director of glaucoma, University of California, Davis, will kick off the New Horizons Forum with the Drs. Henry and Frederick Sutro Memorial Lecture. His presentation is entitled “Bullish on Glaucoma, A 30-Year Perspective on Patient Care, Clinical Research, and Industry.”

Vivek Srinivasan, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, University of California, Davis, also will present a research update to attendees on the biomarkers in glaucoma on behalf of GRF’s Catalyst for Cure Biomarker Initiative.

GRF has added two new features to this year’s New Horizons Forum-another New Horizons session and courses and wetlabs.

From Vision Restoration to Optic Nerve Regeneration

 

New Horizons in Glaucoma Treatment: From Vision Restoration to Optic Nerve Regeneration will present a number of scientists in the field that are neuroscientists and neurosurgeons, as well as a number of companies that are developing research in these areas. Dr. Graves said the session should be exciting both scientifically and to see what the research principles will put into practice as new therapeutics.

“While some of it is early stage, it is very exciting because to think about the possibilities of restoring vision that has been lost, it is a little controversial,” Dr. Graves added. “We want to pursue it from the scientific side-talk about what are the actual research findings and can these be translated into possible therapeutic products.”

L. Jay Katz, MD, director of the glaucoma service, Wills Eye Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia; and Andrew Huberman, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego; will moderate this informative session.

Speakers and presenting companies in this session include:

• Larry Benowitz, PhD, director, Laboratories for Neuronce Research in Neurosurgery, Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of neurosurgery and ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston

• Kapil Bharti, PhD, Stadtman Investigator, Unit of Ocular Stem Cell and Translational Research, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD

• Bernhard Sabel, PhD, director, Institute of Medical Psychology at Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany

• Neurotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. represented by Charles Johnson, MD, chief medical officer

• Ocata Therapeutics with Eddy Anglade, MD, chief medical officer

Allergan and Beaver-Visitec are presenting the wetlabs that will demonstrate their technologies to attendees. Allergan will feature a wetlab today during New Horizons Forum. Beaver-Visitec, featuring a surgical course with its wetlab on Saturday, will outline the benefits of endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (ECP). Dharmendra Patel, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ, will speak and moderate the program.

Another invited speaker to this year’s meeting is David E.I. Pyott, CBE, former chairman of the board and CEO of Allergan Inc. Pyott will recap his pharmaceutical experiences in his talk, entitled “Building a Franchise in Ophthalmology-The Allergan Experience.”

This year’s forum also will feature three industry spotlights presentations that will outline the research and development that these companies are exploring in the area glaucoma:

Allergan, featuring Michael R. Robinson, MD, vice president, development, translational drug delivery

Bausch + Lomb with Tracy M. Valorie, MBA, senior vice president, general manager of ophthalmology Rx

Alcon Laboratories with Emmanuel M. Mahlis, MD, head of United States/Canada Pharma Medical Affairs

Industry Panel Discussions

 

Several industry panel discussions are planned throughout the day. The topics for discussion include:

Glaucoma Devices and Pharmaceuticals: K. Angela Macfarlane, JD, president and CEO, ForSight Labs, and Cynthia Mattox, MD, director, Glaucoma and Cataract Service, New England Eye Center, and associate professor and vice chairperson, Department of Ophthalmology, Tufts University School of Medicine., are the moderators.

The panelists are:

• Thomas Mitro, president and COO, Aerie Pharmaceuticals

• Emanuel M. Mahlis, MD, of Alcon Laboratories

• Aziz Mottiwala, vice president of marketing, U.S. eye care, Allergan

• Tracy M. Valorie, MBA, Bausch + Lomb

• Ralf Kuschnereit, PhD, president and CEO, Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc.

• Chris M. Calcaterra, COO, Glaukos

• Gina Dellacqua, acting vice president, Perimetry Division, Haag-Streit USA

• Bilal Khan, vice president and COO of New World Medical

• Mark C. Jasek, PhD, vice president, Medical & Scientific Affairs, Ophthalmics and Neurologics, Sun Pharma

Industry Panel Discussions (cont.)

 

Funding Innovation: Securing Capital to Finance Your Start-up: Emmett Cunningham Jr., MD, partner, Clarus Ventures, and Richard Lindstrom, MD, founder, Minnesota Eye Consultants, are the moderators.

Panelists include:

• Mark Blumenkranz, MD, professor of ophthalmology, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University

• Wende Hutton, partner, Canaan Partners

• Gil Kliman, MD, managing director, InterWest Partners

• Christy Shaffer, PhD, partner, Hatteras Ventures

• Russ Trenary, president and CEO, InnFocus Inc.

FDA: Getting to New Horizons: Eugene de Juan Jr., MD, founder and vice chairman, ForSight Labs, and Kuldev Singh, MD, professor of ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine, will moderate this important topic.

The FDA will be represented by:

• Wiley Chambers, MD, supervisory medical officer, Division of Transplant and Ophthalmology Products

• Malvina Eydelman, MD, director, Division of Ophthalmic Device Evaluation

The remainder of the day’s program will feature updates from early-stage glaucoma companies that will present their latest information on drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, IOP monitoring, diagnostic, digital health, and devices.

