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    Letter to editor: Ophthalmic research funding

     

    Letter to editor: Ophthalmic research funding

    Like so many, I have followed Valeant’s hostile takeover bid for Allergan. I read with interest the recent comments by Scott Whitcup and Cal Roberts in Ophthalmology Times, both individuals who I consider friends and in whom I have great respect, regarding the contrasting philosophies of these two companies.

    I hope, by this letter, to add a different perspective that may add some insight to this dialogue. While we in the field of ophthalmology may not have much clout in this knock-down, drag-out struggle between two large companies, I do feel we have a stake in the outcome.

    More in this issue: An attack on elite education

    By way of clarification, I am Professor, Chair, and CEO of the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah School of Medicine, however, what I express here is solely my own opinion. While I have been a consultant for Allergan in the past, I have no direct financial interest in Allergan or B&L, nor have I been a consultant since January 2010. What I have helped to develop recently is a partnership between Allergan and our Center for Translational Medicine under the able guidance of Dr. Gregory Hageman. The focus of this partnership is the identification of pathways and targets for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of irreversible vision loss worldwide.

    We recruited Greg in 2009 because of his expertise in the field of causal biological processes that lead to the development of macular degeneration. The driving desire on both our parts was to come up with a more efficient and economical way of getting scientific breakthroughs into the market place. Greg had just finished a disappointing experience with a start-up company that had raised a lot of venture capital and is aware of the shortcomings of University scientists trying to innovate using the “start up company model.”

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