Fall 2023 Workshop

The Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative held its second annual global Workshop, “Advancing Development of New Indications, Therapies, and Regulatory Pathways for Diabetic Retinal Disease,” on World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2023. Over 100 specialists from around the world gathered to delve into the intricacies of Diabetic Retinal Disease (DRD), contributing their expertise towards our mission of preserving and restoring vision for millions of people affected by the disease.

The Workshop was hosted by the Caswell Diabetes Institute and Kellogg Eye Center, both at the University of Michigan. It addressed critical scientific breakthroughs and advancements, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration among worldwide research experts in academia, pharma and device companies and government agencies, who came together to further accelerate the development of new indications, therapies, and regulatory pathways for DRD, and work together to prevent and cure the disease. 

Partners and Sponsors

The Workshop was sponsored by Anida Pharma, Adaptive Sensory Technology, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, LKC Technologies, Ocular Therapeutix, OcuTerra Therapeutics, Optos, ONL Therapeutics, Perfuse Therapeutics, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Roche/Genentech and Visiontree. We are grateful to our participants, sponsors and partners: The Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine, MD Charitable Foundation, Caswell Diabetes Institute, Kellogg Eye Center, JDRF and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF). We’d also like to thank the diabetes patients and family advocates for their support and contributions to the Workshop.

Panel discussions included:

Clinical Studies on Useful Endpoints and Biomarkers for DRD
Michael F. Chiang, MD | Director, National Eye Institute and Jennifer Sun, MD, MPH | Science Co-Director, MTM Vision along with a panel of experts, explored the pivotal role of data standardization and the necessity for new clinical trial endpoints.

Ocular Biorepository and Resource Center
Patrice Fort, PhD, MS | Director, MTM Vision Biorepository & Resource Center and Mark Atkinson, PhD | Director, nPOD & Diabetes Institute, University of Florida provided insights into the progress of the biorepository, highlighting the establishment of a facility at the University of Michigan’s Caswell Diabetes Institute and Kellogg Eye Center to understand DRD and identify new therapeutic targets.

Regulatory Pathways in Neurodegenerative Ocular Disease
S. Robert Levine, MD | Chair, MTM Vision and Wiley A. Chambers, MD | Director of the Division of Ophthalmology, Office of Specialty Medicine, Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)engaged in a dialogue on regulatory pathways in ocular disease.  Dr. Levine stressed the need for examining interventions in the earlier stages of DRD, while Dr. Chambers emphasized the importance of well-defined and reliable assessments, including risk assessment and consideration of quality-of-life outcomes.

Hot Topics
Drs. Stela Vujosevic, MD, PhD, FEBO | San Giuseppe Hospital, IRCCS MultiMedica,  Risa Wolf, Director, Pediatric Diabetes Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Paolo Silva delved into Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs), youth with diabetes, and the integration of telemedicine and AI in DRD, emphasizing the need for improved therapeutic options. 

Risa M. Wolf, MD | Director, Pediatric Diabetes Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlighted a rising prevalence of diabetic retinal disease in youth with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In a 10-year longitudinal study with 404 participants, 50% developed diabetic retinopathy or clinically significant macular edema. 

According to Paolo Silva, MD | Assistant Chief of Telemedicine, Joslin Diabetes Center, Beetham Eye Institute, Harvard Medical School the primary obstacle to telemedicine is the persistence of ungradable or low-quality images. Improving image acquisition enhances the success rate of images, thereby improving care for both providers and patients.

MTM Vision Awareness, Fund Development and Media
The panel addressed what can be done in the entertainment industry to increase awareness of DRD and help raise funds for DRD research. Panelists: Eric Carlson Founder of The Carlson Company, Social Impact & Media, Award Winning Documentary and Film Producer, Brian Gott | Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Industry Relations and Media EIF, Nicole Sexton | President & CEO, EIF, and Monica Oxenreiter | VP of Content, Close Concerns.