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Article Date: 1/1/2013

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News Spectrum

NEWS spectrum

B+L on the Market

Bloomberg recently reported that Warburg Pincus LLC hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) to explore the sale of Bausch + Lomb Inc (B+L). According to Bloomberg, the information came from two people with knowledge of the matter, one of whom said that Warburg may seek at least $10 billion for the business. The asset may fetch only as much as $8 billion, said another person familiar with the deliberations. Bloomberg stated that the commenters asked not to be named because the process is confidential.

As we reported in 2007 and 2008, B+L entered into a definitive merger agreement with affiliates of Warburg Pincus on May 16, 2007 in a transaction valued at approximately $4.5 billion, including approximately $830 million of debt. Advanced Medical Optics, now Abbott Medical Optics, entered the bid process, but withdrew its offer to purchase B+L on Aug. 1, 2007. Warburg Pincus completed the acquisition of B+L in the fourth quarter 2007. The agreement was entered into not long after the worldwide recall of B+L’s ReNu with MoistureLoc due to an association with Fusarium keratitis.

Bloomberg reported that in December Goldman contacted healthcare companies such as Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Merck & Co., one person said. Other companies, such as Abbott Laboratories, also will be contacted, according to that person. Bloomberg reported that Warburg Pincus had talked to financial advisers about taking Bausch + Lomb public, the person said. The New York-based private-equity firm chose Goldman Sachs to run a limited sales process, and if a buyer can’t be found Warburg Pincus may pursue an initial public offering, according to the person.

Adam Grossberg, vice president of Global Communications & Investor Relations for B+L, said, “Bausch + Lomb is regularly contacted by companies with strategic interest in our company, and we continue to aspire to a return to the public markets in the future. However, our focus remains on building the best global eye health company and therefore won’t comment further.”

Alden Offers Online NovaKone Certification

NovaKone (Alden Optical) certification is now available online, and is the first of the company’s “Alden On-Demand Series.” NovaKone online certification, available at www.aldenoptical.com/novakone, comprises streaming NovaKone fitting training as well as online certification.

The company will continue to offer NovaKone fitting training during regularly scheduled live webinars as well as one-on-one training at practitioners’ convenience and expects Alden On-Demand to supplement its other personal learning opportunities. For more, contact Maggie Walsh, Sr. Product Specialist at mwalsh@aldenoptical.com.

INDUSTRY BRIEFS

Sam Loshaek, PhD, who in his career worked for Wesley-Jessen Corporation (WJ) and Borden Chemical and held at least 40 patents, died Nov. 7 at his home in Florida. He was 88. Loshaek was recruited by WJ to head Research and Development. It was there that he and his team developed natural looking eye-color-changing contact lenses. Unlike prior tinted lenses, these lenses more closely resembled the variations in the iris for a more natural look. The lenses positioned WJ for significant growth and a stronger position in the market.

C&E Vision Services has announced its January 2013 COPE-approved Ocular Symposium highlighting Glaucoma. The seminar will be held on Jan. 18th, 2013 at the Doubletree Hotel in Orange California. Courses include The Role of Imaging in Building Your Glaucoma Practice, Progression in Glaucoma, A Guide to the Clinical Management of Glaucoma, and Secondary Glaucoma. More information about the Jan. 18 seminar can be found at www.cevision.com/seminars.details.

Vision Source recently announced the retirement of Tracy Moody effective Dec. 31, 2012. Moody has held various positions within the organization since 2000, including the most recent position of president and chief growth officer. A search for Moody’s replacement was ongoing at press time. Prior to his employment at Vision Source, Moody was the director of Professional Relations at Alcon Laboratories. He joined Vision Source as the VP of Growth and Development in 2000 and became the Sr. VP of Growth and Development before taking the role of COO, then president and chief growth officer. Moody will continue to have a significant ownership stake and connection to the organization.

Prevent Blindness America has chosen Jim Mazzo, senior vice president, Abbott, and president, Abbott Medical Optics, as the recipient of its 2013 Person of Vision Award. The award will be presented to Mazzo at the PBA Person of Vision Dinner on Feb. 2, 2013 in Newport Beach, Calif. The PBA Person of Vision Award recognizes an individual or corporation for outstanding leadership and dedication in the field of vision and eye health. Mazzo is being recognized by PBA for his career accomplishments and leadership in the eye health and eyecare industry, which includes senior executive-level positions at both AMO and Allergan.

