Speaker Biography

Michael J O Rourke

President Re-Vana Therapeutics, USA

Title: The Development and Commercialisation of Sustained Release Ocular Drug Delivery Systems

Michael J O Rourke

Michael O'Rourke has over 30 years drug delivery experience across ophthalmology, periodontal and pulmonary markets in sales, marketing, product launch, strategy development and global commercialization. In 2009 he founded Scotia Vision, a specialized ophthalmic consulting company with extensive expertise in global ocular drug delivery commercial and product development strategies. Career experience includes senior positions with several global leading organizations and start-ups, including 3M, Alza, Chiron Vision, Bausch + Lomb, GrayBug and Re-Vana Therapeutics. His unique global ocular drug delivery experience includes launching the world’s first intra ocular drug delivery technology in Europe, Vitrasert, and the world’s second, Retisert, in the USA. He’s managed 28 brands, led 13 product launches, structured/negotiated 12 strategic business deals and has been a team member in 18 device/drug approvals. Michael is from Glasgow Scotland but is now based in Tampa Florida. He was recently elected into the Global Scot "Hall of Fame”, for supporting and advising Scottish start ups and existing organisations in the Life Sciences and other sectors including music with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.


The global ophthalmic pharmaceutical industry is estimated to reach $29 billion by 2022 with a growing elderly population and the increasing incidence of diabetic eye disease, due in part to increasing obesity rates in both adults and children. The number of people visually impaired in the world is approx. 295 million, with at least 39 million blind and 256 million having low vision. 65% of people visually impaired and 82% of all blind are 50 years and older. There is urgent need to develop new therapeutics and ocular drug delivery systems, providing controlled release for 4-6 months or longer for the treatment of chronic and blinding eye diseases. These will increase patient' s and doctor' s convenience by reducing the dosing frequency including the ability to minimize frequent intra vitreal injections for chronic conditions of the retina. Currently there are only 4 sustained release ocular drug delivery systems ever approved worldwide, treating blinding eye diseases. There is a significant need for both new delivery systems and therapeutics for both small and large molecules. This presentation will cover the development of systems to date, discuss new technologies under current development, the challenges to overcome and how they can ultimately successfully commercialized.