News spectrum

NEWS spectrum

CIBA and Cooper Settle Patent Disputes

CIBA Vision and CooperVision have reached a global patent litigation settlement agreement that resolves all disputes with respect to current patent infringement litigation between the companies.

CooperVision had alleged that CIBA infringed patented technologies relating to the edge design and rotational stabilization of contact lenses while CIBA alleged that CooperVision infringed patented technologies relating to silicone hydrogel contact lenses.

Under the terms of the settlement, CIBA has licensed its "Nicholson" patents to CooperVision. These patents cover high-oxygen-transmissible contact lenses including O2Optix, Air Optix and Night & Day silicone hydrogel lenses.

In exchange, CooperVision will pay CIBA a royalty on U.S. net sales of Biofinity contact lenses until 2014 and on net sales outside of the United States until 2016. CIBA has also licensed two patent families from CooperVision related to lens designs.

AMO Names New President
Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. has named Richard (Randy) A. Meier president of the company. He retains his existing chief operating officer title and responsibilities, which include leadership of the company's eye care and cataract/implant businesses, global customer services and manufacturing operations.
James V. Mazzo previously held the title of president at AMO. He remains the company's chairman and chief executive officer.
■ In October, the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to 15 sellers of non-corrective cosmetic lenses who appeared to be providing contact lenses to consumers without valid prescriptions. The warning letters included guidance for sellers on their obligations under the FTC's Contact Lens Rule.
■ At the recent American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in New Orleans, Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, and John D. Sheppard, MD, presented study results indicating that use of loteprednol etabonate (Lotemax, Bausch & Lomb) with topical cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05% (Restasis, Allergan) provided more rapid relief of dry eye signs and symptoms with greater efficacy than the combination of topical cyclosporine and artificial tears. Longterm treatment (60 days) with loteprednol etabonate did not affect IOP (p=0.22).
Alcon recently received FDA approval for Triesence (triamcinolone acetonide injectable suspension) 40 mg/mL, a preservative-free synthetic corticosteroid for visualization during vitrectomy and treatment of sympathetic ophthalmia, temporal arteritis, uveitis and ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.
Bausch & Lomb has named A. Robert D. Bailey corporate vice president and general counsel. Bailey was most recently vice president, assistant general counsel and assistant secretary for the company. He replaces Robert B. Stiles, who will retire from B&L this year.
CooperVision has selected Logility Voyager Solutions to support a new supply chain strategy aimed at improving demand management, inventory and replenishment planning, product lifecycle planning and sales and operations planning processes.
Prevent Blindness America has launched a national consumer awareness campaign featuring television, print and radio public service announcements that underscore the importance of regular eye care for every generation. The campaign was made possible by an educational grant from Pfizer.
■ According to "Shedding Light on Driving in the Dark," a nationwide survey conducted on behalf of Road & Travel Magazine and Acuvue Brand Contact Lenses, 32 percent of drivers say they have difficulty seeing all or most of the time while driving in the dark. While 73 percent believe that correcting their vision problems would improve their ability to drive in low-light conditions, only 27 percent have talked to an eyecare professional about treatment options.
■ A recent study conducted by the New England Eye Institute and Transitions Optical found that only 5 percent of consumers are aware that UV exposure can harm eyes. The survey found that 57 percent of respondents do not wear protective eyewear when in the sun for extended periods and that nearly half of young adults do not agree that UV protection is important.
■ The 2007 Bausch & Lomb Run for Vision, held during the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting, attracted a record 253 participants and contributed more than $12,500 in proceeds to the Eye Bank Association of America.

Independent Retail Soft CL Prices Stable in 2007

Data just released from the ABB♦Con-Cise Soft Lens Retail Price Monitor indicate that the average soft lens prices per box charged by independent eyecare practitioners was unchanged during 2007. Among the major soft contact lens categories, clear spheres and colors pricing was unchanged from 2006, while soft toric pricing declined 1 percent and multifocal pricing increased 1 percent.

In a separate analysis of retail pricing trends for Wal-Mart and 1-800 Contacts, ABB♦Con-cise reports that Wal-Mart's retail pricing for 22 brands was unchanged in the fourth quarter 2007 versus the prior year, while 1-800's prices were up 6 percent. During the fourth quarter 2007, Wal-Mart's average price per box was 23 percent less than that charged by independent practitioners, while 1-800's prices averaged 11 percent less than independents.

