Foundation News

Jan 31, 2019

Sixth Annual Retinal Cell and Gene Therapy Innovation Summit

The Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), a national nonprofit focused on funding cutting-edge retinal disease research, and the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University will co-host the sixth annual Retinal Cell and Gene Therapy Innovation Summit in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Friday, April 26, 2019. The summit takes place just prior to the 2019 annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

At the summit, representatives from biotech and pharma industries will come together with members of the physician and scientist communities to discuss rapidly emerging ocular gene, cell and novel therapies and strategize how to move the most advanced retinal disease therapy options forward. The summit features presentations by leading retinal disease experts on potential gene and stem-cell therapies and how best to deliver them to patients. In this setting, summit attendees discuss progress being made in the field and how to use initial successes to move toward larger scale trials.

“The purpose of the Summit is to create visibility for the many treatment therapy projects based on a gene or cell therapy approaches that are in or entering the clinic,” said Stephen Rose, FFB chief science officer. “These approaches, many of which were initiated or supported with funding from FFB, hold strong promise for the treatment of diseases of the retina, such as age-related macular degeneration or retinal dystrophies. This progress is occurring due to the expertise and collaboration of companies, clinicians, and scientists, many of whom will be in attendance at the summit.”

Summit registration is open to academic, physician, biotech and pharmaceutical representatives.  For registration and additional information, please visit

Partner with FFB to Help Advance Retinal Cell and Gene Therapies

The summit provides an ideal opportunity for companies interested in highlighting their products, services, and/or research to meet key opinion leaders and regulators in the field of cell and gene therapy development for inherited retinal degenerative diseases. The Foundation is offering partnership opportunities to help underwrite the cost of this important summit at various levels of visibility for your company.

Depending on the level of support, visibility is available to your company through pre-event promotions and recognition during the summit. Pre-event recognition may include being recognized on the summit website and through emails announcing the summit (emails will be sent to 1,000 email addresses). Onsite visibility may include verbal thanks from the podium, opportunities to briefly address attendees, and recognition in the conference program, signage, and slides. Summit partners also receive one or more registrations depending on the level of support. More than 200 researchers and industry leaders are expected to attend the summit. To become a summit partner or for additional details on partnership opportunities, please contact Michele Crosby at or 410-423-0639.

One exclusive partnership is available to underwrite the special evening reception that follows the day of summit programming. In addition to the partnership benefits described above, the exclusive reception partnership includes having an article about your company’s research featured on the Foundation’s Eye on the Cure blog (which had more than 350,000 views last year), a post-conference email blast to Summit registration list, a branded email invitation announcement, the opportunity to name a signature reception beverage, and many other benefits. 

The Foundation Fighting Blindness was established in 1971. It has since raised more than $725 million for research aimed at preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by retinal degenerative diseases. In excess of 10 million Americans, and millions more worldwide, experience vision loss due to retinal degeneration. Through its support of focused and innovative science, the Foundation drives the research that has and will continue to provide treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome, and other retinal diseases.

The Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is a world-recognized academic eye center eliminating blindness through education, innovation, and community service. Casey is one of the leading institutions for vision research in the nation, known for developing and utilizing the very latest treatments and technologies. It is a global leader in ophthalmic imaging and in clinical trials related to eye disease. From groundbreaking research and education to specialty care in genetics, retina, glaucoma, inflammatory eye disease, and refractive and plastic surgery, Casey focuses on providing the best possible eye health in its clinics and out in the community.