Highlights & Overview Of AAO 2020 Virtual Meeting

Highlights & Overview Of AAO 2020 Virtual Meeting

November 16, 2020

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has organized a virtual meeting this year between the dates 13-15 November. In light of epidemiological projections, government-enforced regulations, and public health commissions to prevent the spread of the disease, the AAO has been compelled to cancel its in-person annual meeting this year.

During the virtual summit, the academy has provided programming for international attendees in different time zones. The program was extended by 75 minutes for a “Hello Asia Pacific” session on 13 and 14 November.

The main topics this year were retina, cornea, myopia, and premium IOLs. On 14 and 15 November, programming has started 75 minutes early for a “Hello Europe, Africa, and the Middle East” session.

“Amblyopia Outcomes through Clinical Trials and Practice Measurement: Room for Improvement.” titled lecture has been given by Michael X. Repka, MD. the Professor of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

During the virtual meeting, the leading Ophthalmology companies such as Zeiss, Bausch + Lomb, Allergan, and Alcon have presented their latest developments and announced future plans. In this regard;

Integrated Workflow Advancements have been presented By Zeiss

The Medical Technology segment of Zeiss has presented its latest integrated diagnostic and surgical advancements at the 2020 American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) Annual Meeting taking place virtually from Nov. 13-15 as well as hosting multiple industry showcases and educational sessions with renowned experts throughout the event.

Ludwin Monz, President and CEO of Carl Zeiss Meditec commented saying “We are continuing to expand our portfolio of integrated workflow solutions that span across the full continuum of care; retina, glaucoma, cataract, and corneal refractive,”.

Also, Euan S. Thomson, President of Ophthalmic Devices and Head of the Digital Business Unit for Carl Zeiss Meditec added saying “Digitalization presents many opportunities to improve treatment outcomes and increase the efficiency of clinical workflows. Our goal is to provide doctors and surgeons with advanced solutions to help them care for their patients in the best possible way.”

Retina and Glaucoma Workflows – Zeiss integrated solutions transform critical information by combining, gathering, and associating data which aids physicians with interpreting, analyzing, and managing progression for optimized individual assessments.

“The proliferation of new and more advanced imaging devices, like the Cirrus 6000 OCT and Clarus ultra-widefield camera, has dramatically enhanced the diagnostic capabilities of retina specialists by providing easy capture of numerous complementary imaging modalities,” Eric W. Schneider, MD, a retina physician at Tennessee Retina, said in the news release.


Cataract Workflow – Zeiss has fully integrated Veracity Surgical with Zeiss devices, including the Central Topography and new Barrett True-K TK (non-toric and toric) formula of the IOLMaster 700, as well as automatic toric IOL implantation support functions of Callisto eye.

This total premium cataract workflow integration with Zeiss Veracity Surgical boosts productivity so surgeons can deliver care to more patients in less time. “I think there are quite a few cataract surgeons out there who could increase their surgical volume by using Veracity Surgical to ensure their surgical workflow is seamless and efficient,” said Brandon D. Ayres, board-certified ophthalmologist at the Wills Eye Hospital (Pennsylvania, USA). “Not only will it help increase surgical volume, but it will decrease administrative busywork inside of patient charts.”

Corneal Refractive Workflow – In the U.S. market, the use of the Lenticule Extraction with SMILE from Zeiss is growing more than 35 percent over last year against the U.S. market trend. For the first time in October 2020, more than 1 million treatments with SMILE were performed in a single year globally.

“I had Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) years ago before deploying to Iraq. If given the choice today, I would choose to get SMILE,” said Bruce A. Rivers, MD, medical director of Envue Eye & Laser Center (Maryland, USA). “It’s the best of both worlds – the healing of LASIK with the stability of PRK because there is no flap.”

Zeiss is currently conducting a U.S. military study for the Lenticule Extraction with SMILE from Zeiss at three Department of Defense (DOD) sites. Additionally, with eight sites now enrolled, the clinical trial with the MEL 902 excimer laser from Zeiss is underway in the U.S. and recruiting all indications including myopia, hyperopia, and mixed astigmatism.

