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Diagnose Early, Stop Progression, Rehabilitate Vision

The new mantra of keratoconic care is: Diagnose early, Stop progression, Rehabilitate vision. Currently, in the stop progression category, there is only 1 FDA approved treatment to stop progression of keratoconus, corneal crosslinking (CXL). News of a potential new treatment would offer another option to stop progression.

In September 2017, a press release regarding the award of an SBIR grant to investigate a topical treatment for keratoconus hit the internet. “iVeena is pleased to receive a total of $450K in Federal Government grants to advance its portfolio programs,” said Gerald Simmons, CEO. “$225K is an NIH grant for its Keratoconus Orphan Drug Candidate. IVMED-80 is the first eye-drop, non-surgical, non-laser treatment for medical crosslinking of the cornea.”

Since the press release, many patients with Keratoconus and many doctors want a better understanding of the treatment and the timeline for its availability. To better understand the treatment, it’s important to understand the SBIR program.

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John Gelles
Dr. Gelles is the director of the specialty contact lens division at the Cornea and Laser Eye Institute-Hersh Vision Group and the CLEI Center for Keratoconus in Teaneck, New Jersey. Dr. Gelles’ clinical work is dedicated exclusively to specialty contact lenses and surgical co-management with focus on corneal disease (emphasis in keratoconus), ocular surface disease, and post-surgical corneal conditions. Dr. Gelles is also the Chief Emerging Technology Officer at EyeCareLive, where his work involves identifying and developing technologies to be incorporated into the companies eyecare specific telemedicine platforms, which are purpose-built by eyecare professionals for eyecare professionals to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and improve clinical outcomes. He is a Fellow in the International Academy of Orthokeratology, a Fellow of the Contact Lens Society of America, and a Fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and is an adjunct clinical instructor for State University of New York College of Optometry and New England College of Optometry. Additionally, he is an optometric consultant, active in clinical research, and is involved in multiple academies, societies, and associations.