SOURCE: Ora, Inc.

Ora, Inc.

April 29, 2010 12:36 ET

Profile in American Innovation: Science and Business Leaders Convene for The Dry Eye Summit in Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - April 29, 2010) -  On Friday, April 30, the world's thought leaders in dry eye drug development will gather in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for the inaugural Dry Eye Summit. This one-day event will convene the thought leaders from a wide-ranging set of sub-specialties in order to better address the complexities of the challenging dry eye development process. Featured speakers and panelists will represent basic science, regulatory, clinical and pre-clinical development, venture capital and commercial marketing. This multi-disciplinary group will come together for one full day with the singular goal of accelerating the global dry eye drug development process in order to meet the growing unmet therapeutic needs of the hundreds of millions of dry eye sufferers who exist around the world.

"We are privileged to have some of the best minds in the world here at the Summit during this unique, knowledge sharing event. These individuals represent the best and brightest minds across a myriad of key business and scientific disciplines, and all of them display an obvious passion for innovation," said Stuart Abelson, President & CEO of Ora, Inc., a lead sponsor of the Summit. "As we move into the 21st century, one business area that demands constant innovation is the business of pharmaceutical development, particularly in the area of Dry Eye. The recognition of new pathways and new therapeutic targets will clearly play a critical role in identifying new agents in the Dry Eye drug development process. The Dry Eye Summit's mission is to facilitate this kind of innovation by fostering knowledge sharing between the world's Dry Eye development experts," added Abelson.

Speakers at the Summit include ophthalmic clinical researchers, scientists, regulators, pharmaceutical executives and venture capitalists. Organizations represented include the US Food and Drug Administration, Bausch + Lomb, Alcon, Allergan, Pfizer, Ora, Inc., iNovia Capital, Inc., Bay City Capital, George Washington University, Clarus Ventures, VIMAC Ventures LLC, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Baylor College of Medicine, Aciex Therapeutics, John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, SDC, and Aisling Capital. In addition to the comprehensive main room sessions, the Summit will also offer Concurrent Sessions where information will be available on Dry Eye drugs currently in development.

Attendees to the Dry Eye Summit will represent Acucela, Alcon, Allergan, Aton Pharma, Bausch + Lomb, Covance, EyeGate Pharma, GlaxoSmithKline, Inspire Pharmaceuticals, IOBA-University of Valladolid, ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products, Lux Biosciences, Merck, Otsuka and Pfizer.

What is Dry Eye?
Nearly 60 million Americans suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome. Dry Eye is caused by the instability and insufficiency of the tear film that creates symptoms of burning, dryness, irritation, and blurred vision. While Dry Eye has been known to affect many people at one time or another, it is thought to regularly affect almost 20 percent of the US population. A majority of these sufferers are post-menopausal women. People commonly experience dry eye symptoms while in airplanes, air-conditioned or heated rooms or other environments deprived of moisture, or in environments with irritants in the air. In addition, dry eye symptoms can worsen with everyday tasks in which eyes are needed to be focused for a long time, such as watching TV, reading, or extended computer use. These tasks reduce the amount of times one blinks, leaving the surface of the eye more exposed and prone to irritation.

Treatment for Dry Eye
Dry Eye Treatments vary depending on the severity of disease. Many people can use artificial tears or similar eye drops/ointments to provide temporary relief of discomfort. Some nutritional supplements have been evaluated to help the eyes maintain tear production and reduce tear evaporation. One product, cyclosporine emulsion 0.05%, is indicated to increase tear production in a subset of patients whose tear production is presumed to be suppressed due to ocular inflammation. The majority of Dry Eye patients have no FDA approved prescription therapy to turn to and the multiple underlying causes of Dry Eye will likely be treated by multiple targeted therapeutics.

About The Dry Eye Summit
The 2010 Dry Eye Summit is a unique one-day learning event that will bring together the world's thought leaders in dry eye drug development. Speakers will provide practical, usable advice on how to add the proper scientific rigor and best-practice processes to accelerate dry eye drug development. The event will take place at the Harbor Beach Marriott in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Friday, April 30, 2010 from 7:30 am - 8:30 pm. For more information, visit www.dryeyesummit.org.

About Ora
The Dry Eye Summit is being produced and co-sponsored by Ora, Inc., the world's leading independent ophthalmic product development firm, with more than 30 NDA approvals during its 30-year history. Ora helps clients garner NDA approvals by providing strategic clinical-regulatory guidance and complete turnkey clinical-regulatory services. Ora's technology-based, concept-to-market services and solutions accelerate development timelines and improve the scientific quality of clinical research along every step of the development pathway. For more information, visit www.oraclinical.com.

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