• Summary

  • Welcome to the Ophthalmology Innovation Podcast Where you get Candid Conversations with the Leaders and Drivers of Ophthalmic Innovation. OIS is the Largest and Original Producer of World-Class Ophthalmology Innovation Conferences and Content Since 2009.
    © 2022 OIS Podcast
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  • May 18 2022

    It started with a call. 

    First, a call from Abbott led Christian Roesky to an industry role after completing his chemistry PhD in Germany. Next, came the call that would shape Roesky’s career—from Alcon, where he discovered eye care was his “everyday joy and passion.”

    The most pivotal call, however, came from Novaliq founder Bernhard Günther, who convinced Roesky to take his emerging startup to the next level. 

    As managing director and CEO, Roesky has led Novaliq through development of a novel pipeline. Most notably, NOV03 (perfluorohexyloctane), a therapy designed to treat dry eye disease caused by Meibomian gland dysfunction, has delivered what OIS Podcast host Paul Karpecki, OD, calls the “most impressive dry eye Phase III data I’ve ever seen.”

    In a single study, NOV03 met its two primary endpoints: total corneal fluorescein staining and visual analog scale dryness score at day 57. Its novel mode of action lies in EyeSol, a water-free solution that overcomes many of the limitations of existing therapies. The product protects evaporation for hours and has the ability to penetrate the Meibomian gland, possibly improving its function. 

    Novaliq plans to submit data for Food and Drug Administration approval by July. Bausch + Lomb will manufacture and distribute the product in the US. 

    Novaliq also plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA in July for the  anti-inflammatory CyclASol.

    Listen to the podcast today to hear more about: 

    • The potential of a water-free therapy for dry eye disease.
    • Why Novaliq decided to license NOV03 to Bausch + Lomb.
    • How CyclASol, which contains cyclosporine, differs from existing products.
    • What’s next for Novaliq after a hectic 2022.
    • How Roesky broke the family tradition of academic chemistry.

    Click “play” to listen.

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    37 mins
  • May 11 2022

    Jill Hopkins, MD, didn’t plan to end up in a global leadership position at one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. But she got there in 2021, when Novartis recruited her to serve as its SVP and global head of the ophthalmology development unit. 

    Dr. Hopkins moved from academia to the clinic to industry, not by muscling her way in, but by exploring opportunities that sparked her interest and fueled her passion. At each steppingstone, she had a hand in some exciting developments. 

    At Novartis, she leads drug development for its mid- to late-stage portfolio, including both anterior- and posterior-segment therapeutics. She brings a depth of experience to the role that includes science, medicine, and academia, with stints at large companies and small startups.

    After 10 collective years at University or Toronto and University of Southern California, Dr. Hopkins moved to Retina Vitreous Associates. There, she worked alongside OIS Podcast host Firas Rahhal, MD, running the electroretinography lab and working on ciliary-derived neurotrophic factor clinical trials.

    Opportunities to join Genentech, UNITY Biotechnology, and then Roche followed, with each experience building on the other. At the latter, she was involved in the development of both Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Susvimo, the port delivery system with ranibizumab, before Novartis came calling. 


    Listen to the podcast today to hear Dr. Hopkins and Dr. Rahhal discuss:

    • How Dr. Hopkins’ time in academia, the clinic, and industry allowed her to become a well-rounded professional.
    • Her involvement in Susvimo from clinical trials through to commercial launch. 
    • What will endure among the numerous therapies and delivery systems in development for the posterior segment.  
    • How the industry can rise above the high bar set by current anti-VEGF therapies. 
    • How artificial intelligence can and will help clinicians define and measure outcomes.
    • The outlook for regenerative medicine for the posterior segment.


    Click “play” to listen.

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    32 mins
  • May 4 2022

    William “Bill” Freeman, MD, has been at the forefront of intraocular drug delivery for more than 30 years, and he’s done so while also treating patients and teaching the next generation of eye surgeons. 

    From sunny University of California San Diego, where he serves as distinguished professor, vice chair of ophthalmology, and director of the Jacobs Retina Center, Dr. Freeman pioneered new techniques and technologies now common in the field. 

    In the early 1990s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, he developed a surgical technique to repair detached retinas, a common complication of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis he was seeing in so many HIV/AIDS patients. He also found that he could repeatedly inject drugs into the eye with little-to-no systemic side effects. 

    Dr. Freeman’s research not only pioneered a new way to treat CMV retinitis; it also led to a method of ocular drug delivery that’s now the standard of care: intravitreal injections.

    With the support of ongoing National Institutes of Health funding, Dr. Freeman continues to look at new ways to deliver drugs. Through Spinnaker Biosciences, which he cofounded with fellow UCSD professor, Michael Sailor, PhD, Dr. Freeman is exploring nanopores as the method of a customized, long-lasting treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration.

    The other company he cofounded, Nanovision Biosciences, focuses in part on developing an implantable nanotechnology device for patients with degenerative retinal disorders.

    With retina specialist (and mentee) Firas Rahhal, MD, Dr. Freeman discusses his career in academics, his relentless pursuit of innovations, and why San Diego is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing.


    Listen to the podcast to hear Dr. Freeman and Dr. Rahhal discuss: 

    • Dr. Freeman’s early career goals, including why he chose to specialize in uveitis and why academia is a good fit for him.
    • What it takes to do well in academics. (Hint: Location matters.) 
    • How his work with HIV/AIDS patients led to developments that are now the standard of care.  
    • The state of Spinnaker Biosciences and the science behind nanoporous silicon, which is key to its long-lasting delivery system. 
    • His thoughts on polymers used in ocular drug delivery. 
    • The global medical, and scientific contributions that have emerged from Dr. Freeman’s retina fellows. 


    Click “play” to listen.

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    41 mins

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