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Article Date: 5/1/2011

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MGD Workshop Report
NEWS spectrum

MGD Workshop Report

The Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) has reported the conclusions and recommendations of the International Workshop on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).

“This report will have a significant impact on the diagnosis and treatment of lid disease and evaporative dry eye. It is intended to be a stimulus for future MGD research that will benefit the clinical care of patients around the world for years to come,” said Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, associate professor, Ohio State University and chair of the MGD Workshop Steering Committee.

The Report was published by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in a special issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. A downloadable version is available at www.TearFilm.org.

More information about the MGD Report is available in this month's Dry Eye Dx and Tx column. A summary of the full report is also included in this issue.

The MGD workshop was funded by Laboratoires Théa, Pfizer, Inspire, Bausch + Lomb, TRB Chemedica, Santen Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Alcon, Johnson & Johnson, Advanced Vision Research, Senju, Ciba Vision, and Sooft Italia.

Expanded Indications for Lagado Materials

Menicon Co., Ltd. has announced that Lagado Corporation's Tyro (hofocon A) and Onsi (onsifocon A) GP materials have received an expanded indication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for managing irregular corneal conditions (in non-diseased eyes) for keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, post-penetrating keratoplasty, post-radial keratotomy, and post-LASIK surgery.

Onsi has a Dk of 56 and superior hydrophilic surfaces, according to the company. Tyro has a Dk of 97 and is supplied in standard as well as large-diameter blanks of 17mm, 21mm, and 25mm.

“Both materials have a long and excellent track record,” said Jonathan Jacobson, general manager, Global Strategy and Operations for Menicon. “With the expanded approval we look forward to seeing growth with Tyro which is an especially superb choice for specialty large-diameter and scleral lens designs.”

Novartis and Alcon Complete Merger

Novartis has completed the merger of Alcon, Inc. into Novartis. The completion of the merger follows the Alcon and Novartis shareholders' approval of the merger at their respective meetings, as well as the proposed capital increase at the Novartis Extraordinary Shareholder Meeting and the subsequent entry of the merger into the commercial registry.

The newly formed Alcon business becomes the second largest division of Novartis, leveraging its collective eyecare product portfolio and expertise. The division will be headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas with operations in 75 countries.

When the new commercial model is implemented in the second half of 2011, the Alcon business will align as follows:

• The Surgical business will continue to provide equipment, instruments, disposable products, and intraocular lenses for surgical procedures that address cataracts, vitreoretinal conditions, glaucoma, and refractive errors.
• The Pharmaceutical business will combine Alcon's broad range of pharmaceuticals with selected products from Novartis Ophthalmics (excluding Lucentis). The Pharmaceutical business will also oversee the line of professionally driven over-the-counter brands in artificial tears and ocular vitamins.
• The Vision Care business combines the Ciba Vision portfolio of lenses and lens care products with Alcon's market-leading contact lens solution portfolio.

Vistakon Medical Affairs Appointments

Vistakon has announced two appointments in its Medical Affairs Division.

W. Lee Ball, OD, FAAO, was named associate director and will be responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for Medical Affairs. For the past year, he has served as part of the company's Professional Affairs Consultant (PAC) team. Before joining Vistakon, Dr. Ball was in private practice in Boston and is an adjunct clinical faculty member at the New England College of Optometry. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including the National Eye Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Better Vision Institute.

Janelle Routhier, OD, FAAO, was named manager, Medical Affairs and will be responsible for clinical and technical aspects of Acuvue contact lenses. Dr. Routhier recently focused on complex specialty contact lens fitting and soft and GP custom lens design. Before joining Vistakon, she was adjunct clinical faculty at the Michigan College of Optometry and in optometric practice.

Drs. Ball and Routhier will report to Sheila Hickson-Curran, BSc (Hons), MCOptom, FAAO, director, Medical Affairs.

Merck to Acquire Inspire

Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, and Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck will acquire Inspire, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing ophthalmic products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck, through a subsidiary, will commence a tender offer for all outstanding common stock of Inspire at a price of $5.00 per share in cash, a 26 percent premium to the closing price of Inspire's common stock on April 4, 2011. The transaction has a total cash value of approximately $430 million. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, and Inspire's board recommended that the company's shareholders tender their shares pursuant to the tender offer. In addition, Warburg Pincus Private Equity IX, L.P., which owns approximately 28 percent of the outstanding shares of Inspire, has agreed to tender all of its shares into the offer.

“This acquisition combines the talented commercialization organization at Inspire with the excellent team already in place at Merck thereby strengthening our ophthalmology business and positioning us for future growth with an expanded portfolio,” said Beverly Lybrand, senior vice president and general manager, neuroscience and ophthalmology, Merck.

“As one of the world's leading healthcare companies, Merck is the ideal partner to enhance the long-term potential of Inspire's portfolio of ophthalmic assets,” said Adrian Adams, president and CEO of Inspire.

The closing of the tender offer will be subject to certain conditions, including the tender of a number of Inspire shares that, together with shares owned by Merck, represent at least a majority of the total number of Inspire's outstanding shares (assuming the exercise of all options and vesting of restricted stock units), the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, and other customary conditions. Upon the completion of the tender offer, Merck will acquire all remaining shares through a second-step merger.