Santen has presented Glaucoma/OcularHypertension Data

Santen has presented glaucoma and ocular hypertension talks at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Virtual 2020 meeting. The main topics were;

  • MicroShunt (or DE-128), an investigational surgical glaucoma implant designed to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) whose IOP is not controlled when using maximum tolerated glaucoma medications.
  • Omidenepag isopropyl ophthalmic solution 0.002% (or DE-117), an investigational topical ophthalmic solution for the treatment of elevated IOP in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Bausch + Lomb Highlighted Surgical, Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Health Care Innovations at AAO 2020 Virtual Meeting

Bausch + Lomb highlighted its latest surgical, pharmaceuticals, and consumer health care innovations, as well as several new business ventures, at the company’s virtual exhibit booth during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

The company also offered attendees the opportunity to participate in a variety of Industry Showcase presentations, during which prominent surgeons discussed topics such as postoperative case management, pharmacodynamics, glaucoma, and vitreoretinal surgery.

“We are proud of the progress that we have made this year, and the resolve that the entire eye care community has demonstrated, despite the many challenges that we’ve encountered,” Joe Gordon, U.S. president, Bausch + Lomb, said in a company news release. “We look forward to the opportunity to update our customers about these developments, and provide them with educational opportunities, both of which we believe will help them better serve their patients, now and in the future.”

Innovations Featured in Booth

Launched in October, the SimplifEYE IOL delivery system is exclusively available for the enVista MX60PL and the enVista toric MX60PT, the first preloaded toric IOL available in the United States. This new system facilitates smooth and consistent implantation of enVista lenses in just three steps through an incision as small as 2.2 mm.

New additions to the retina portfolio include the 27-gauge endoilluminator, which is 156% more rigid and 20% brighter than the previous 25-gauge design. These improvements allow the user to confidently manipulate the endoilluminator while facilitating improved access and visualization of the periphery during retina surgery.

Attendees were invited to visit the Bausch + Lomb virtual booth for more details on these products as well as the rest of the company’s broad offering of surgical technologies, including the Victus femtosecond laser platform, the Stellaris Elite vision enhancement system, as well as the enVista, Crystalens and Trulign families of IOLs.

The company’s proprietary pharmaceutical products have also been featured in the booth. These include Bepreve (bepotastine besilate ophthalmic solution) 1.5%, Besivance(besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension) 0.6%, Lotemax SM (loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic gel) 0.38%, Istalol(timolol maleate ophthalmic solution) 0.5%, Lacrisert (hydroxypropyl cellulose ophthalmic insert), Retisert (fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant) 0.59 mg, Prolensa(bromfenac ophthalmic solution) 0.07% and Vyzulta (latanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution) 0.024%.

PreserVision AREDS 2 Formula eye vitamins, which are from the company’s consumer health care division, have also been highlighted in the booth. PreserVision is the most studied eye vitamin brand based on the AREDS and AREDS2 clinical studies conducted by the National Eye Institute (NEI).

These vitamins contain the exact nutrient formula recommended by the NEI to help reduce the risk of moderate to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) progression.


Business Development News

Earlier this year, Bausch + Lomb signed an exclusive licensing agreement with STADA and its development partner, Xbrane, to develop and commercialize, if approved, a biosimilar candidate to Lucentis (ranibizumab) in the United States and Canada.

In September, Bausch + Lomb announced that it had agreed to acquire an option to purchase all ophthalmology assets of Allegro Ophthalmics. This agreement could significantly enhance the company’s comprehensive portfolio of products, particularly for AMD.

The company also recently received an exclusive license to Eyenovia’s investigational microdose formulation of atropine ophthalmic solution, which is being investigated for the reduction of pediatric myopia progression in children ages 3-12.

This investigational formulation of atropine is delivered with Eyenovia’s Optejet dispenser technology and, if approved, would be another important step forward in the company’s progress to finding treatments to meet the needs of myopia patients.

