Allergan honored with Glaucoma Research Foundation’s Catalyst Award

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Glaucoma Research Foundation’s Catalyst Award was presented to Ramin Valian of Allergan, an AbbVie Company in recognition of Allergan’s commitment to developing innovative treatments to advance glaucoma care.

This is the second time Allergan has been honored with the Catalyst Award, making it the first company to receive the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s highest honor twice.

Allergan CEO David E. I. Pyott was the recipient in 2006. 

“I am honored to be the recipient of this year’s Catalyst Award,” said Mr Valian as he accepted the award at the 2021 Annual Gala. “Throughout my career at Allergan, it has been my privilege to work alongside the Glaucoma Research Foundation. It was 15 years ago that Allergan CEO David Pyott received a Catalyst Award and while I am proud to carry on the legacy of our company and receive this award on Allergan’s behalf, I am ever more proud of the partnership between Allergan and Glaucoma Research Foundation that has flourished and will continue to grow in the years to come.”

Allergan and Glaucoma Research Foundation have a long-standing partnership, spanning nearly 35 years.

“No one organization has the key to solving all the challenges faced by people with glaucoma and collaboration between multiple organizations can bring together different ideas or best practices that can become meaningful resources,” said Mr Valian in an interview with Ophthalmology 360. “Additionally, by joining together with advocacy organizations, like Glaucoma Research Foundation, we can ensure that the patient voice is heard and applied to the work we do every day.”

Glaucoma Research Foundation chose to honor Allergan because of this continuous commitment to patients.

“Allergan is constantly looking for ways to transform new ideas into new solutions, to find better pathways for glaucoma treatment to ensure safety, efficacy, and affordable options for patients,” said Dr Andrew Iwach, MD, Board Chair for Glaucoma Research Foundation as he presented the award to Mr Valian. “I have been a glaucoma specialist for more than 30 years and I am so grateful for Allergan’s focus on the unmet needs of our patients and this has resulted in new ways that we can protect their vision and transform their lives.” 

In March 2020, Allergan’s Durysta (bimatoprost implant) was the first biodegradable sustained-release implant for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Durysta is considered a breakthrough therapy for many in the glaucoma community where nonadherence to medications and difficulty with topical drops is a common issue. 

In addition to new therapies and treatments, Allergan has also taken on several initiatives to enhance patient education and support, including the My Glaucoma campaign in 2019. My Glaucoma provides a platform for people living with glaucoma and their caregivers to learn about this disease, watch patient stories, and access resources.

“Glaucoma remains the leading cause of irreversible blindness and impacts millions of people around the world. But even with advancements in surgery and medicine, too many people still go blind as a result of this disease,” he said. “Through partnerships with Glaucoma Research Foundation and talking to people living with glaucoma, we’ve come to understand that there is not a one size fits all approach to treating this disease. The evolution of science and innovation has provided us the ability to think differently about how we are caring for people living with glaucoma and provide alternate solutions that fit a person’s lifestyle to ultimately try to prevent them from losing their sight.”

Mr Valian said that Allergan is committed to building upon its 70-year history in eye care—specifically glaucoma—and is excited for the future where they hope to redefine expectations in glaucoma.

“When I think back to how far we’ve come in glaucoma treatment over the past few decades, I am confident that the glaucoma community can continue to innovate and work towards a future with less blindness,” he said.

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