GSLS Educates Hundreds
Nearly 500 attendees from 29 countries attended the 2014 Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS), a three-and-a-half day conference presented by Contact Lens Spectrum. The meeting focuses on the latest techniques and technologies for the successful management of ocular conditions using today’s specialty contact lenses.
This year’s GSLS featured a comprehensive education program from an international faculty, as well as updates on the latest innovations from 48 exhibiting companies. The meeting included information for vision care professionals in all disciplines and offered COPE, NCLE, and JCAHPO continuing education credits.
A pre-conference Fundamentals program offered an introduction to key fitting concepts and patient management tips for new contact lens practitioners or served as refresher courses for those more experienced. This year’s Fundamentals topics covered myopia control, billing and coding for specialty lenses, the aging eye, and scleral lens fitting.
For the Record
In “Contact Lenses 2013” by Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, in the January 2014 issue, the change data in Tables 2 and 3 each correctly represented their source data; however, the ABB Concise change data were based on the sales volume percentage change while the GfK data reported the share point change. We apologize for any confusion that may have resulted by pairing two different types of change-from-previous-year information in these tables.
Key topics of the main conference included scleral lens fitting and troubleshooting, analyzing ocular shape, custom soft lenses, a report on the TFOS International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort, managing post-graft patients, and more.
Donald R. Korb, OD, FAAO, gave the GSLS Award of Excellence Lecture, which is presented by an individual whose lifetime achievements and contributions have advanced the field of contact lenses. He spoke on “The Odyssey of Contact Lens Discomfort—The Journey to Resolution.” Dr. Korb noted that to resolve contact lens discomfort, meibomian gland functionality needs to be improved, as do lens materials to help better mimic a normal tear film.
The 2014 GSLS meeting also included a variety of free papers as well as both a poster and a photo contest. Nearly 70 clinical and scientific posters were submitted. Winners of the 2014 poster awards in the Clinical category were: 1) A Proposed Mechanism for Scleral Lens Induced Conjunctival Prolapse by Maria Walker, OD, et al and 2) Livin’ on the Edge Profile by Josh Lotoczky, OD, FAAO, et al. Winners in the Research category were: 1) Midday Visual Fogging in Scleral Lens Wearers: Does Fit Matter? by Norman E. Leach, OD, MS, et al and 2) Scleral Lens Clearance Assessment with Biomicroscopy by Debby Yeung, OD, et al.
The photo contest winners were 1) Profile View of the Cornea with Fluorescein by Luciano Bastos, 2) Conjunctival Tenting at the Limbus Under a Scleral Lens by Stephen P. Byrnes, OD, FAAO, and 3) Secondary Ectasia After Corneal Graft Fitted with Semi-Scleral Lens by Dr. Tomas Pförtner. Winning photos will appear on the cover of the April issue of Contact Lens Spectrum, which will also include a full-length feature article on the meeting.
The 2015 GSLS will take place January 22 to 25 at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Intacs Now Available Through Oasis Medical
In an exclusive sales and distribution agreement with Spain-based AJL Ophthalmic, S.A., Oasis Medical Inc. will provide Intacs corneal implants for the treatment of keratoconus and FDA-approved for the treatment of myopia. According to the company, Intacs is a corneal implant option that restores the natural shape of the cornea, improving patients’ vision and potentially avoiding corneal transplants.
In January 2013, AJL Ophthalmic announced the acquisition of Addition Technologies, which will continue the manufacturing and remain the FDA-approved Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) holder of the device.
SynergEyes Launches Concierge Service
SynergEyes has launched a new service to help ensure practitioners’ success with the company’s Duette lenses. SynergEyes’ “Concierge Service” uses online technology to not only train practitioners and their staff in identifying candidates and fitting them with Duette lenses, but to also virtually attend patient dispensing. The program is available to all practices placing their first Duette order, and there is no charge to take advantage of the service.
In addition to three Skype or FaceTime training sessions, the service includes assistance with the initial lens orders, support before and after the first few patient visits, and a telephone hotline.
The SynergEyes consultation team remains ready to provide clinical support at the completion of the “Concierge Service.” Visit www.SynergEyes.com.
J&J Appoints Head of Professional Affairs
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc., has appointed Millicent Knight, OD, to the role of head of Professional Affairs, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, North America. In this role, Dr. Knight will lead the development and deployment of the company’s professional strategy across the United States and Canada. She will also direct its professional and education platform through The Vision Care Institute LLC and other educational outreach programs. Dr. Knight will begin her new role effective April 7, 2014.
Dr. Knight brings 25 years of experience in multiple areas of optometry, including contact lenses, contact lens research, ocular disease management, and integrative eye and systemic care to the position.
Dr. Knight has consulted for numerous eyecare and healthcare companies, conducted contact lens and care solution clinical trials, and lectured on contact lenses, leadership, cultural sensitivity, eye and systemic health, and business and entrepreneurship. She has served as an instructor at The Vision Care Institute and as a professional affairs consultant for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.
Dr. Knight is a member of many organizations including the American Optometric Association and National Optometric Association. She has served on the board of trustees of Illinois College of Optometry, the National Advisory Eye Council, and the National Eye Institute.
