Novel Insights Into The Future Directions in Wet AMD & DME Diagnostics & Management

8:00 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

8:15 am Understanding The Patient Journey – From Diagnosis to Treatment & Beyond


  • Wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) is a disease leading to severe visual loss and legal blindness in the elderly population. Its pathogenesis, likely multifactorial, involving a complex interaction of metabolic, functional, genetic and environmental factors
  • This presentation will showcase the end to end patient journey for those facing including diagnostics through to disease management and treatment

8:45 am Evaluating Clinical Biomarkers for Testing Therapeutics in Patients

  • Zhichao Wu Principal Investigator, Centre for Eye Research Australia


  • Understanding the value of novel clinical biomarkers and candidate endpoints for evaluating novel therapeutics
  • Understanding how to make technical evaluations, and what data is needed to support their qualification and validation
  • Understanding the expectations from regulatory authorities and clinicians in this field

9:45 am Refreshment Break

10:45 am Novel Machine Learning Imaging Biomarkers: Adding Value to Clinical Trials for Novel Therapeutics

  • Konstantinos Balaskas Consultant Ophthalmologist and Medical Retina Specialist, Director, Moorfields Ophthalmic Reading Centre and Clinical AI Lab


Advanced image analytics of Optical Coherence Tomography enable:

  • Meaningful stratification of trial participants and targeted trial design
  • Improved efficiency of screening through automated processing of high-volume imaging databases for relevant biomarkers
  • Prediction modelling for response to anti-VEGF and other emerging therapeutics

11:15 am Panel Discussion: Future Directions of Diagnostic Technologies in Wet AMD & DME

  • Zhichao Wu Principal Investigator, Centre for Eye Research Australia
  • Peter Kaiser Professor of Opthalmology, Cleveland Clinic
  • Konstantinos Balaskas Consultant Ophthalmologist and Medical Retina Specialist, Director, Moorfields Ophthalmic Reading Centre and Clinical AI Lab


  • Discussion around the latest diagnostic technologies which can measure eye disease progression, stratify clinical trial patient populations, and be utilized to demonstrate candidate drug efficacy and safety
  • A focus on the role of artificial intelligence algorithms and how they can be used to aid diagnosis and monitor progression of patients with wet AMD and DME

12:00 pm Lunch Break

Future Therapies Targeting Novel Mechanisms Driving Wet AMD & DME

1:30 pm AMD: A Steep Road From Understanding Pathogenesis to Curing the Disease

  • Maria Gemenetzi Global Drug Development and clinical analysis CD&A, Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd


  • This presentation will refer to key mechanisms and the link to potential treatments
  • This will also point to some of the controversies in the literature and related research, and the questions we need to answer in the future

2:00 pm Targeting TGF beta 2 mRNA Using Antisense Technology as a New Therapeutic Option in Retinal Diseases

  • Marion Munk Chief Medical Officer, Isarna THerapeutics


  • Targeting TGF beta 2 mRNA using antisense technology as a new therapeutic option in retinal diseases
  • Our lead compound ISTH0036 is a first in class selective second-generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) blocking TGF-β2
  • The phase 1 dose escalation study confirmed the excellent safety profile
  • Currently phase 2 trials are assessing efficacy in wet AMD and DME

2:30 pm Integrin Approaches to Combat Ocular Neovascularization


  • Pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown that several integrins, including αvβ3 are expressed in neovascular ocular tissue from patients with nAMD & DR/DME, making them an attractive alternative target for nAMD & DR/DME therapeutics
  • This presentation will focus on novel integrin approaches as an alternative target for angiogenesis derived diseases

3:00 pm Refreshment Break

3:30 pm Wnt Signalling Regulation for the Treatment of Wet AMD & DME


  • Wnt signalling regulates expression of multiple genes that control retinal development and eye organogenesis, and dysregulated Wnt signalling plays pathophysiological roles in many ocular diseases, including wet AMD & DME
  • This presentation will showcase a novel approach using Wnt pathway regulation as an alternative target for wet AMD & DME therapeutics

Aligning Portfolio Strategy to Address Unmet Clinical Needs & Planning For Success in Clinical Programs Targeting Wet AMD & DME

4:00 pm Fireside Chat: Biotech/Pharma Partnering AME/DME Novel Therapeutics

  • Stephen Poor Director External Innovation and Translational Biomarkers, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Department of Ophthalmology
  • Eric Nelson Senior Business Development Consultant, US HealthVest, LLC


  • Which AME/DME biotech-pharma partnerships do you want to highlight?
  • Showcasing deal highlights and characteristics of a successful partnership
  • Evaluating which stage of development the deal was made and length of time for needed for deals to come into fruition
  • Answering key questions such as: do you share development or commercialization rights?
  • What is one essential enabling technology besides the therapeutic (drug delivery formulation, gene editing platform, siRNA, imaging software)?

4:30 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks

4:45 pm End of Conference