Report from the 2013 New Horizons Forum

Lou Cantor, MD delivered the keynote
Lou Cantor, MD delivered the keynote

The second annual Glaucoma 360 New Horizons Forum took place February 1st 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 to advance product development that will translate into advances for glaucoma treatment.

The New Horizons Forum opened with Louis B. Cantor, Chairman and Professor of Ophthalmology at Indiana University, Indianapolis, delivering the keynote address. His topic was: "State of Glaucoma Therapy 2013: Is 13 Our Lucky Number?"

"We are on the cusp of redefining the optic nerve and assessing the structural damage of glaucoma," Dr. Cantor said in his keynote talk. "This year could be our lucky 13; we have many developments on the horizon." He emphasized that current glaucoma treatment is still about controlling IOP, but that patient care is on the verge of earlier, more aggressive management to reduce and delay progression.

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Other speakers at the Forum included 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 looked at "The Future of Glaucoma" with a focus on MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery), while Dr. Goldberg's talk addressed "Why Glaucoma Biomarkers?"

"Vision loss is due to the dysfunction and death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). We need diagnostics with reduced clinical expertise, we need new treatment modalities not based on IOP, we need new biomarkers for clinical trials, and we need new biomarkers to detect the risk of progression," Dr. Goldberg said.

Early-stage Glaucoma Companies Present Latest Info

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

Companies making presentations included: 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.

Panel discussions at the second annual New Horizons Forum included glaucoma devices, glaucoma pharmaceuticals, collaboration and public and private partnerships, "FDA: Getting to New Horizons", and funding through venture capital.

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"We had a great first year, and the second year was even better," said Andrew Iwach, MD, Chairman of GRF's Board of Directors and Co-chair of Glaucoma 360. "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. "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," he said.

"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."

Sponsors of the New Horizon Forum included: 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, Heidelberg Engineering, iCo Therapeutics, IOP Ophthalmics, Iridex, Lumenis, Merck & Co., Mobius Therapeutics, Nidek, Ocular Therapeutix, ONO, Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co., Ora, Santen Inc., TearLab, Transcend Medical, and Versant Ventures. Supporting sponsorship also came from the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit.

Last reviewed on May 14, 2013

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