Allergan Shared New Data at American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2020 Virtual Meeting

Allergan, which is now part of AbbVie, presented new data advancing scientific understanding of an IOP-lowering treatment in glaucoma and evaluating an investigational treatment for presbyopia.

Michael Robinson, MD, the vice president of AbbVie commented saying, “We must continue our mission to push forward research that addresses unmet treatment needs and bring innovative medicines that potentially improve the lives of people living with eye conditions and diseases such as presbyopia and glaucoma.”

This year at AAO 2020 Virtual, Allergan has presented new data for IOP-lowering treatment Durysta, which delivers a much-needed option for glaucoma patients challenged by topical drops, and their investigational AGN-190584 for the treatment of presbyopia, which demonstrates potential to treat disruptive symptoms of presbyopia.

Data presented at the meeting included an analysis examining the safety and efficacy of Durysta and a second analysis of data from the phase 3 ARTEMIS studies that identify different characteristics of glaucoma patients who may respond after being treated with Durysta.

These studies will add to the body of data for Durysta, an innovative treatment indicated to reduce IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG) or ocular hypertension (OHT).

A real-world study that provided new insights on how people with glaucoma in the United Kingdom utilized available resources was also discussed on the virtual meeting platform.

Additionally, a paper was presented on a potential treatment for presbyopia from two phase 2b studies, which was used to identify the optimal concentration for the proprietary treatment formulation of investigational AGN-190584 used in future studies.


ProQR Therapeutics presented its lead product candidate sepofarsen for the treatment of the root cause of Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10), a rare eye disease that damages the development of the retina and causes severe vision loss.

“Phase 1b/2 trial results of intravitreal sepofarsen RNA therapy in Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10)” and “Full-field stimulus testing (FST) to assess sepofarsen patient response in Leber congenital amaurosis type 10 (LCA10)” titled presentations have been given by the company during the meeting.

New Alcon Presented Itd Innovations in IOLs & Digital Health Solutions at the AAO 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting

Alcon highlighted a robust scientific program including new data and advancements across its portfolio of innovations in cataract, refractive and retina surgery during the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2020 virtual annual meeting.

Key findings from across the 21 scientific presentations on Alcon products have been presented at the meeting, including the soon-to-launch, first non-diffractive extended depth of focus AcrySof IQ Vivity IOL and the AcrySof IQ PanOptix Trifocal IOL, along with a virtual, interactive booth that showcased innovations, including the new cloud-based surgical planning application (app), the SMARTCataract Planner.

The company highlighted its latest advancements in their ophthalmology portfolio, including their presbyopia-mitigating intraocular lenses (IOLs) Vivity and PanOptix, which highlighted their unwavering commitment to building new technologies and solutions that meet the evolving needs of surgeons and their patients.

Alcon is also previewing its new cloud-based surgical planning application, the SMARTCataract Planner. This new app is a significant investment to help enhance the online planning experience when using Alcon IOLs, and it represents another step on an ongoing journey to build best-in-class, digitally-enabled customer experiences.

Also, key U.S. clinical trial data for Vivity has been presented at the meeting, examining patient outcomes, including visual acuity, visual disturbance profiles, and visual performance under different lighting conditions.

Vivity, which is set to fully launch in the U.S. in early 2021 and was approved by the FDA earlier this year, uses a non-diffractive design called X-WAVE Technology to provide a continuous extended range of vision with a monofocal-like visual disturbance profile.

Surgeons are indeed interested in learning more about this new presbyopia-mitigating IOL option in advance.

Key presentations for the Vivity IOL during the meeting included;

  • Clinical Outcomes of a New Non-Diffractive Presbyopia-Correcting Intraocular Lens. Presented by Dr. John Berdahl
  • Visual Outcomes of a New Non-Diffractive Presbyopia-Correcting Intraocular Lens. Presented by Dr. Cathleen McCabe
  • Visual Outcomes Under Bright and Dim Light Conditions with a New Non-Diffractive Presbyopia-Correcting Intraocular Lens. Presented by Dr. Cathleen McCabe
  • Clinical Outcomes of a New Non-Diffractive Presbyopia-Correcting Intraocular Lens from Two Large Confirmatory Studies. Presented by Dr. Devesh Varma

PanOptix Trifocal IOL – the first and only advanced trifocal lens approved in the U.S. – has been featured in clinical data presentations reporting visual and refractive outcomes following implantation.

