Basel, September 24, 2018 - Novartis announced the winners of the 2018 eXcellence in Ophthalmology Vision Award (XOVA) for nonprofit eye health initiatives at EURETINA 2018. The 2018 XOVA winners will help create sustainable eye clinics, train healthcare professionals, fight childhood blindness and increase eye health awareness in rural populations.
Novartis will award grants worth a combined total of $270,000 to the winners. Two of the projects, in India and Ethiopia respectively, will happen in areas listed among the top 20 countries with the highest number of people with visual impairment, including nine million people affected by blindness1.
"Recipients of the XOVA have a real opportunity to improve vision care in areas that frequently lack access to adequate care," said Francesco Bandello, M.D., XOVA judge, Professor and Chairman Department of Ophthalmology, University Vita-Salute, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy. "We trust that these grants will help bring to life truly innovative projects aimed at supporting people with vision impairment or blindness."
This year's XOVA recipients and their winning proposals are as follows:
- John Corboy, on behalf of the Hawaiian Eye Foundation, USA, will develop a long-term eye care system in Micronesia, including a self-sustaining eye clinic.
- Marcia Zondervan, on behalf of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, will offer retinoblastoma training to prevent vision loss in children in Zimbabwe.
- Pradeep Agarwal, on behalf of the C. L. Gupta Eye Institute, Moradabad, India, will introduce teacher training for vision screening of school children in India.
- Howaida Alnour Makki Ahmad, on behalf of the University of Kordofan, Sudan, will develop and enact eye care-specific training modules for general health care professionals in rural areas of Sudan.
- Helen Dimaras, on behalf of the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (University of Toronto), Canada, will execute the first pediatric ophthalmology fellowship program in Ethiopia.
"Globally, more than 80 percent of all vision impairment can be prevented or cured2," said Patrice Matchaba, Global Head, Global Health and Corporate Responsibility of Novartis International. "Funding projects to reimagine healthcare solutions, particularly in developing communities, is critical to reducing the burden of blindness and improving access to eye care worldwide."
Call for 2019 entries
XOVA, now in its eighth year, provides funding for nonprofit, sustainable initiatives aimed at addressing significant unmet needs in ophthalmology and optometry. Novartis is now calling for submissions for the 2019 XOVA from eye care specialists, including trainees and specialist nurses, with the endorsement of their institutions. Applications can be submitted through the XOVA website.
About Novartis in ophthalmology
For more than 70 years, patients, caregivers and healthcare providers worldwide have looked to Novartis for state-of-the-art treatments in eye diseases. We continue to invest in science as well as in strategic alliances to help ensure patients have access to screening, diagnosis, and our eye medicines. Our commitment to vision extends globally across ages, from premature infants to seniors, from rare diseases to those affecting millions, from eye drops to gene therapies. Our aspiration: reimagining eye care to help everyone see possibilities.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as "potential," "can," "will," "plan," "expect," "anticipate," "look forward," "believe," "committed," "investigational," "pipeline," "launch," or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this press release, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political and economic conditions; safety, quality or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people's lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world's top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 1 billion people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 125 000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at http://www.
Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis at http://twitter.
For Novartis multimedia content, please visit http://www.
For questions about the site or required registration, please contact email@example.com
1. Bourne, R. et. al. International Association for the Prevention of Blindenss, Visoin Atlas. GBVI - Country Estimates of Distance-Vision Loss. Available at: http://atlas.
2. World Health Organization. "Blindness and visual impairment." Available at: http://www.
Novartis Media Relations
Central media line: +41 61 324 2200
Novartis Global Media Relations
+41 61 324 7999 (direct)
+41 79 593 4202 (mobile)
Global Head, Ophthalmology Communications
+41 61 696 5894 (direct)
+41 79 576 0723 (mobile)
Novartis Investor Relations
Central investor relations line: +41 61 324 7944
Samir Shah +41 61 324 7944
Pierre-Michel Bringer +41 61 324 1065
Thomas Hungerbuehler +41 61 324 8425
Isabella Zinck +41 61 324 7188
Richard Pulik +1 212 830 2448
Cory Twining +1 212 830 2417