SAN FRANCISCO — Winners of a “Shark Tank” style challenge in cataract/refractive and retina and specialty showcase sessions targeting four themes, including gene and cell therapy and drug delivery, are two of the new wrinkles in this year’s OIS@AAO to be held at the Hilton Union Square here. Fifty companies in all will be presenting at various showcases, and another 15 will present at four early morning breakout sessions.
A highlight of the morning will be the “Keynote Conversation: A View from the Top,” where OIS@AAO co-chairman William J. Link, PhD, principal at Flying L Partners and managing director at Versant Ventures, is scheduled to sit down with Ashley McEvoy, executive vice president, worldwide chairman, medical devices at Johnson & Johnson. “At Johnson & Johnson, she leads the world’s largest medical device business,” Dr. Link says, noting that McEvoy led the acquisition of Abbott Medical Optics in 2016. “She will be sharing her thoughts and insights on the medical device sector overall and specifically the ophthalmic surgical, contact lens, and pharmaceutical markets,” Dr. Link adds. “It will be very interesting to hear Ashley’s perspective on where eye health fits in the overall J&J business.”
In the afternoon, the winners of the 2019 “Winning Pitch Challenge” from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the American Society of Retina Specialists will present their innovations. The “Winning Pitch Challenge” is a competition for entrepreneurs to make a pitch to get $10,000 in funding as well as guidance from experts to put their idea into action. From ASCRS, Bala Ambati, MD, PhD, MBA, president of iVeena, will present on the drug delivery platforms in cornea and cataract the company is developing. ASRS winner Jeffrey G. Gross, MD, will present on BioGenware, developer of a redesigned eyelid speculum.
Other key sessions include:
- Healthcare Leaders’ Perspectives: Opportunities and Challenges. McEvoy and three other panelists – Michael Kaschke, PhD, president and CEO of Zeiss Group; Peter McDonnell, MD, of Johns Hopkins’ Wilmer Eye Institute; and former Allergan chairman and CEO David Pyott – will share their perspectives on emerging opportunities in ophthalmic innovation. James V. Mazzo, global president ophthalmic devices at Carl Zeiss Meditec, will moderate the panel. “I have been hosting the masters panels for many years and this year I am especially excited to have these unique perspectives from great leaders about the future of our industry,” Mazzo says.
- Breakout sessions. Four separate early morning sessions will focus on retina (titled “Positive, Negative, and (Somewhat) Unknown Results in Retina Last Year”); pharmacotherapies for presbyopia and myopia; unmet needs in glaucoma; and dry eye (“Game Changer Technologies of Today and Tomorrow”).
- Welcome and Chairman’s 2019 Year in Review. OIS@AAO co-chairman Emmett T. Cunningham Jr., MD, PhD, MPH, senior managing director at Blackstone Life Sciences, will look back over some of the biggest deals and discoveries of the previous year, providing some context for what’s to be presented for the rest of the day.
- Innovation Showcases. Representatives from 24 companies are scheduled to present information about their current products and trials in the morning’s Innovation Showcases. These seven-minute presentations move quickly and are full of cutting-edge information.
- OIS Innovator Award. In the afternoon, Richard Lindstrom, MD, founder and attending surgeon at Minnesota Eye Consultants, and adjunct clinical professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, department of ophthalmology, will present the OIS Innovator Award to Aerie Pharmaceuticals. Vince Anido, PhD, CEO and chairman, and Casey Kopczynski, PhD, chief scientific officer, will accept the award. Aerie has launched both Rhopressa and Rocklatan as innovative treatments for patients with glaucoma.
- Financial Considerations. Jonathan Norris, managing director at Silicon Valley Bank, will discuss private financing trends, and a public markets overview will be given by J.P. Peltier, managing director, global head, healthcare investment banking at Piper Jaffray. Michael Lachman, president of EyeQ Research, will present an update on how the OIS Index has been performing.
- Public Company Spotlight. Another seven companies will be represented here, giving updates and information on recently launched products, clinical trials, and pipeline candidates.
- Wrapping Up the Day. Two panel discussions – “Leadership: How to Measure and Motivate in a Start-up Environment,” and “Innovating Around the Globe” – will end the afternoon with positive messages and ideas about innovation.