Dr. Knight was selected as optometrist of the year by the National Optometric Association in 1999 and by the Illinois Optometric Association in 2012.
WellPoint to Divest 1-800
WellPoint signed a definitive agreement to sell its online contact lens retail subsidiary 1-800 Contacts to private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners. Additionally, the company has entered into an asset-purchase agreement for glasses.com and its virtual try-on technology with Luxottica. Each agreement is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. According to WellPoint, it plans to focus on its core growth opportunities in its commercial and government business segments.
OPRI Completes Rejuvenation Plan
Optical Polymer Research Inc. (OPRI) recently completed its rejuvenation plan and the launch of the company’s new manufacturing plant in Mesa, Ariz. OPRI’s mission is to develop and deliver high-quality and innovative contact lens polymers to custom finishing laboratories, eyecare providers, and their patients. OPRI offers enhanced, FDA-approved, technology in the company’s polymers. Secondarily, OPRI will be engaged in developing optical polymers for use beyond of contact lenses.
OPRI offers one-on-one manufacturing consultations to help customers improve lens yields, avoid unnecessary costs, and function more efficiently. Also, OPRI offers turnkey systems in the areas of plasma surface cleaning treatment, lens laser marking, specialized GP design, and hydrogel lens manufacturing and sterilization.
Hank Stute and Krist Jani lead OPRI’s management team. Mr. Stute has more than 30 years of entrepreneurial product and manufacturing achievements in medical devices and consumer products. Mr. Jani has 30 years of marketing, sales, domestic, and international business development experience within the ophthalmic marketplace to OPRI. Visit OPRI at www.OPRI.net.
Paragon Reorganizes Management Team
■ Paragon Vision Sciences Inc. announced a major reorganization and a new management team, effective immediately, intended to fundamentally reorganize the company’s corneal reshaping, specialty GP, and lab channel businesses. The company will also accelerate the expansion of Paragon CRT and other innovative products and services by strategic integration within countries around the world.
At the heart of the reorganization is the formation of a management team led by Joe Sicari, president and CEO of Paragon, that includes: Natalie Stevens, vice president, chief financial officer; Goretty Alonso-Amigo, PhD, vice president, Science and Technology; Pam Scoggins, vice president, Global Marketing; Josh Cummings, director, Ocular Device Production; Greg Kline, senior vice president, Sales and New Business Development, North and Latin America; Rich Jeffries, vice president, Sales and New Business Development, Western U.S. and Asia/Pacific; Rafael Martinez, vice president, Sales and New Business Development, Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Ken Kopp, director, Clinical and Professional Services.
■ Bausch + Lomb has introduced the MoRoCCo VA application, which is designed to help eyecare professionals (ECPs) select the correct KeraSoft IC lens for patients who have keratoconus and other cornea irregularities. The app allows ECPs to directly enter data during each KeraSoft IC lens fitting assessment. It then provides instantaneous feed-back as to whether the fit is optimal or sub-optimal, and offers advice on logical next steps. Other benefits of the app include real-time animations of lens behavior, viewing the fitting history for each patient at-a-glance, emailing lens orders to authorized laboratories, requesting technical support, and more. The browser-based app is available at no cost and can be used on PCs, smart phones, tablets, or other mobile devices. The app can be downloaded from http://kerasoftic.com/en/eye-care-professional/moroccoapp/.
■ Alden Optical has announced that industry veteran Bernie Hallatt has joined the company to lead QA and Regulatory functions. Mr. Hallatt was most recently director of Manufacturing Operations at CooperVision. In his 34 years in the contact lens industry, Mr. Hallatt successfully led QA, regulatory, and manufacturing teams. Mr. Hallatt assumes full responsibility for Alden Optical’s Quality System and Regulatory Affairs department.
■ Sequenom Laboratories and Nicox have entered into an agreement for the RetnaGene AMD Test. Under the terms of the agreement, Sequenom Laboratories will grant Nicox exclusive rights to promote the RetnaGene AMD laboratory-developed test to eyecare practitioners in North America (United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico) and co-exclusive rights toward specialized retina physicians. Sequenom Labora-tories will provide the sample collection materials and will perform the testing in its CLIA-certified laboratory at an agreed price to Nicox. The agreement also grants Nicox exclusive rights to an additional AMD laboratory-developed test currently in late-stage development and as well an option on further laboratory-developed tests developed by Sequenom Laboratories that are applicable in the ophthalmic space.
■ The Optometric Society is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for membership. The Optometric Society is being founded to represent the interests of optometrists. The organization states that optometry will benefit from a diverse membership that is able to discuss issues facing the industry in a professional and positive manner. The Optometric Society is an optometrist-only professional association formed by and representing the interests of optometrists throughout the United States. Additional information, as well as a link to join, is available at www.theoptometricsociety.org.
■ Prevent Blindness America has changed its operating name to “Prevent Blindness.” The organization is using the new name as a launching pad to refocus efforts around key areas including awareness of diabetic eye disease with the growing diabetes epidemic, women’s eye health, children’s vision, improving the quality of life for those living with low vision, and an increased role in public health research related to vision. Prevent Blindness has also declared February as Age-related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month. Free educational materials are available through its dedicated web pages. Visit www.preventblindness.org.