Key presentations for the PanOptix Trifocal IOL at the meeting included;

  • Clinical Outcomes of a Diffractive Trifocal IOL with Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery, Digital Tracking, and Intraoperative Aberrometry. Presented by Dr. John F. Blaylock
  • Objective and Subjective Assessment of Vision Quality of a New Trifocal IOL. Presented by Dr. Jeffrey Horn
  • Cumulative Binocular Vision Outcomes with a New Trifocal IOL. Presented by Dr. Elizabeth Yeu

Alcon also hosted a symposium titled “Perspectives on AcrySof IQ PanOptix IOL” (presented via live stream) for existing or interested PanOptix Trifocal IOL users. The symposium included an interactive panel discussion with moderator Dr. Quentin Allen and expert panelists Dr. John Berdahl, Dr. Alanna Nattis, and Dr. Dagny Zhu.

New SMARTCataract Planner and the ARGOS Biometer with Image Guidance: Smarter Cataract Surgical Planning Innovations

Alcon is previewing the SMARTCataract Planner, a comprehensive, securely designed, cloud-based surgical planning app for Alcon IOLs. This is a significant investment in efforts to help enhance the online planning experience and deliver optimal patient outcomes when using Alcon IOLs.

The SMARTCataract Planner is the first planner app offering in the SMART Suite by Alcon, an innovative digital health platform designed to streamline, simplify, and improve cataract surgery for surgeons and patients.

Another cataract planning solution in Alcon’s portfolio is the ARGOS Biometer with Image Guidance, which launched earlier this year. It provides end-to-end connectivity and a more efficient workflow and improved accuracy.

ARGOS is a critical entry point to connectivity today and in the future. Additionally, ARGOS has been highlighted in a data presentation on one of the unique advantages of the biometer: segmented axial length.

  • Differences Between Axial Length Measurements Using a Specific Refractive Index for Each Segment of the Eye vs. a Single Group Refractive Index for the Entire Eye: Effect on Intraocular Lens Power Calculation and Expected Clinical Outcomes. Presented by Dr. H. John Shammas


Next-Generation Finesse Reflex Handle Provides Improved Dexterity and Control for Vitreoretinal Surgery

Finesse Reflex handle, which is designed by Alcon to help surgeons move with ease, providing unrestricted movement and intentional, focused performance. The handle, which is built on the legacy craftsmanship of Greishaber instrumentation for surgical precision, supports surgeons through improved surgical dexterity with advanced ergonomic support and offers expanded extra-ocular working space during vitreoretinal surgery.

Meeting attendees have been able to visit the Retina section of Alcon’s virtual booth for a demo of the product.

Key Findings for WaveLight Contoura Vision and Topolyzer Vario to Highlight Positive Refractive Clinical Outcomes

Contoura Vision–personalized topography-guided LASIK technology–was evaluated in a study demonstrating that topography-guided LASIK treatments of myopia or myopic astigmatism with correction based on results from Phorcides Analytical Engine (PAE) planning resulted in improved visual acuity and less residual cylinder, versus correction based on manifest refraction.

Another study using the Wavelight Topolyzer Vario imaging system showed that iris registration (IR) reduced overall variability in clinical outcomes for WaveLight Wave-Front Optimized LASIK treatments.

  • Clinical Outcomes After Topography-Guided Refractive Surgery in Eyes with Myopia and Astigmatism: Comparing Results with New Planning Software to Those Obtained Using Manifest Refraction. Presented by Dr. Paul M. Mann II
  • The Impact of Image Registration for Ablation Orientation on Clinical Outcomes After Wavefront-Optimized Refractive Surgery in Eyes with Myopia and Astigmatism. Presented by Dr. Paul M. Mann II