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The International Myopia Conference Breaks All Records

September 12, 2022

                       photo by Jan Buteijn

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands — After a three-year hiatus, the International Myopia Conference returned with its best attended event since its founding in 1964. Traditionally held every two years, but this time with an extra year in the interim due to Covid, the IMC was held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Sept. 4-7, 2022. Hosted by the Erasmus Medical Center and located in the state-of-the-art De Doelen conference center, the 18th International Myopia Conference welcomed 761 attendees from 41 countries, hundreds more than the last event.

 

This year’s organizing committee was led by President Prof. Dr. Caroline Klaver of Erasmus University Medical Center and her team of Secretary Assistant Professor Virginie Verhoeven, Treasurer Orthoptist Jan Roelof Polling, Trustee Assistant Professor Magda Meester-Smoor, Trustee Physician Willem Tideman, Physician Sander Kneepkens, and Optometrist Kübra Liman.

RECORD-BREAKING SPONSORSHIP

Industry support also broke records, including from Diamond Sponsors – CooperVision, EssilorLuxottica, Hoya, Menicon, and Zeiss; Platinum Sponsors – Johnson & Johnson Vision and Topcon; Gold Sponsors – Oculus, SightGlass Vision, and Tsubo Lab; Silver Sponsor MedicalWorkshop; and other sponsors – Bayer, Novartis, Oogfonds, Stria.Tech, Vyluma, and Zero Residential. Review of Myopia Management was the official media sponsor along with the peer-reviewed journal Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics (OPO.) Overall there were 18 sponsors and eight sponsored sessions.

Three full days on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and a half day on Wednesday were packed with sessions consisting of back-to-back 10-minute presentations organized around specific topics such as Optical Interventions, Pharmacological Interventions, Imaging & Biometry, Genetics, and much more.

While the variety of topics related to the overall focus on myopia management was wide and varied, a few specific subjects were frequently repeated, indicating their prominence and high interest among the world’s myopia management leaders who were gathered for the conference.

EXPANDING AVAILABILITY OF SPECTACLE LENSES
For example, the growing prevalence of spectacle lenses available worldwide for slowing the progression of myopia (although none are FDA-approved yet in the United States) was reflected not only by the many presentations on the topic but also by a number of sponsors whose products are gradually becoming available worldwide country by country.

At least three sponsors made specific announcements on the topic of spectacle lenses. Exhibiting for the first time at IMC, SightGlass Vision presented new data and insights related to its Diffusion Optics Technology, including preliminary three-year results from its CYPRESS clinical trial. DOT lenses incorporate thousands of micro-dots that softly scatter light to reduce contrast on the retina.

The science behind this lens as well as the technologies at work in other myopia control spectacle lenses was presented in sponsored sessions during lunch breaks. EssilorLuxottica detailed the highly aspherical lenslets (HAL) technology behind its Stellest lenses with H.A.L.T. technology. The EssilorLuxotta presentation was moderated by Olga Prenat and featured Damian Paillé presenting the lens design, Björn Drobe sharing three-year clinical trial results, and BHVI’s Padmaja Sankaridurg on the results from a randomized, double-blind, cross-over clinical trial. Mark Bullimore discussed the impact of spectacle lenses for myopia control on visual functions. Similarly, Hoya presented long-term data on its MiYOSMART lenses with Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) technology.

Information about contact lenses for myopia management was also shared. In the case of sponsor CooperVision, the company offered new insights related to the continuing efficacy of its MiSight 1 day contact lenses from its seven-year clinical trial.

At a Johnson & Johnson Vision sponsored session, the company announced innovative design concepts and the latest clinical data behind its new silicone hydrogel daily disposable soft contact lens for myopia control. The lens has received FDA breakthrough device designation and features non-coaxial optics to break the nexus between efficacy and vision.

Another optical intervention covered extensively was orthokeratology, addressing design aspects such as efficacy related to the size of the optic zone and efficacy when combined with 0.01% atropine.

A sponsored session from Oculus started the day on Monday, covering the need to measure axial length in general and specifically doing so using the company’s Myopia Master, an all-in-one autorefractor, keratometer, and biometer. The Oculus morning session was presented by Dr. Padmaja Sankaridurg, Dr. Jaumé Pauné, and Dr. Hakan Kaymak. The sponsored session then led to a series of related presentations in the event’s first session on Imaging & Biometry.

Genetics was another recurring topic, and considering the fact that there are 400 genetic loci for myopia, much research remains to be accomplished in this field.

Even preliminary (and in some cases controversial) techniques, such as red light, blue light, and ultraviolet light for managing myopia were discussed and presented. Also, because time spent outdoors has been shown to delay the onset of myopia, some researchers shared their studies on bringing the outdoors indoors with lighting and interior design.

While far more beyond the scope of this event recap was covered over the course of #IMC2022, look forward to specific coverage in future editions of Review of Myopia Management, particularly in our Research Review and In The Pipeline sections.

WHERE WILL THE NEXT TWO IMCs BE HELD?
During a Tuesday afternoon business meeting of the International Myopia Institute (the founders and continuing informal organizers of the event), the next two IMC venues were selected. The 19th edition will be held in Hainan Island, China, and the 20th IMC will take place at the University of  Houston. The organization also decided that because of the tremendous growth of the event, which is expected to continue, it would initiate creating a more formal structure for the IMC. Toward that goal, the IMI will reach out to all of this year’s registrants to invite everyone to nominate individuals for an executive committee and ultimately create a constitution and establish a corporate organization.

Just as the implementation of myopia management is expanding globally, so is the interest in participating in the International Myopia Conference.

International Myopia Conference Attendees and Sponsors Share Event Highlights
To get more insight into the field of myopia management from the leading experts in the field, Review of Myopia Management went straight to the source. Listen to the short interview clips below with attendees and sponsors of the International Myopia Conference to learn more about the most important myopia management topics and where industry leaders see the field evolving in the future.

Millicent Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, Senior Vice President, Customer Development Group, EssilorLuxottica NA

Raul Trillo, MD, Chief Commercial Officer, Vyluma


David Kern (left) and Richard White (right), OCULUS

Mei Zhang, HOYA Vision Care

Kevin Chan, OD, FAAO, Treehouse Eyes


Balthazar Masurel, Vice President of Strategic Marketing, SightGlass Vision


Andrew Sedgwick, Chief Executive Officer, SightGlass Vision


Paul Chamberlain, BSc (Hons), Director of Research Programs, CooperVision


Rajeev Garg, MBA, PhD, Global Head of Myopia Management Strategy, CooperVision


Kelly Voltz, OD, FAAO, FSLS, Senior Manager of Professional and Clinical Affairs, CooperVision


Elizabeth Lumb, Director, Global Professional Affairs, Myopia Management, CooperVision


Ashley Tuan, OD, PhD, FAAO, Chief Medical Officer, Visioneering Technologies Inc. 

(Left to Right): Monica Jong, BOptom, Phd, Global Director of Professional Education, Xu Cheng, Senior Principal Scientist, Noel Brennan, BOptom, MScOptom, PhD, FAAO, Clinical Research Fellow, Lisa McAlister, Global Myopia Lead, Johnson & Johnson Vision

Olga Prenat, MBA, Global Head of Medical Marketing & Professional Relations, EssilorLuxottica 

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