November 2019


ASCRS and AAO partner to nurture innovation through OphthoVation joint venture

In October, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) announced a first-of-its kind collaboration to help accelerate the growth and success of companies focused on new therapies for eye disorders. ASCRS and AAO have formed a joint venture called OphthoVation™ to deliver a novel series of business forums that bring together industry, entrepreneurs, investors, and ophthalmologists. The inaugural OphthoVation I Congress will take place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel on Thursday, May 14, 2020, just prior to the ASCRS Annual Meeting, followed by the OphthoVation II Congress on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, before AAO in Las Vegas.
The goal for OphthoVation is to tap the scientific talent and entrepreneurial spirit of these two storied institutions to nurture a variety of businesses, from startups to blue-chip companies. In addition, the meeting will integrate a broad and unbiased perspective toward ophthalmic innovation from early stage proof-of-concept technologies to innovation within publicly traded companies, including addressing financial, regulatory, reimbursement, and patient viewpoint considerations. The meetings are designed for all innovation constituents, including scientists, entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and ophthalmologists.
“This collaboration is a unique opportunity to benefit patients around the world,” said David W. Parke II, MD, CEO, American Academy of Ophthalmology. “This is the first time that two medical societies have come together to develop a joint business innovation meeting that has great value to a broad range of attendees. We are delighted to combine our resources in this new effort.”
“It’s clearly time for both the Academy and ASCRS to develop a next-generation ophthalmic business forum, given the power of these two societies to bring together the top minds in ophthalmology and business,” said Steve Speares, executive director, ASCRS.  “It’s an exciting opportunity as it continues our joint commitment to innovation, while also establishing a model for cooperation by both societies whose main purpose is to benefit the field of ophthalmology.”
The agenda and structure of the OphthoVation I Congress are still being finalized, but strong and proven leadership is in place. Gil Kliman, MD, will serve as program chairman of OphthoVation, working closely with ophthalmologists from both AAO and ASCRS, as well as leaders from the ophthalmic business community. Dr. Kliman co-founded the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS) and was co-chairman from 2009 to 2019 during its period of fastest growth. He is managing partner of InterWest Partners, a long-established Silicon Valley-based healthcare and technology venture capital firm. He has led InterWest’s medical device team since 1999 and pioneered InterWest’s successful ophthalmology franchise. Dr. Kliman has served on numerous ophthalmic company boards including IntraLase, LenSx, Glaukos, and Avedro, and is a board member of Orbis International.
“I am honored to have been invited by AAO and ASCRS to lead this pioneering OphthoVation joint venture. These new meetings will benefit from unprecedented societal support and resources, bringing together ophthalmic talent with special skill sets and experiences, and will undoubtedly be the destination of choice for savvy innovators around the world,” said Dr. Kliman. “To approach the constantly evolving landscape of innovation with a fresh approach is exciting in and of itself. But to then layer on this unprecedented collaboration of these two organizations, and their resources, I expect we can generate some breakthrough accomplishments.”

ASCRS and AAO partner to nurture innovation through OphthoVation joint venture ASCRS and AAO partner to nurture innovation through OphthoVation joint venture
Ophthalmology News - EyeWorld Magazine
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