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NEWS SPECTRUM

AOCLE HOLDS ANNUAL WORKSHOP

The Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE) held its 35th annual workshop at University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) College of Optometry from June 1 to 4. Fifty-six contact lens educators and 23 industry representatives gathered at the workshop, which this year had the theme of “Scleral Lenses – The Good, The Bad, and The Technology.” Guest lecturers were Dr. Christine Sindt and Dr. Jason Jedlicka. A highlight of the workshop was a tour of the new UMSL Patient Care Center.

The George Mertz New Educator Travel Award was presented to Dr. Elaine Chen from Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU). The Lester E. Janoff Memorial Award, presented to an optometric educator of the AOCLE who has demonstrated excellence in the area of contact lens-related publications, contact lens education, and research, and who has played an active role in AOCLE, was presented to Dr. Etty Bitton from the École d’Optométrie, Université de Montréal. Dr. Harue Marsden, from MBKU’s Southern California College of Optometry, who passed away earlier this year, received the AOCLE Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to contact lens education. A New Educator Travel Award was established in honor of Dr. Marsden at this meeting.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON VISION APPOINTS NEW CMO

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. announced Jonathan Talamo, MD, as its new chief medical officer (CMO) and worldwide vice president of Medical Affairs and Clinical Affairs for Johnson & Johnson Vision, which comprises both its Vision Care and Surgical businesses.

Dr. Talamo joins Johnson & Johnson Vision from Ocular Therapeutix, Inc., where he served as CMO. Prior to that, he owned a private medical practice for almost 20 years, specializing in refractive surgery, cataract surgery, and corneal transplantation.

ALCON ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NEW DAILIES AQUACOMFORT PLUS PATIENT-FRIENDLY PACKAGING

Alcon launched new U.S.-specific packaging for Dailies AquaComfort Plus (DACP) spherical contact lenses in 90, 30, and five packs to assist patients with proper lens wear and care. The company says that this new packaging, the first of several planned packaging changes, reflects the commitment of Alcon to support successful lens wear, particularly in new lens wearers, and eyecare professionals and their practices.

The new DACP box design, which replaces the current packaging, features new patient-friendly educational elements, including detailed application and removal illustrations; a toll-free patient helpline and email address; and the Dailies website address for more at-home and online support.

Additionally, the U.S. flag symbol will appear on the new packaging to identify the boxes as specific only to U.S. patients. U.S.-specific lot numbers will also enhance supply chain tracking capabilities. By the end of 2017, Alcon also plans to launch U.S.-specific packaging for Air Optix plus HydraGlyde contact lenses.

The new packaging will be the only DACP sphere packaging that Alcon sells into the U.S. market. The previous, global packaging design was discontinued in the United States on June 15, 2017. Eyecare professionals or others who are concerned about sales of DACP lenses with global packaging, or have any other concerns about Alcon packaging, are asked to report the issues via the “Contact Us” page on MyAlcon.com . Alcon states that it’s important to note that while the DACP packaging will look different, nothing is changing with the lenses themselves.

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LEAH JOHNSON APPOINTED DIRECTOR OF CLINICAL SERVICES AT PARAGON VISION SCIENCES

Paragon Vision Sciences appointed Leah Johnson, OD, to the role of director, Clinical Services. In this role, Dr. Johnson will be responsible for clinical and professional development programs supporting current and future eye-care practitioners across the United States and abroad. She will report directly to Richard Jeffries, president, Paragon Vision Sciences.

Dr. Johnson brings practice-based clinical optometric experience in the area of specialty contact lenses to her new position. Prior to joining Paragon Vision Sciences, she was in private practice at Vision Optique in Houston. She is a graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry, where she also completed her post-doctorate work in Cornea and Contact Lenses. Dr. Johnson’s published work includes research in specialty contact lenses.

ACUITY POLYMERS RECEIVES FDA CLEARANCE FOR TWO MORE GP MATERIALS

Acuity Polymers, Inc. recently announced U.S. FDA clearance of the Acuity 58 (enflufocon B) GP contact lens and the Acuity 85 (oprifocon A) GP contact lens. Acuity 58 and Acuity 85 GP lenses will be available soon from custom contact lens laboratories in the United States and across the world.

The company hopes to have a fifth material cleared by the end of 2017. Most of the U.S. custom laboratories have qualified as alternate manufacturing sites for Acuity Polymers GP contact lenses. The company’s current offerings are Acuity 100, Acuity 85, Acuity 58, and Acuity 18.

PRIMARY EYECARE NETWORK, DIVERSIFIED BUYING GROUP, AND ECP NETWORK TO MERGE UNDER PEN NAME

ABB Optical Group announced that it is merging Diversified Buying Group and the ECP Network, both part of Diversified Ophthalmics, with Primary Eyecare Network (PEN). ABB Optical Group acquired Diversified Ophthalmics in October 2016.

