Valeant Eying Allergan
Allergan, Inc. announced on May 12 that its board of directors had unanimously rejected the unsolicited proposal put forth by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. on April 22, 2014. Valeant had proposed the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Allergan for a combination of 0.83 of Valeant common shares and $48.30 in cash per share of Allergan common stock.
The Allergan board concluded that the proposal substantially undervalues Allergan, creates significant risks and uncertainties for the Allergan stockholders, and is not in the best interests of the company and its stockholders.
In the letter to Valeant rejecting the proposal, Allergan also questioned how Valeant would achieve the proposed level of cost cuts without harming the long-term viability and growth trajectory of Allergan’s business. For those reasons and others, Allergan stated that it does not believe that the Valeant business model is sustainable.
Allergan expects to increase earnings per share by 20% to 25% and to continue to generate double digit revenue growth in 2015. Additionally, Allergan expects to produce double digit sales growth and to produce earnings per share compounded annual growth of 20% over the next five years.
At press time, Valeant was set to host an in-person meeting for Allergan and Valeant shareholders on May 28, 2014 to respond to assertions that Allergan has made that the Valeant model is not sustainable, that the Bausch + Lomb portfolio is not growing, that Valeant slashes R&D and is not committed to innovation, and that it will be impossible to capture $2.7 billion of synergies without impacting top-line growth. Valeant said its goal for the meeting was to provide transparency into Valeant’s historic, current, and future operating performance and to refute Allergan’s allegations through a thoughtful and fact-based presentation.
Valeant also stated its intent to announce an improved bid for Allergan shareholders to consider during the shareholder meeting. Valeant stated that it would not make an all-cash bid, explaining that Allergan’s shareholders favored Valeant’s bid and preferred Valeant equity instead of more cash.
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Appoints Director, Education
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (JJVCI) appointed Charissa Lee, OD, to the role of director, Education, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., North America. In this role, Dr. Lee will lead the development of programs supporting the schools and colleges of optometry across the United States. She will report directly to Millicent Knight, OD, head of Professional Affairs, JJVCI.
Dr. Lee has more than 12 years of experience, including providing patient care in diverse settings ranging from a Veteran Administration hospital to a tertiary eyecare clinic in the city of Hangzhou in eastern China. Prior to joining JJVCI, she served as a professional affairs consultant to the company. Since 2012, she has served as program director and lecturer for educational events at The Vision Care Institute, LLC.
Alcon Offers App, Compliance Kit
Alcon has introduced Eye2eye, a new app for eyecare practitioners that features a contact lens finder that helps practitioners identify Alcon contact lens products for their patients and can also help them successfully fit potential multifocal and toric contact lens wearers in less time.
The app gives practitioners tools to maximize fit success in a range of available contact lenses, including Alcon’s Air Optix Aqua Multifocal and Air Optix for Astigmatism contact lenses.
The Eye2eye app, which is currently only available in the United States, can be found on the Apple App store, Google Play, and at myalcon.com by searching “eye2eye” in the search bar. It operates on Apple, Android, and desktop devices.
Alcon also released new Patient Compliance Kits, which include compliance tips, patient education on the features and benefits of Alcon’s lens care technology, a new contact lens case, and a coupon for Opti-Free PureMoist Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution. Alcon will continue to provide Starter Lens Care Kits for all new contact lens wearers and for those patients who should evaluate an Alcon lens care product. The company says that the kits will help eyecare professionals educate their patients on how to take care of their contact lenses while also providing consumers with a clear practitioner recommendation.
BEAR JOINS MANAGEMENT TEAM AT OPRI
Optical Polymer Research Inc. (OPRI), a global polymer research company and contact lens materials manufacturer, has announced the addition of Jeanne Bear to its management team. Ms. Bear offers extensive experience within the global contact lens industry in sales, marketing, and business development for both GP and soft contact lens business segments.
Ms. Bear most recently worked at Safigel in a western regional sales capacity. Prior to that, she directed global marketing, sales, and business development at Contamac LTD in the U.K. She has also served as general manager for global business development of Menicon, was part of the founding management team of SynergEyes as director of marketing, and was director and then vice president of international sales for Paragon Vision Sciences, also working within Pilkington Barnes-Hind, then the parent company of Paragon.
Ms. Bear has been active within the global industry for more than 20 years, serving as both board member and president of the European Federation of the Contact Lens and IOL Industries (EFCLIN), where she was the first American elected to head the organization. She also served on the editorial board for the Global Contact publication.