Stability of Soft Torics Examined

A clinical study designed to compare the rotational stability of two differently designed toric soft lenses over a range of natural viewing conditions found that lenses using the Accelerated Stabilization Design were significantly more stable than a prism-ballast design during settling time and during large versional tasks that required the eyes to move synchronously and symmetrically in the same direction. For two other tasks, performance was similar.

Seventy-nine percent of contact lens wearers responding to a survey conducted by the American Optometric Association admitted to practicing poor lens hygiene on a regular basis, including showering and swimming in lenses, sleeping in lenses not approved for overnight wear and wearing lenses longer than the suggested timeframe.
According to the AOA's 2007 American Eye-Q survey, only 32 percent of survey respondents who wear contact lenses said they change their case every one to three months, and 17 percent admitted that they never change their lens case at all.
Contact lens wearers also reported not visiting eyecare practitioners as recommended. Thirty-two percent of Americans who wear contact lenses or glasses said they have not visited an eye doctor within the past year.
The survey also showed that Americans have misconceptions about eye-related health. Most respondents demonstrated a basic understanding of the relationship between healthy eyes and a healthy body. However, fewer than half (37 percent) knew that a comprehensive eye exam can detect conditions including cardiovascular disease, some cancers (41 percent) and multiple sclerosis (22 percent).

Twenty contact lens wearers (10 men, 10 women) aged 23 to 55 participated in this double-blind, randomized, crossover study supported by Vistakon. Participants were randomly fit with Acuvue Advance for Astigmatism (Vistakon), which employs an Accelerated Stabilization Design, and SofLens Toric (Bausch & Lomb), which features the prism-ballast design. After performing a series of tasks, the first lens was removed. Following a 10-minute rest period, the second lens was applied and tested.

Researchers used the Eyetrack Monitoring System (ETMS), an infrared, video-based system. Lenses were marked with small black dots to assess lens position.

Four tasks involving saccades (quick, simultaneous movements of both eyes in the same direction), chosen to mimic real-world situations, were then assessed. Following each task, participants gazed into primary position for recording of lens position. The findings appeared in Optometry and Vision Science.

New Columns and Writers for 2008

When we did our 2008 editorial planning for Contact Lens Spectrum, we identified three topics that we believe are important enough to warrant coverage on a monthly basis, and we added these as new departments: Cultivating Compliance, Coding Strategies and Pediatric and Teen CL Care.

Also turn to p. 11, where you'll find our new Online Photo Diagnosis, contributed by William Townsend, OD. Each month will feature a clinical photograph of a contact lens-related or general ocular condition. You can then visit our Web site ( and click on the issue month in the Archive section to find a link to the photo with diagnosis, signs, symptoms and treatment options.

New Web Site for Managing Presbyopes with Contact Lenses Bausch & Lomb has launched, a professional resource for optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians to provide information on the use of multifocal contact lenses to correct presbyopia and the growth opportunity it represents for their practice. Tools on the site include a fitting video, fitting assistant for calculating PureVision Multi-Focal parameters, case studies, market information and downloadable information for patients.

New Columnists

We're also welcoming a number of new columnists for this year:

Brad Giedd, OD, MS, FAAO, will contribute to our GP Insights department. Dr. Giedd is in private practice in Winter Park, Fla.

Neil A. Pence, OD, FAAO, and William J. Benjamin, OD, MS, PhD, will write for our Contact Lens Materials department. Dr. Pence is director of the Contact Lens Research Clinic at Indiana University School of Optometry. Dr. Benjamin is a professor, senior scientist and clinician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Ann Laurenzi, OD, FAAO, who practices at the Cole Eye Institute in Cleveland, OH, will contribute to our Dry Eye Dx and Tx department.

Vishakha Thakrar, OD, FAAO, will write for our new Cultivating Compliance department. She is in private practice in Toronto and Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

Clarke D. Newman, OD, FAAO, will author our new Coding Strategies department. He is in private practice in Dallas, Texas.

Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, will co-author our new Pediatric and Teen CL Care department with Marjorie J. Rah, OD, PhD, who in 2007 contributed to GP Insights. Dr. Walline is an assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

We must also say goodbye to a few columnists who have decided not to return for 2008: Lyndon Jones, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO; Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD; and Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD.

Many thanks to our past and current columnists for all of their hard work and dedication.