Glaucoma 360: Uniting research, industry, philanthropy - to find a cure for glaucoma

February 1, 2013

The 2nd Annual Glaucoma 360 is a series of three events, uniting research, industry, and philanthropy with one mission - to find a cure for glaucoma. Three events include the “Catalyst for the Cure Gala,” the “New Horizons Forum,” and the “CME Symposium.”

San Francisco-Ophthalmology Times welcomes attendees and readers to the 2nd Annual Glaucoma 360, a series of three events over this weekend, uniting research, industry, and philanthropy with one mission - to find a cure for glaucoma.

Three separate events, set from Thursday, Jan. 31, to Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Palace Hotel, will focus on the “Catalyst for a Cure Gala,” held last night; the “New Horizons Forum,” which is today; and the “CME Symposium,” which concludes the meeting on Saturday. Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma, is presenting Glaucoma 360.

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

“We had a great first year, and the second year is looking even better,” said Andrew Iwach, MD, chairman of GRF’s board of directors and co-chair of Glaucoma 360. “We have representation from every corner in ophthalmology. Anyone significantly involved in glaucoma is in some way involved in Glaucoma 360.”

Dr. Iwach pointed out that there is a lot of innovation from smaller and larger companies and a lot of interest from clinicians, researchers, and investors.

“The keen interest from the vested community acknowledging the need for a better solution, together with the potential options, is encouraging for our patients,” he added. “What we are trying to do is help expedite developing ideas to provide better solutions for our glaucoma patients. That’s what it’s all about.”

Andrew Iwach, MD, discusses Glaucoma 360's three annual events uniting research, industry, and philanthropy with one mission - to find a cure for glaucoma.

Dr. Andrew Iwach discusses Glaucoma 360 from Glaucoma Research on Vimeo.

 

"Our goal at GRF is to serve as a catalyst in advancing our understanding of glaucoma and speeding the development of new treatments to help glaucoma patients," added Adrienne Graves, PhD, a member of GRF’s board of directors and co-chair of the event. "That's why Glaucoma 360 brings together the key areas of expertise necessary for new glaucoma products - science, clinical ophthalmology, finance, industry, and the FDA. We hope that the ideas shared and the connections made will lead to new collaborations that ultimately result in new glaucoma products."

Catalyst for a Cure

Glaucoma 360 kicked off Thursday night with the “Catalyst for a Cure” benefit gala. Launched in 2007, the annual fund-raising event benefits GRF and its mission to fund innovative research, as well as provide education and support for glaucoma patients. GRF has raised over $2.3 million from the “Catalyst for a Cure” gala for its programs.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of The Catalyst Award,” GRF’s most prestigious honor. The recipients of this year’s Catalyst Award went to San Francisco philanthropists Frank Stein and Paul S. May, founders of the Frank Stein and Paul S. May Grants for Innovative Glaucoma Research, and long-time supporters of the GRF and its efforts to find a cure for glaucoma. (See related article in this E-newsletter.)

GRF presented the Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research to Gareth R. Howell, PhD, from The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, for his research project, “Understanding the Mechanisms of Wlds-mediated Protection in Glaucoma,” funded by GRF in 2011.

GRF also recognized the original four “Catalyst for a Cure” principal investigators for their 11-year contribution to innovative glaucoma research. Honored were: David Calkins, PhD, vice chairman and director of research, and professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, neuroscience, and psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; Monica L. Vetter, PhD, neurobiology and anatomy department chairwoman, George and Lorna Winder Professor of Neuroscience, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Philip J. Horner, PhD, associate professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle; and Nicholas Marsh-Armstrong, PhD, assistant professor of ophthalmology and neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

The evening began with The Innovators Circle. The President's Reception, which offered a chance for participants to mingle and participate in a silent auction, followed.

New Horizons Forum

The New Horizons Forum, “The Centerpiece of Glaucoma 360,” runs today with a full day of presentations, panels, and discussions, featuring key leaders from the clinical and ophthalmic arena, industry, venture capitalists, and the FDA. The purpose of the Forum is to develop an exchange for research, innovation, and development that will translate into advances for glaucoma treatment.

The New Horizons Forum opens with Louis B. Cantor, chairman and professor of ophthalmology at Indiana University, Indianapolis, delivering the keynote address. His topic is: “State of Glaucoma Therapy 2013: Is 13 Our Lucky Number?”

Early-stage glaucoma companies also will present the latest information on drugs, devices, diagnostics, and drug delivery. Venture capital, industry, and FDA panels will address needs and opportunities to translate new developments for clinical use.

The companies making presentations include: Acorn Biomedical, Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Amakem, Amorphex Therapeutics, AqueSys, Clearside Biomedical, Euclid Systems, Glaukos, Icon Bioscience, InnFocus, Inotek Pharmaceuticals, Ivantis, Liquidia Technologies, Mobius Therapeutics, Ocular Therapeutix, ONO Pharma, Quark Pharmaceutical, Sensimed, and Transcend Medical.

Scheduled speakers include Ike K. Ahmed, MD, of the University of Toronto, and Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, of the Shiley Eye Center, University of California, San Diego. Dr. Ahmed’s presentation will look at “The Future of Glaucoma,” while Dr. Goldberg’s talk will address, “Why Glaucoma Biomarkers?”

Panel discussions will include glaucoma devices, glaucoma pharmaceuticals, collaboration and public and private partnerships, FDA and new horizons, and funding through venture capital.

Sponsors of the New Horizon Forum include: Abbott Medical Optics, Alcon Laboratories, Allergan, Alloy Ventures, Amakem Therapeutics, Bausch + Lomb, Carl Zeiss Meditec, DSM, Ellex, Genentech, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Glaukos, Haag-Streit USA, iCo Therapeutics, IOP Ophthalmics, Iridex, Lumenis, Merck & Co., Mobius Therapeutics, Nidek, Ocular Therapeutix, ONO, Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co., Ora, Santen Inc., TearLab, and Versant Ventures. Supporting sponsorship also came from the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit.

Annual Glaucoma Symposium

The 17th Annual Glaucoma Symposium, set for Saturday, Feb. 2, 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.

Dr. Cantor returns to the podium to deliver the Shaffer-Hetherington-Hoskins Lecture. His topic is: “To IOP and Beyond.”

Presentation topics include: "The Art of Fundus Photo Interpretations,” “Glaucoma Surgery: Today’s Solution and New Promising Alternatives,” “Glaucoma Treatment: The Unexpected,” “SLT vs. Meds: Who’s on First?” “Glaucoma: Is Cataract Surgery Always the Answer?” “Narrow Angles: Is LPI Enough?” “New Visual Function Testing in Glaucoma,” “Complexities Encountered with Cataract Surgery in Glaucoma Patients,” “Should Cataract Surgery Be Considered a Glaucoma Procedure?” “Impact of Cultural Competence in Glaucoma,” “Myopia: The Next Glaucoma Epidemic?” “Glaucoma: Managing the Odds,” and “Health Care Reform: Winners and Losers – How Can I Be a Winner?”

The Forum also will have an exhibition that will run the remaining two days of the meeting.

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