A division of ABB Optical since 2007, PEN is focused on supporting independent optometrists by providing favorable purchasing arrangements, business management and marketing support, educational programs for practitioners and staff, medical billing services, and other support services. Diversified Ophthalmics’ ECP Network is a practice development organization that offers independent eyecare providers tools and guidance to manage a successful practice. The Diversified Buying Group offers customers discounts and special pricing on products from more than 100 vendors with the convenience of one monthly statement.

With the merger of the three entities into one practice development organization under the PEN brand, members will have access to a broad range of practice development resources, a comprehensive roster of educational events for practitioners and staff, a variety of vendor discounts and rebates, and “white glove” account management services, according to the company.

Members of Diversified Buying Group and the ECP Network will have access to PEN’s new online educational portal. Billing statements will transition to ABB Optical Group/PEN during the next several months.

ABB Optical Group has also named Angela Moore as director of marketing for insights and communications. She brings more than 15 years of marketing and analytics experience to her position at ABB. Most recently, Moore was director of professional promotion and neuroscience marketing at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. In addition, Lisa Patterson was named manager of content and digital marketing. She brings more than 13 years of marketing experience to her new position. She was most recently corporate communications manager at Campus Management.

LOUISE SCLAFANI JOINS SYNERGEYES

SynergEyes has announced that Louise Sclafani, OD, is joining SynergEyes as vice president of Professional Affairs. In this position, Dr. Sclafani will be responsible for working with thought leaders and professionals in the global eyecare professional community to develop strategies and programs that will increase the company’s value within the profession.

Dr. Sclafani is an alumnus of Illinois College of Optometry and has spent the last 24 years at the University of Chicago where she was an associate professor of Ophthalmology and director of Optometric Services. She will be working from Chicago and will continue to be active in private practice and training future eyecare professionals.

SHIRE APPOINTS NEW GROUP VP & HEAD OF OPHTHALMICS US FRANCHISE

Shire has announced the appointment of John Snisarenko as group vice president & head of Ophthalmics US Franchise. He replaces Robert Dempsey, who has taken on a leadership role on Shire’s Global business as vice president & head of Global Ophthalmics.

Mr. Snisarenko brings 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries, many in ophthalmics leadership positions. He has a proven track record in taking programs from development to successful commercialization and in helping businesses achieve high growth, according to Shire.

Most recently, Mr. Snisarenko was vice president of Sales & Marketing for the Rheumatology franchise at Genentech USA. Prior to that, he led sales and marketing for Genentech’s USA Ophthalmology franchise.

During his time at Novartis Pharma Canada, Mr. Snisarenko led the integration of the Ophthalmology business from Ciba Vision to Novartis Pharma. He also helped shape Novartis’ long-term strategy and vision in ophthalmics. At Ciba Vision, Mr. Snisarenko built an ophthalmology business unit and led the commercial activities for the medical device, consumer health, and ophthalmic pharmaceutical sectors. He also worked and held leadership positions at Novadaq Technologies, Alcon Canada, and Allergan Canada.

AAOF ANNOUNCES 2017 AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN CONTACT LENS PATIENT CARE RECIPIENTS

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) announced the 2017 Johnson & Johnson Vision Award of Excellence in Contact Lens Patient Care program recipients. This award recognizes outstanding fourth-year student clinicians who have demonstrated excellent overall knowledge of the contact lens field plus skillful, considerate, and professional care of contact lens patients during their optometric education. Each winner receives a $500 educational award and a personalized plaque commemorating their accomplishment.

Jamie Blavat, Illinois College of Optometry

Hailey Shaffer Williams, Indiana University at Bloomington School of Optometry

Jessica Tu, Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry

Michael Belhumeur, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry

Austin Schipper, Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University

Elizabeth Ledezma, Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry

Avani Dave, New England College of Optometry

Jessica White, Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry

Laura Jankiprasad, Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

Ashley N. Dues, The Ohio State University College of Optometry

Paige Stephens, Pacific University College of Optometry

Patrick O’Connor McManamon, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University

Justine Gonzalez, Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University

Rebecca Goad, Southern College of Optometry

Azinda Morrow, State University of New York College of Optometry

Kate Oliver, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

Andrew Vo, University of California Berkeley School of Optometry

Allison Quirin, University of Houston College of Optometry

Kelsey Haugen, University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry

Laurianne Trudeau, University of Montreal School of Optometry

Tam Nguyen, University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry

Jonathan Ngoc Dinh, University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science

Lilia Babakhan, Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry

PEN OFFERS FREE MYOPIA SYMPOSIUM

Primary Eyecare Network (PEN), a division of ABB Optical Group, is presenting a myopia symposium on Aug. 6 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the San Ramon Marriot in San Ramon, CA. The free event is sponsored by ABB Optical Group and Paragon Vision Sciences. For more information, visit PrimaryEye.net or e-mail education@primaryeye.net.