For the Record
In the April 2011 article “Specialty Contact Lens Update,” by Gretchyn M. Bailey, NCLC, FAAO, the sidebar titled, “Ten Billing and Coding Tips for Specialty Contact Lens Practice,” Tip #8 should have listed 92070 rather than 92319 as the code for bandage lenses.

Free Educational Program Offered to ODs
■ The Vision Care Institute, LLC (TVCI) today launched a new educational program for practicing optometrists. The one-day course offers practicing optometrists updates on the latest in contact lens research, training on new technologies, as well as a review of emerging trends and best practices.
TVCI will present the free course at its headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., and dates include May 12 to May 13, May 19 to May 20, June 2 to June 3, June 9 to June 10, and Sept. 22 to Sept. 23. Space is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. For more information and/or to register contact your Vistakon sales representative or email theinstitute@vcius.jnj.com.
“Eyecare professionals, no matter how successful, must continue to grow at every stage of their career,” says Walter West, OD, FAAO, program director, The Vision Care Institute. “The goal of The Vision Care Institute is to facilitate educational opportunities and supplement doctors' expertise to enhance their success.”

Contact Lens Pocket Guide
The GP Lens Institute (GPLI) now offers the Contact Lens Clinical Pearls Pocket Guide, a valuable resource to all eyecare practitioners who fit contact lenses, whether or not they currently fit GP lenses. This 24-page resource offers concise clinical pearls pertaining to the fitting of spherical GP, soft toric, GP back surface and bitoric, soft and GP multifocal, orthokeratology, keratoconus, and scleral lens designs. The guide may be downloaded at www.gpli.info/pdf/pearl-fitting-guide.pdf or the pamphlet can be ordered at www.gpli.info.

CooperVision Launches Redesigned Site
CooperVision has unveiled a redesigned U.S. Web site at www.CooperVision.com. Based on research with eyecare practitioners (ECPs), the new site creates a more personalized experience for ECPs after they log in. The site showcases tools for marketing and managing their practice, including personalized information featuring top CooperVision products, trial lenses available, and the status of their product banks; easy access to product information, fitting tips and tools, and marketing support; and automatic entry of practice locations into a new ECP locator tool for patients. For wearers the site offers a Lens Finder that provides a lens recommendation based on the wearer's lifestyle that they can bring to their ECP to discuss the best lens for them as well as a number of rebates, free trial offers, and the doctor locator.

INDUSTRY BRIEFS
TruForm Optics Inc. recently relocated from Euless, Texas to new headquarters in Bedford, Texas. TruForm says that the new space will allow the company to accommodate its growing line of specialty GP lens designs, maintain its presence in the Fort Worth/Dallas area, and continue to expand its customer base while retaining the excellent customer service and personal touch expected from TruForm.
GP Specialists has consolidated its laboratory operations into the former American Biocurve, Inc. facility in San Diego, Calif. The move was planned after GP Specialists acquired the business of American Biocurve in January. The company reports that the consolidated lab is fully operational and no disruption of business with existing customers is anticipated as a result of the consolidation.
Ciba Vision has launched a television advertising campaign to promote the Dailies contact lens brand. The campaign features a 15-second television commercial that began airing nationally in early April. The new advertisement highlights the advantages of “a new lens experience every day, all day with Dailies.” The campaign is a part of Ciba's ongoing commitment to eyecare practitioners, their patients, and the importance of eye health.
Menicon Singapore, a subsidiary of Menicon Co., Ltd., has opened its new R&D and manufacturing facility. The US $97 million, 6,000-square-meter facility is the company's first manufacturing facility in the world producing daily disposable contact lenses and will also house Menicon's first R&D center in Asia outside Japan.
SynergEyes, Inc. has announced that it will continue to be a major sponsor of the National Keratoconus Foundation (NKCF). As part of the company's sponsorship of the NKCF, the ClearKone lens will be featured in two upcoming issues of the NKCF newsletter, and SynergEyes will sponsor three patient education seminars to continue providing pertinent information to potential patient candidates.
Bausch + Lomb (B+L) and Technolas Perfect Vision GmbH (TPV) have announced an agreement in principle to globally distribute the first femtosecond laser capable of performing both cataract and refractive procedures on one platform. Under the arrangement, TPV will develop and manufacture its femtosecond cataract and refractive laser system from its facilities in Munich, Germany. B+L Surgical will leverage its cataract expertise and commercial capabilities to globally distribute TPV's femtosecond laser.
Global EyeVentures, LLC, recently announced that its EyeXam iPhone application exceeded one million downloads and is now available for iPad. EyeXam features a self-guided, patent-pending method for assessing one's own visual acuity at distance and near, color vision plates, an Amsler grid, and information about eyecare products.
CooperVision has announced that it will become a Gold Global Sponsor of Optometry Giving Sight. CooperVision is already a Silver National Sponsor in Australia, and has made contributions in other parts of the world.


Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: May 2011

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