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Andrew Iwach, MD discusses Glaucoma 360: three annual events uniting research, industry, and philanthropy with one mission — to find a cure for glaucoma.
Andrew Iwach, MD: The Glaucoma Research Foundation has a number of different initiatives; smaller research projects, larger collaborative research projects from different institutions, and in the past two years we’ve developed yet another program.
With the leadership of Adrienne Graves partnering with the Glaucoma Research Foundation and myself, we took a look at some of the elements we already had in place. We had a very successful CME program where we help keep to date other ophthalmologists on the latest techniques and methods in managing and treating glaucoma; we also had a very elegant Benefit which helped raise funds for funding research. But there was a need to help accelerate an idea to coming to a solution for our patients.
So how could we do this? And what we realized was, that we could take a platform where we could bring in smaller companies, individuals with a new idea on how to help patients; we could then bring in the larger companies which would potentially partner with these smaller companies; we would then bring in people who help fund these elements such as the investment firms, the venture capitalists that do that; someone’s going to have to organize all of this, well, we’d better have the lawyers there because they’re going to have to make it all happen; and finally, we need the FDA there, because the FDA is the one who they will apply to, and will monitor this process.
And with that vision, Glaucoma 360 came together - where we had the Benefit on a Thursday night; on Friday we had a working session which last year was extraordinarily successful - we brought all these different partners in this process, to serve as a catalyst from an idea to a solution for our patients - and finally, when all goes well on that Friday meeting, the next day on Saturday morning we have an opportunity to share materials, information that is appropriate for a CME course, so it’s been vetted and appropriate, to then allow transferring this information to clinicians who help patients with glaucoma.
So, Glaucoma 360, it’s all-encompassing, but all the same direction: trying to find a better solution, and ultimately a cure.
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Andrew G. Iwach, MD is Executive Director of the Glaucoma Center of San Francisco, Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California at San Francisco, and a faculty instructor at the California Pacific Medical Center Department of Ophthalmology. He has served on the Glaucoma Research Foundation Board since 2000 and has served as Board Chair since July 1, 2011. Dr. Iwach is also Executive Director of the Glaucoma Research and Education Group (GREG), a non-profit research and educational entity focused on clinical research for the purpose of furthering the scientific knowledge of glaucoma.
Last reviewed on September 14, 2015