New Horizons in Glaucoma Pharmaceuticals: Stuart B. Abelson, MBA, president and CEO, Ora Inc. and Ruth D. Williams, MD, president, Wheaton Eye Clinic, Wheaton, IL, will moderate this session.

Presenting companies include:

• Aerie Pharmaceuticals - Thomas Mitro, president and COO

• Bausch + Lomb - Jason Vittitow, PhD, director, Clinical Affairs

• Inotek Pharmaceuticals - Cadmus C. Rich, MD, MBA, vice president, Medical Affairs and Clinical Development

Industry Panel Discussions (cont.)

 

New Horizons in Glaucoma Drug Delivery: Eliot Lazar, MD, president, elCON Medical, and Paul Schacknow, MD, PhD, consultant in glaucoma, East Florida Eye Institute, and clinical associate professor, Division of Ophthalmology, Nova Southeastern University, are the moderators.

Presenting companies include: 

• Envisia Therapeutics - Benjamin Yerxa, PhD, president

• ForSight VISION5 - James D. Brandt, MD, professor of ophthalmology and vision science and director of Glaucoma Service, University of California, Davis

• GrayBug - Jeff Cleland, PhD, interim CEO

• Ocular Therapeutix - Amar Sawhney, PhD, president and CEO

• Ohr Pharmaceutical Inc. - Barbara Wirostko, MD, vice president of clinical development

New Horizons in Glaucoma Devices: Moderators for this session are Malik Kahook, MD, the Slater Family Endowed Chair of Ophthalmology, vice chairman, Clinical & Translational Research, chief of Glaucoma Service and director of Glaucoma Fellowship, professor of ophthalmology, University of Colorado, Aschutz Medical Campus; and Steven Vold, MD, founder and CEO of Vold Vision

Presenting Companies are:

• Equinox LLC - John Berdahl, MD, CEO and founder

• InnFocus, Inc. - Russ Trenary, president and CEO

• MicroOptx - Chris Pulling, CEO

• New World Medical - Ahmad A. Aref, MD, professor of ophthalmology, University of Illinois, Chicago

• Sanoculis - Nir Israeli, CEO

Glaucoma Symposium CME

 

Glaucoma Symposium CME

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

The 20th Annual Glaucoma Symposium CME will update ophthalmologists and attendees on key developments and current clinical issues in glaucoma. Glaucoma specialists will discuss insights and advances related to glaucoma management, pharmaceuticals, and surgery. The symposium also will offer the opportunity for physicians and clinicians to network and learn how these latest updates can present as effective treatment options for patients.

Dr. Iwach said that since the symposium’s beginning, there was an interest and need to share clinical information. The GRF has been privileged to be the center point of the discussion.

“In our first and second year (of the symposium), we had about 50 to 60 (physicians); today, we gave 450 (physicians) signed up, coming from over 30 states and six to eight countries,” Dr. Iwach said. “The symposium has grown and has supported our basic concept that providing precise, efficient, educational material is something that our physicians wanted, needed, and to ultimately help patients.”

The highlight of the Glaucoma Symposium is the Shaffer-Hetherington-Hoskins Lecture. This year’s presenter is Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD, the Fran and Ray Stark Professor of Ophthalmology and a professor of epidemiology at UCLA, and glaucoma specialist at the Jules Stein Eye Institute and the director of the UCLA Mobile Eye Clinic and Center for Eye Epidemiology. Her presentation will address the “Perspectives from the Jules Stein Eye Institute.”

More Presentations

 

The remainder of the clinical presentations includes:

• Robert Chang, MD – “Structural and Functional Glaucoma Progression Analysis and Precision Medicine”

• Cynthia Mattox, MD – “Impending Glaucoma Tsunami: Projections and Practice Preparations”

• Michael Jumper, MD – “Meet you at the Pars Plana”

• Terri Pickering, MD – “Glaucoma: To Drive Or Not To Drive”

• Malik Y. Kahook, MD – “When Is A Visual Field Defect Not Glaucoma?”

• Sunita Radhakrishnan, MD – “Managing Narrow Angles”

• Kuldev Singh, MD – “Surveillance as a Predictor for Disease Outcome in Glaucoma Patients”

• Robert Stamper, MD – “Glaucoma Progression with Good IOP - What To Do”

• Yvonne Ou, MD – “The Myth and Science Behind Lifestyle Modifications in Glaucoma”

• Steven Vold, MD – “New Horizons in Glaucoma Devices”

• Ruth Williams, MD – “Value-Based Payments: What Is It and How Will It Affect My Practice?

• Emmett Cunningham, MD – “Common Mistakes in Uveitic Glaucoma”

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

Dr. Iwach pointed out that one of the challenges with research that it is easy to work in a silo in a laboratory somewhere, especially when a scientist is doing good work. The important benefit of research is that it needs to be shared and interacting.

Glaucoma 360 provides a unique platform for up-to-date, concurring innovation and GRF has adjusted the meeting for the new technology, he added.

“GRF provides an important venue to help researchers to achieve their goals,” Dr. Iwach said. “At the same time, we actually raise money to fund more research. It is truly a 360-approach to cure glaucoma.”