BCLA Holds Second Global Contact Lens Forum
■ U.S. optometrists Dr. Kirk Smick and Dr. Jack Schaeffer will be presenting at The British Contact Lens Association’s (BCLA) second BCLA/Vision Expo International Global Contact Lens Forum (GCLF), which will be held June 6, 2014 at the ICC Birmingham during the opening day of the 38th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition.
Anna Sulley, a past BCLA president and associate director Medical Affairs EMA, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, is chair of the event and will also be co-presenting with past BCLA president and leading U.K. contact lens optician, Shelly Bansal.
The theme of this forum is: “Retention of patients: common dialogue between the USA and UK.” The forum will explore tried-and-tested strategies for contact lens patient retention and will look at how introducing independent prescribing to the practice can lead to a competitive advantage.
This event is a follow-up to the inaugural forum held this past March at the Javits Center in New York City immediately prior to Vision Expo East. The latest program can be found at www.bcla.org.uk/events along with registration details. Full details of the conference, including speaker profiles and abstracts, exhibition, and social events, can be found on the BCLA app, available to download from Google Play or iTunes.
ABB Optical Group Names Vice President of Eyewear
ABB Optical Group recently announced that Nan Meehan has joined the company as vice president of eyewear. In her new position, Meehan will be responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and development of ABB Optical Group’s new eyewear division. The company is preparing to expand its frame distribution services to offer eyecare professionals a wide variety of new frame products. Through this new division, ABB Optical Group will create a full-on optical solution and allow eyecare professionals to streamline the process of ordering optical products, which will cut costs for consumers and manufacturers, according to ABB Optical Group.
Meehan has more than 25 years of sales, marketing, and management experience. Previously, she served as director of sales for ACCO Brands, one of the world’s largest suppliers of branded office products.
■ Visionary Optics LLC, makers of Jupiter Scleral and Europa Scleral lenses, has extended its consultation hours. In an effort to better assist customers in all time zones, consultants will be available until 7:00pm EST Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Accounts can continue to utilize the order forms on the company’s website (www.visionary-optics.com) and email after business hours.
■ Optical Polymer Research Inc. (OPRI) has announced a new collaboration with researchers from Western University of Health Sciences (WUHS), College of Optometry to develop a new generation of anti-microbial contact lens materials. These materials are characterized by a composite structure that combines OPRI’s Aquaperm SiOH silicone hydrogel material with an array of specially designed nanoparticles. According to the company, in previous stand-alone experiments, the nanoparticles demonstrated potent antimicrobial properties while being biocompatible to the human corneal tissue. These findings may lead to the development of an entire new generation of contact lenses that possess a broad spectrum of antimicrobial properties and, therefore, has a wide range of prophylactic and therapeutic uses. OPRI intends to further expand this research to include its Operm HDK (Dk 100) fluorosilicone acrylate polymer for those situations when a GP lens is the best choice.
■ CooperVision has partnered with Bogazici University’s College of Business in Istanbul, Turkey, with the purpose of developing its next generation of global leaders. As a component of the company’s Inspirational Leadership Program, several senior leaders spent five days at Bogazici, immersing themselves in issues relating to entrepreneurship, governance, national culture and institutions, financial management and growing a high caliber, emerging market workforce.
■ The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), American Optometric Association (AOA), and the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) have teamed with entertainment artists from the TV series “American Horror Story” to launch a Decorative Contact Lens Campaign to raise awareness of the severe consequences that can result from purchasing and using decorative contact lenses not obtained through a valid prescription. The three organizations want to impart the message that contact lenses can cause serious eye damage if they’re not fitted by an optometrist or ophthalmologist; and that if they aren’t cleaned and cared for properly, they can cause potentially vision-threatening infections. A 30-second public service announcement is available at http://www.eicnetwork.tv/Videos/HealthWellness/HWScreeningRoom/TabId/871/VideoId/738/Eye-Care-PSA.aspx, and additional information is available at www.contactart.org.
■ The American Optometric Association’s (AOA) Contact Lens and Cornea Section (CLCS) has launched the Anterior Segment Image Catalog. Accessible via an online database (www.aoa.org/optometrists/membership/aoa-sections/contact-lens-and-cornea-section), the catalog provides all AOA members with a variety of photographs of anterior segment conditions. Each image has been reviewed by an expert panel to ensure quality of photography and appropriate diagnosis. Member ODs also can submit their own ocular pictures with a brief description of the image for panel review.