ABB OPTICAL GROUP LAUNCHES FOURTH ANNUAL ABB CARES PROGRAM

ABB Optical Group will begin accepting applications for its fourth annual ABB Cares program on Monday, Aug. 1, 2017. ABB Cares highlights and celebrates organizations throughout the country that have improved the quality of life in local communities.

The program is open to all eye-care professionals who want to nominate an outstanding nonprofit organization in their community. ABB Optical Group will award an ABB Cares Platinum grant of $5,000, two Gold grants of $2,500 each, and four Silver grants of $1,000 each. Since the inception of the program three years ago, ABB Optical Group has awarded grants totaling $38,000 to 24 organizations throughout the country that improved the quality of life in their communities.

Organizations do not need to focus on eye health to qualify for the program. To be considered as a grant recipient, all candidates must comply with the following:

  • The organization must be a 501(c)(3) organization and must be able to provide a valid tax ID number.
  • The organization’s local office must be within 30 miles of the nominating practice’s primary location.
  • Applications must be completed and submitted online.
  • Applications open Aug 1. The deadline to submit an application is 11:59 p.m. EDT on Aug. 31, 2017.

For more information or to submit an application, visit ABBOptical.com/ABBCares .

INDUSTRY BRIEFS

  • Menicon America recently introduced a second base curve for its Miru 1day Menicon Flat Pack daily disposable contact lenses. Miru 1day Flat Pack is now offered in an 8.4mm base curve in addition to the existing 8.6mm base curve. Menicon says that the 1day Miru 8.4mm base curve was designed based on direct feedback from optometrists (ODs) who expressed an interest in additional base curve options for their patients. In conjunction with its OD partners, Menicon says that it wanted its daily disposable patients to benefit from a customized fit that could only be achieved by offering a second base curve. Miru 1day Menicon Flat Pack 8.4mm base curve lenses are available in trial six packs, 30 packs, and 90 packs.
  • Bausch + Lomb’s Specialty Vision Products business has launched the Bausch + Lomb instructional card on the application and removal of scleral lenses using ScleralFil preservative-free saline solution. This educational tool has been designed to complement the full instructions provided by eyecare professionals to scleral lens wearers and to help remind patients of the key steps to applying and removing their scleral lenses through two methods: the three-finger method and the plunger method. The tool is available to download online at www.bausch.com/scleralfil . To obtain printed copies of this instructional tool, eyecare professionals can email info@bauschsvp.com.
  • Blanchard Contact Lenses supported IndyCar driver Gabby Chaves, in the No. 88 Harding Racing car, for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, which took place on May 28, 2017. Chaves has been wearing Onefit Scleral Lenses since February 2017 and reached out to Blanchard to express his gratitude for what the lenses have done to help continue his racing career. The Onefit Scleral Lens logo could be found on Chaves’ helmet during the Indy 500 race.
  • Nicox S.A. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the New Drug Application (NDA) for Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution 0.24%; formerly AC-170), which the company says is the first topical ocular formulation of this antihistamine, for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. Cetirizine is a second-generation antihistamine (H1 receptor antagonist) that binds competitively to histamine receptor sites to reduce swelling, itching, and vasodilation. Partnering discussions are currently underway for U.S. commercialization rights.
  • Avedro, Inc. announced that Thomas E. Griffin has joined the company as chief financial officer (CFO). He has more than 25 years of executive management experience at emerging growth medical technology companies. He brings a track record of success, leading both early-stage and commercial companies throughout his career. For 10 years and during the company’s initial public offering, Mr. Griffin served as CFO of Entellus Medical, Inc., before transitioning to vice president of finance in May 2016. Prior to this, he served in a variety of executive level financial positions at several organizations, including Digital Gene Technologies, Inc., Centerpulse Spine-Tech, Inc. (now Zimmer Spine, Inc.), and Cima Labs Inc. (now owned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.).
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. recently launched generic Pataday (olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) 0.2% in the United States. Olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution 0.2% is a mast cell stabilizer indicated for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis.
  • TearClear announced the completion of its Series A financing, with proceeds totaling $4.5 million. The round was co-led by Visionary Venture Fund and Bluestem Capital. The financing will provide sufficient capital to advance development of TearClear’s filter technology. The company’s chemical filter removes benzalkonium chloride (BAK) at the point of instillation, allowing multi-dose product preservation until the moment of application. In addition, the company has assembled a team of ophthalmology veterans to drive forward the development of its filter technology, including William Link, PhD, who has significant executive and investment expertise in ophthalmology and has been appointed to the board of directors. Other members of the leadership team include Rick Heinick, chairman of the board, who was previously executive vice president at Bausch + Lomb; Kevin Hershfield, CEO, who formerly led chemical manufacturing and distribution businesses supporting medical and industrial markets; Richard D’Souza, PhD, chief science and technology officer, who was formerly head of Research & Development for Bausch + Lomb; and Howard Golub, MD, PhD, head of clinical development, who was founder and CEO of multiple medical diagnostic companies including Care-Safe LLC.