OIS Retina@ASRS Brings Retina Leaders Together (Again) for Live Meeting in San Antonio

The live and in-person summit showcasing innovation in retina, OIS Retina@ASRS, will be held in San Antonio, Texas, on October 7, a day before the annual meeting of the American Society of Retina Specialists opens. It will be the first live OIS meeting since 2019. The conference provides a nexus for stakeholders in retina product and drug development, with an agenda that marries science and finance in this critical market segment. (A list of 22 presenting companies and corporate presenters can be found here.)

“I am very excited and gratified to finally be able to meet with my colleagues and friends in person at the upcoming meeting,” said summit moderator and co-chair Firas M. Rahhal, MD, a partner at ExSight Ventures, senior partner at Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group in Los Angeles, and associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. “The OIS is always a very special meeting. We engage in meaningful and stimulating dialogue, network with colleagues to collaborate on important projects, and, of course, revisit old friendships while creating new ones.”

The summit’s co-chairs include Sophie Bakri, MD, professor and chair of ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Jay Duker, MD, chairman of ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, and chief strategic scientific officer at EyePoint Pharmaceuticals; and Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, professor of ophthalmology and director, University of Southern California Roski Eye Institute, Los Angeles.

Stanley Chang, MD, chairman of the department of ophthalmology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, will receive the 2021 Innovator Award. Dr. Rahhal will interview Dr. Chang on his work as part of the conference proceedings.

Hot Topics, Showcases, and Panels

The day’s events open with the presentation “Hot Topics in the Retina Space” by Dr. Rahhal. Peter Downs, an author and analyst for Market Scope, follows with his talk, called “Retina
Pharmaceuticals Market Update.”

The morning’s agenda features three showcases with presentations from industry leaders and two panel discussions moderated by the summit’s co-chairs. The showcases include:

Innovation Showcase, which consists of presentations from 10 diverse companies in retina.

Spotlight on Cell and Gene Therapy, featuring five companies. Dr. Humayun will moderate the panel discussion after the showcase, with panelists Suber Huang, MD, MBA, CEO of the Retina Center of Ohio/Future Vision Foundation; Aaron Osborne, MD, an ophthalmic drug developer and consultant; Jose Sahel, MD, chair of ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and Charles Wykoff, MD, PhD, of Retina Consultants of Texas.

Spotlight on Drug Delivery, with four company presentations followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Bakri. Panelists are Robert L Avery, MD, founder/CEO of California Retina Consultants; Sharon Bakalash, MD, PhD, CBA, founder and CEO of SB Strategic Development Consultants; and Maria Berrocal, MD, of Berrocal & Associates, a retina practice in San Juan, PR.

The afternoon session features “Spotlight on AI, Diagnostics and Therapeutics,” with presentations from three companies as well as a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Duker. Panelists include Rishi Singh, MD, professor of ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic; and Daniela Ferrara, MD, MSc, PhD, senior medical director at Genentech.

Focus on Industry and Finance

The conference ends with presentations about compounds in the retina pipeline followed by two panel discussions. The first panel is “Finding and Funding Assets in Retina,” moderated by Emmett T. Cunningham Jr., MD, PhD, MPH, senior managing director at Blackstone Life Sciences. Participants are Fred Guerard, PharmD, CEO of Graybug Vision; https://ois.net/jason-menzo/ of Foundation Fighting Blindness; and Dr. Rahhal.

Dr. Rahhal moderates the final panel discussion of the day, “Retina Industry Panel,” with Jeff Evanson, chief commercial officer for Outlook Therapeutics; Paul Hallen, VP and global head of retina and glaucoma at Alcon; https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-kissling-08209b7/, VP of medical and clinical affairs for Bausch + Lomb; and Ram Palanki, PharmD, SVP of commercial strategy and operations at REGENXBIO.

The participants and the program “represent the best of the best in clinical medicine, basic and clinical research, industry, business development, and banking and finance,” Dr. Rahhal said. “We will hear about exciting new developments and treatments for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa. I am particularly happy that the maiden voyage back [to in-person meetings] is in my beloved retina space, but I’d like to enthusiastically welcome any of our colleagues from other disciplines to attend as well.”

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