April 30, 2021
The Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS) hosted a virtual Myopia Innovation Showcase on Thursday, April 29.
The session started with Joe Rappon, OD, MS, FAAO, the Chief Medical Officer at SightGlass Vision. He gave attendees background information on myopia and expressed hope for the future of the field and the technological advancements to come. Treehouse Eyes CEO and Co-Founder Matt Oerding was the second speaker of the afternoon, and he provided a market industry overview. Oerding discussed the current treatments available for myopia management, the opportunity that exists to grow the field, and emphasized the importance of ECPs participating in available educational opportunities.
“We’ve got to get all of us thinking differently about myopia,” Oerding said. “It’s not just about an inconvenience of blurred distance vision, or a refractive error. It’s a disease where the eye is growing too long, and we can now treat it. We have proven methods, and we should be treating it. It should become a standard of care to offer this to every parent who has a myopic child or who has an emerging myopic child. I think a lot of mind-shift change needs to happen in the industry about how we think about myopia.”
The event continued with the Company Showcase, where representatives from eight start-up companies shared the latest innovations they’ve been working on. Here are some key takeaways from the Company Showcase:
- SightGlass Vision: Thomas Chalberg, CEO, shared SightGlass Vision’s lenses designed specifically to slow the progression of myopia. DOT (Diffusion Optics Technology) spectacle lenses utilize light scattering to provide uniform contrast modulation at both near and far distances. The goal is to reduce contrast on the retina without changing the focus. SightGlass is more than one year into a planned three-year clinical trial, and they have plans to do another analysis at the two-year mark.
- iVeena Delivery Systems: Bala Ambati, MD, PhD, from iVeena Delivery Systems talked about IVMED85 – an eyedrop that pharmacologically induces corneal and scleral crosslinking. The drops increase lysyl oxidase (LOX), which flattens the cornea, stiffens the sclera, and reduces axial elongation. iVeena is currently in pre-clinical safety completion stage with the IVMED85 drops, and the company plans to be in phase three of the clinical trial by 2025.
- NovaSight: Ran Yam, CEO and Co-founder of NovaSight, discussed both vision treatment devices and vision diagnostic software designed for myopia. ActiveGlass is a wearable myopia solution that utilizes active lenses and eye tracking software to maintain clear vision. Digital pixelated lenses create any optical pattern on the lens, and the correction automatically follows the eye movement to produce clear vision; the device is currently awaiting patent approval. Yam also shared the company’s EyeSwift technology, which is a visual assessment device currently on the market, though NovaSight will soon be releasing the EyeSwift Pro geared specifically toward myopia management monitoring. Additionally, NovaSight is preparing a consumer app – TrackSight – that will monitor users’ time spent on electronics, give real-time alerts about eye fatigue, and do myopia monitoring in the background, all from the device’s built-in camera.
- Sydnexis: Chief Business Officer Patrick Johnson reported on his company’s phase three clinical trial for a low-dose atropine product – SYD-101. This novel formulation of low-dose atropine uses deuterium oxide (D2O) – a naturally occurring compound – to formulate drops at a higher pH level. Sydnexis is now testing SYD-101 in a three-year clinical trial in two concentrations: 0.01% and 0.03%.
- Kubota Vision: Ryo Kubota, MD, shared his company’s augmented reality-based optical system: Kubota Glass and Contact Lenses. Both the contact lenses and the spectacle option project peripherally myopic defocused images to stimulate the retina to move forward. This kind of stimulation enables the control of factors, such as size and retinal location. Dr. Kubota explained that the spectacle lenses are further along in development compared to the contact lenses, and longitudinal studies are currently being conducted on the prototype.
- Dioptragen: Andrei V. Tkatchenko, MD, PhD, shared his company’s efforts in creating a pharmacogenomics platform that’s working to identify pharmaceutical agents that can prevent the onset of myopia. They narrowed it down to six different drug compounds that are currently in the testing phases to determine their efficacy in myopia prevention. Dr. Tkatchenko anticipates a seven-year process of clinical trials and testing before these treatments become available.
- Reopia Optics: Barry Linder, MD, MS, discussed the device his company has created that can attach onto eyeglasses and ultimately slow myopia progression. The device works in two primary ways: decreasing myopia-causing stimuli, by simulating outdoor light regardless of the current environment, and increasing the myopia suppression signal, by having augmented control of retinal images projected onto the mid-periphery retina. Reopia has three patents for its design and is currently in the pre-clinical trial stages. The company anticipates it will take two to four years of testing before the product is finalized.
- Euclid Systems: Nitin Jain, VP, shared the company’s efforts to continue to be at the forefront of technological innovations in the orthokeratology market. Jain reported that Euclid is planning to release new OrthoK products this year, which will include the key features of their next generation technology: on-eye wetting, high O2 permeability, durability and stability, and a smaller treatment zone.
Following up the Company Showcase was the first of two panels. The Clinical Perspective panel was moderated by Dr. Rappon and featured: Kevin Chan, OD, MS, FAAO; Robert A. Clark, MD; Adam Ramsey, OD; Kathryn Richdale, OD, PhD; and Xiaoying Zhu, OD, MD, PhD, MS, FAAO. The group debated a wide variety of topics, including the necessity of axial length measurements, educating parents about myopia, and widely used myopia management treatments.
The last session of the day was an Industry Perspective panel, which was moderated by Review of Myopia Management’s Chief Medical Editor Dwight Akerman, OD, MBA, FAAO. Panelists included: Johnson & Johnson Vision’s Noel Brennan, BOptom, MScOptom, PhD, FAAO; Novartis’ Heather Floyd, PhD; Rajeev Garg, PhD from CooperVision; Reza Haque, MD, PhD, from the Ophthalmic Innovation Center; Bausch + Lomb’s Robert Kissling, MD; and Alan Landers, OD, MS, from Alcon. The panelists discussed the importance of addressing childhood myopia, what challenges are facing the myopia management field, and where they anticipate the myopia market is headed in the future.
All of the videos from OIS’ Myopia Innovation Showcase are available online here.