Glaucoma 360, a three-day event being held here by the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), will move from its "Celebrate" phase with Annual Gala on Thursday into its "Innovate" phase with the New Horizons Forum set for today. This event is a full day of presentations, panels, and discussions featuring leaders from start-up companies, industry executives, ophthalmic experts, venture capitalists, and the FDA.
Glaucoma 360, a three-day event being held here by the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), will move from its “Celebrate” phase with Annual Gala on Thursday into its “Innovate” phase with the New Horizons Forum set for today.
This event is a full day of presentations, panels, and discussions featuring leaders from start-up companies, industry executives, ophthalmic experts, venture capitalists, and the FDA.
“If you walk into that room with an idea that can help patients, you have everything you need to turn that idea into a solution,” said Andrew Iwach, MD, one of the co-founders and co-chairpersons of Glaucoma 360.
Adrienne Graves, PhD, also a co-founder and co-chairperson 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,” she said.
Dr. Graves said it is hard to believe this year’s New Horizons Forum is the 7th annual installment. “There has been a tremendous amount of innovation in glaucoma since it started,” she added.
Dr. Graves pointed out that 68 companies have presented at the meeting over those years, offering innovative ideas in glaucoma therapies, diagnostics, and drug delivery devices. Such innovation was the very reason the meeting was started.
When it began, no new glaucoma drugs had been approved since the 1990s. No minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) devices were approved, and no ROCK inhibitors has gotten past phase II development.
“We wanted to serve as a catalyst for the development of new products,” Dr. Graves said. “That vision has become a reality. It’s pretty clear looking at the number of new companies that continue to present that innovations in glaucoma treatment are flourishing.”
Dr. Graves has found it gratifying to see technologies presented at the New Horizons Forum receive additional funding, with a number of them acquired by strategics, and/or brought to market, over the years.
“Seeing connections form is what makes New Horizons so special,” she said.
The New Horizons Forum has grown about 10% each year, and more than 50 companies from a wide range of glaucoma perspectives are represented this year, said Thomas Brunner, president and CEO of GRF. “I often hear from participants that this is the best glaucoma meeting of the year,” he added.
Brunner said it is particularly gratifying to see companies that originally attended as startups that have gone on to be acquired and even bring their products to market. “The changes that have occurred in the seven years we have been doing it have been impressive,” Brunner said.
One special focus of this year’s forum is the use of virtual reality in glaucoma care, with presentations on research and product development.
Sutro Memorial Lecture
Ike Ahmed, MD, FRCSC, medical director, Prism Eye Institute; associate professor of ophthalmology, University of Toronto; and clinical professor of ophthalmology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, will kick of the forum with the Drs. Henry and Frederick Sutro Memorial Lecture. His topic is “Interventional Glaucoma: The Why, The Who, and The How.”
Other New Horizons Forum sessions include: