Article Date: 4/1/2011

NEWS spectrum

CooperVision Unveils New Corporate Brand Identity

CooperVision has unveiled its new brand positioning and visual identity. The company's new watermark logo was designed to represent a blend of scientific precision with the vibrancy found in everyday experiences. CooperVision says that the spectrum of colors and fluid nature of the design reinforce the company's perspective that the world is a vibrant, ever-changing place. It also provides a unique take on water and comfort—qualities of the CooperVision lenses that are key ingredients in wearers' daily lives, according to the company.

In addition to an updated marketing portfolio and packaging, the company says that the marketplace will experience a much energized CooperVision, building on its commitment to eyecare practitioners and hard-to-fit patients with an ever expanded offering of its more widely used lenses.

The new branding will debut in a new trade campaign for CooperVision's Biofinity product line, and will be rolled out across all of CooperVision's online properties and product packaging over the next few months. Building on the success of its practitioner-facing social media program in 2010, CooperVision says it is continuing to provide innovative solutions to practitioners. The Biofinity campaign will include access to content via quick response (QR) codes for both practitioners and patients.

“Our new brand positioning reflects our commitment to bring a perspective that creates real advantages for our customers and wearers,” said Dennis Murphy, president, the Americas, CooperVision. “We appreciate that no two eyes, no two patients, and no two days are ever the same. That's why we take a different approach to contact lenses in terms of how we develop and produce our lenses and how we partner with our customers.”

Acuvue Advance Plus Gets UV Seal

Acuvue Advance Plus contact lenses (Vistakon) became the sixth contact lens in the Acuvue Brand family of products to receive the Seal of Acceptance for Ultraviolet Absorbing Contact Lenses from the American Optometric Association's (AOA) Commission on Ophthalmic Standards.

The AOA's Commission on Ophthalmic Standards determined that Acuvue Advance Plus meets AOA specifications for ultraviolet absorbing contact lenses. The specifications are in accordance with published standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Standards Organization (ISO).

GP Specialists Acquires American BioCurve

Gp Specialists, Inc., a manufacturer of specialty GP contact lenses with an emphasis on lenses for orthokeratology, has acquired the assets of American BioCurve, Inc., a GP and custom soft contact lens manufacturer located in Rancho Bernardo, Calif. GP Specialists plans to move its existing GP lab into the larger facility where American BioCurve is located.

The acquisition of the BioCurve custom soft lens manufacturing business will enable GP Specialists to expand its business beyond GPs. “BioCurve is a well recognized brand name that practitioners trust and that cannot be found in mass merchants, warehouse clubs, or online,” said Steve Wagner, GP Specialists principal.

Brad Shapiro, also a GP Specialists principal, noted that the BioCurve custom toric soft lens offer distinct advantages over its competitors, such as fast delivery and an aggressive spare lens program.

Matthew Pogue, a longtime executive at BioCurve and now director of Sales for GP Specialists, said, “As large, global manufacturers continue to focus their efforts on disposable lenses; there is a growing need for a lab to step forward to meet the needs of the specialty lens market. We intended to be that lab with our unique knowledge of popular industry soft and rigid lens designs such as Polycon 2.” In the past, BioCurve was the exclusive contract manufacturer for Ciba Vision's Polycon spherical GP lenses, which were recently discontinued. BioCurve currently produces a contact lens using the exact specifications used to produce the Polycon lens under the trade name BioCurve PCS.

B+L Announces Voluntary Recall of Eye Drops

Bausch + Lomb (B+L), is conducting a voluntary recall of its Soothe Xtra Protection (XP) eye drops. B+L initiated the recall based on testing which showed specific lots of Soothe Xtra Protection (XP) were out of specification for preservative efficacy prior to their listed date of shelf-life expiration. There have been no adverse events reported for this product that have been attributed to preservative efficacy.

B+L has chosen to voluntarily recall all lots of Soothe Xtra Protection (XP) eye drops in the interest of patient safety. Product that is out of specification near the end of shelf-life may present insufficient protection against inadvertent microbial contamination during storage and use. Potential adverse events may include burning, stinging, eye redness, or eye discomfort.

B+L has alerted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of this voluntary recall. The company is conducting an ongoing investigation to determine why these specific lots were out of shelf-life specification.

Soothe Xtra Protection (XP) eye drops have been available since August 2007 in the United States only. Soothe Preservative Free eye drops and Soothe Night Time Ointment are still available.

B+L contacted retailers and practitioners to initiate the recall and inform them of the steps they should take to return the product.

Consumers who currently have Soothe Xtra Protection (XP) eye drops are advised not to use the product and to return it to B+L. Consumers who have this product in their homes should call one of the following numbers for instructions on returns and reimbursement: Soothe Xtra Protection (XP) Hotline: (866) 761-9526 or B+L customer service center: (800) 553-5340. The customer service line is open to consumers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

The Soothe XP product is packaged in a single, sterile 15ml bottle and a single, sterile 2.5ml sample. Affected lots are listed at http://www.bausch.com/en_US/corporate/corpcomm/news/sooth_xp.aspx.

B+L Appoints New CMO

Bausch + Lomb has appointed Calvin W. Roberts, MD, to the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Roberts will serve as a member of the Executive Leadership Team and coordinate the company's global D&R efforts across the Vision Care, Pharmaceuticals, and Surgical business units.

A specialist in cataract and refractive surgery, Dr. Roberts is credited with developing and producing over-the-counter products for vision care, prescription ocular therapeutics, and innovative treatment regimens. Dr. Roberts is considered to be the “father” of ophthalmic nonsteroidals; he has published 50 peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. Roberts is a member of the board of directors at Alimera Sciences, which he co-founded in 2003. He is a clinical professor of ophthalmology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He holds patents on the wide-field specular microscope and is the developer of instruments for cataract surgery. As a consultant to ophthalmic pharmaceutical companies, including Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis, Dr. Roberts has helped lead the development and marketing efforts for several new therapeutics.

For the Record
In the February 2011 article “Prescribing Multifocal Contact Lenses,” by Clarke D. Newman, OD, FAAO, the Intelliwave multifocal custom soft lens from Art Optical was mistakenly listed in the table of GP multifocal lens options. In the March 2011 article, “Managing Allergy in Contact Lens Wearers,” by Jeffrey Krohn, OD, FAAO, and Alesha Jensen, OD, Bepreve (Ista Pharmaceuticals) should have had an age indication of > 2 yrs in the table of Current Topical Ocular Allergy Medications.

Safigel Expands Distribution
A new agreement with Wisconsin Vision Associates (WVA) for expanded distribution will allow Safigel to distribute its daily disposable lens directly to practitioners.
“We are excited about our new partnership with Safigel,” says Christopher Fait, WVA chief executive officer. “Their innovative 1 Day Daily Disposable is a great lens that will work well for many of the doctors we serve.”
Safigel 1 Day is the world's only hyaluronate contact lens and has the same natural biopolymer, sodium hyaluronate, that is used in many leading dry eye drops. Safigel says that HA has unique, water-attracting properties that cause lubrication of the tear shield on both sides of the contact lens, increasing patient comfort and wearing times.

Blanchard Announces VP of Operations
Blanchard Contact Lens, Inc. has announced the promotion of Robert Martin of the Manchester, N.H., lab to vice president of Operations. Robert “Bob” Martin has 27 years of industry experience. His tenure with Blanchard began at its inception in 1986 and spans a total of 19 years in the roles of director of Laboratory Affairs and director of Operations. He also was the designer of the company's Reclaim HD lens, which has met with great success.
Blanchard says that Mr. Martin's vast experience and NCLE certification have made him invaluable to Blanchard customers as a knowledgeable fitting consultant for the company, in addition to managing production and all other daily operations.