Eleven Biotherapeutics has initiated a Phase 1b clinical trial to evaluate EBI-005, its lead ophthalmic protein product, in patients who have dry eye disease. Eleven is rapidly advancing EBI-005, a rationally-designed topical protein that inhibits the IL-1 (Interleukin-1) receptor to treat ocular surface inflammatory disorders. The Phase 1b clinical study is expected to complete in the first half of 2013 and follows the successful conclusion of the Phase 1a study of EBI-005. Eleven says that previous proof-of-concept clinical studies and preclinical studies indicate that EBI-005 is generally safe and well-tolerated and demonstrated significant improvement in both signs and symptoms of dry eye disease.

Academy 2013 Call for Courses

The Lectures and Workshops Committee of the American Academy of Optometry invites the submission of course proposals for Academy 2013 Seattle, to be held Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 through Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. The Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting traditionally offers more than 300 hours of continuing education credit for optometrists, vision scientists, and other professionals.

The course submission window will be open from Jan. 1 through Feb. 1, 2013. Each applicant can submit up to three course proposals for consideration by the Lectures and Workshops Committee. In addition to three course proposals, applicants can submit cases for consideration for Grand Rounds sessions.

Course selection will be made by the Lectures and Workshops Committee based on topical interest, outline content, and course originality within mainline optometric education and practice. Notification of course selections will be provided to all applicants by March 31, 2013.

Accepted presenters will receive a teaching stipend and reduced registration fees for Academy 2013 Seattle.

For more information and full submission guidelines, visit www.aaopt.org/meetings/academy2013/LWSubmission. For questions related to the submission process, please contact Melissa Leuschel at (321) 710-3953 or by email at MelissaL@aaoptom.org.

SynergEyes Launches Patient Hotline

SynergEyes has launched a Duette Patient Hotline to answer patients’ questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. SynergEyes believes this program will ensure that patients have a positive lens-wearing experience and successful outcomes.

SynergEyes says that the Duette Patient Hotline is staffed by certified contact lens fitters who are available around the clock. Patients may call the hotline toll free at 855.5.Duette with questions regarding lens application, lens removal, lens care, or any other lens-related topic. Their call will be answered immediately or returned within 30 minutes of a voicemail message. The patient’s eyecare professional will be notified of any patient contact via e-mail within 24 hours of the call.

The company stated that it created the Duette Patient Hotline as a resource for achieving the highest success rate possible and delighting patients without requiring additional effort on the part of the practice.

BCLA Events Tackle CL Topics

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) shared highlights of its November Pioneers conference and announced the theme of its 2013 exhibition.

In a special panel discussion in November, the leaders of the Association of Optometrists, Association of British Dispensing Opticians, Optical Confederation, College of Optometrists, and BCLA fielded questions from a 200-strong audience of BCLA members about the lens market and profession.

Participants asked the panel about online contact lens purchases and regulatory issues. Other issues raised during the discussion were whether keratometers were still relevant in practice, how to grow independent prescribing, and whether today’s undergraduate courses offered enough contact lens fitting and business tuition.

Professor Fiona Stapleton addressed patient and practitioner compliance in relation to microbial contamination of contact lens storage cases. Tim Bowden paid tribute to those contact lens pioneers who had passed away during 2012.

The BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition will be held from June 6 to 9, 2013 at Manchester Central, U.K., with the theme “Inspiring for the future.” New in 2013 are a dedicated business session and peer discussion groups to help delegates meet the requirements of the enhanced CET scheme.

Judith Morris (UK), the recipient of the 2013 BCLA Medal, will present “Two Steps forward, one step back.” Dr Mitra Tavakoli (UK) will present the Irving Fatt Memorial Lecture, “Corneal confocal microscopy: beyond corneal defects. Translational studies in diabetes and neurology.”

Keynote speakers include Dr. Florence Malet (France), “Management of keratoconus”; Associate Professor Eric Papas (Australia), “Through my aching eyes: reflections on the perennial problem of contact lens discomfort”; and Professor Brian Tighe (UK), “Surface properties and ocular compatibility of silicone hydrogels.”

The BCLA also announced that Chris Kerr is stepping down as Conference Scientific Programme Consultant (CPC) and is accepting applications for the position. The BCLA CPC will have a key role in planning the four-day Clinical Conference program around a new theme each year, recruiting keynote speakers and presenters. The closing date for applications is Jan. 21. For more information visit bcla.org.uk.

Conference registration is now open. An early bird discount will apply to those who book before March 8, 2013, with greater discounts available for BCLA members of two years’ standing or more. Visit www.bcla.org.uk for the latest details of the 2013 Clinical Conference and Exhibition.

B+L Redesigns Renu Cap
Renu now offers an overseal snap on the cap that provides an auditory signal that the cap is closed to avoid an accidental unclosed cap. The new cap design joins Bausch + Lomb’s other packaging innovations including the Renu clear bottle design and the easier-to-open tamper evident seal.


Contact Lens Spectrum, Volume: 28 , Issue: January 2013, page(s): 2 3 5

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