Kelman Joins Novartis OTC Division
■ Naomi Kelman has been appointed head of the Novartis OTC Division effective March 2, 2011, and will become a permanent attendee to the Executive Committee of Novartis, reporting to Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis.
Kelman joined Novartis from Johnson & Johnson where she held several leadership roles within both the Consumer and Medical Device and Diagnostic Sectors. Her leadership across several businesses has demonstrated a strong focus on innovation, which in turn delivered strong financial results.
“With the upcoming Alcon merger, we have decided to put additional focus on two important businesses which today comprise the Consumer Health Division: OTC and Animal Health, by streamlining and simplifying our decision making process,” said Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis. “We look forward to Naomi joining our leadership team. Her experience in consumer businesses, combined with her drive for results make her well suited to run our OTC business.”

INDUSTRY BRIEFS
■ The GP Lens Institute now has available a dynamic new online tool to help practitioners in empirical design of GP contact lenses for astigmatism. The GP Sphere and Toric Lens Calculator, available at www.gpli.info, was developed by Tom Quinn, OD, MS, FAAO, and Ed Bennett, OD, MSEd, FAAO, and was brought online with the assistance of Todd Zarwell, OD, of EyeDock.com. Practitioners can input a patient's keratometry (or simulated K) values and refraction and the recommended lens design parameters will be provided. As with any empirical calculator, there is no guarantee of first fit success, but the resulting design should be a good starting point.
■ The ABB Concise business-to-business Web site www.abbconcise.com has received a makeover to add more information about the products and services that ABB Concise offers its customers. New enhancements include live chats with customer service, replenishment ordering system, previously recorded Practice Partnership GP Webinars, a news section, new Parameter Guide, and more. In addition, the patient directory managed on abbconcise.com is the same patient registration system for yourlens.com, so the stored patient data can be used with both sites.
ScienceBasedHealth (SBH) and Hoya Surgical Optics, Inc. (HSO) have partnered to increase awareness of nutrition's role in eye health in the ophthalmic market. Under the terms of the partnership, HSO will be a sales agent for the SBH line of nutraceuticals in the ophthalmic market. HSO's sales force will help expand awareness of nutrition's role in eye care and provide guidance on how nutrition can best fit within the offerings of an eyecare practice.
Allergan Inc.'s Board of Directors has reappointed David E. I. Pyott as president. Mr. Pyott will also continue to serve Allergan in his current roles as chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Mr. Pyott's role as president became effective on March 27, 2011, with the departure of F. Michael Ball, who has accepted the position of chief executive officer of Hospira, Inc. Pyott previously served Allergan in the role of president from 1998 until 2006.
TearScience, Inc. has appointed Jeff O'Hara as vice president of sales for North America. In this role, O'Hara will direct the company's U.S. and Canadian sales and customer service organizations. He will lead the sales team in providing TearScience's options to eyecare practitioners for treating evaporative dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction. O'Hara has more than 20 years of experience in the medical device industry. Prior to joining TearScience, O'Hara was the vice president of sales for Lumenis and managing director of sales for Solta Medical.
SECO International held its 2011 annual meeting from March 2 to 6, 2011, in Atlanta, Ga. SECO 2011 featured more than 400 hours of continuing education credit and more than 275 marketplace exhibitors. Final attendance numbers had not been released as of press time, but SECO International expected attendance at the meeting of more than 7,000 optometrists, opticians, certified ophthalmic technicians, and paraoptometric professionals. Registered attendees who participated in the continuing education program have access to 13 free hours of online education included with their registration. Visit the Virtual Education section of www.seco2011.com and log into your SECO profile account.
DAC International, Inc. finalized an agreement in early March for the sale of its spectacle lens surfacing system product line to Chemat Technology, Inc. The sale of the surfacing system line, specifically the RxD Lathe and NSLP Soft Lamp Polisher, will allow DAC to concentrate its resources on continued growth and innovation of its ALM lathes, mills, automation, and variety of options as well as further development of the high precision Opteq lathing and blocking system acquired by DAC last year. Equipment support for DAC Surfacing System will be provided by Chemat Technology, with assistance from DAC trained technical personnel.
National Vision, Inc. recently contributed $7,500 to Optometry Giving Sight (OGS), and individual doctors associated with the company gave an additional $2,500. The funds will help OGS support sustainable eyecare programs around the world.


Contact Lens Spectrum, Issue: April 2011