News Spectrum

NEWS spectrum

BCLA Attracts Over 1,000

A total of 1,073 delegates registered over the four days of the 2009 Clinical Conference of the British Contact Lens Association, making it the largest in its 33-year history and the third successive year that it has attracted more than 1,000 delegates. The conference took place from May 28 to 31 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

The manufacturers' exhibition featured 45 companies. Including those who attended only the exhibition, there were an estimated 1,500 visitors.

The delegates represented 45 countries with 54 percent of those registered from overseas. The largest overseas delegations were from the United States (87) and Denmark (77), followed by Germany (39) and France (37).

At the Gala Dinner on May 30, outgoing president Dr. Sarah Janikoun handed her chain of office to William Thomas, who told delegates that he will focus on promoting the benefits of BCLA membership to a wider audience.

Also awarded at the dinner were 21 new BCLA Fellowships. Former BCLA president Nigel Burnett Hodd received honorary life membership in recognition of his significant contribution to the Association.

The 34th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition will take place in Birmingham, United Kingdom from May 27 to 30, 2010. Keynote speakers will be David Anderson (UK), Suzi Fleiszig (USA), and Cristina Kenny (USA). Dr. Donald Korb (USA) will be the BCLA Medal Speaker, and Dr. Panagiotis Kallinikos (Greece) will deliver the Irving Fatt Memorial Lecture.

CIBA's AECE Marks First Anniversary

■ CIBA Vision recently marked the one-year anniversary of the Academy for Eyecare Excellence (AECE), a global professional education platform to enable practitioners to deliver the highest standard of patient care. Since its launch, the AECE has expanded to 20 countries around the world, with more than 2,500 practitioners participating in AECE programs in the United States during the past 12 months.

In the coming year the AECE will add programs in Japan, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and China. The AECE also launched an education platform accessible by smart phones at the global conference of the British Contact Lens Association.

"Giving practitioners the choice of participating in those programs in a classroom setting, from their desktop or laptop — and now from their smart phones — is an effective way of helping them improve their knowledge," said Richard E. Weisbarth, OD, FAAO, and global head, Professional Development and Partnerships for CIBA.

AECE provides practitioners access to advanced clinical and business education as well as practice management and staff support. AECE programs include the Management & Business Academy and First Practice Academy, which are both endorsed by the American Optometric Association.

Practitioners can access the curriculum and programs in two ways. They can visit, which is divided into four pillars: professional (clinical/ technical information), business (management knowledge/courses), support staff, and student. The e-learning modules are accessible through this site as well. Practitioners can also access the site from a mobile phone. A few select modules from the Web platform are now available via mobile phone.

Lensco has announced the launch of the newly redesigned Web site. (DCL) is a Web portal where practitioners can register their patients for convenient replacement of contact lenses via the Web or a toll-free number. The redesign incorporates bold colors and graphics and upgraded navigation and provides a more vibrant and seamless view of DCL and its online resources, allowing for greater ease of use.

■ The FDA has approved Bausch & Lomb's Besivance (besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension) 0.6% for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. Besivance is a new topical ophthalmic antibacterial administered via sterile ophthalmic drops that treats a wide range of eye pathogens. It is the first fluoroquinolone specifically developed for ophthalmic use and is the only fluoroquinolone with no previous systemic use. Besivance is formulated with InSite Vision's DuraSite technology, a synthetic polymer delivery vehicle that enhances the retention time of the drug on the ocular surface. B&L licensed the besifloxacin DuraSite formulation from Insite in 2003.

Ista Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced positive results from a proof-of-concept Phase 2 clinical study in subjects who have dry eye disease (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) using a new, proprietary, low-dose formulation of bromfenac, the active ingredient in Xibrom (bromfenac ophthalmic solution) 0.09%. The study achieved statistical significance in the primary endpoint of the objective sign of conjunctival staining as well as of the objective sign of corneal staining as compared to baseline.

Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has announced the recipients of the 2009 Prevent Blindness America Investigator Awards. The grants are awarded to research studies that are dedicated to preventing avoidable vision loss. Award recipients were Peter K. Kriz, MD, of Children's Hospital Boston, "Effectiveness of Protective Eyewear in Reducing Severe Eye Injuries in High School Field Hockey Players"; Loretta B. Sczcotka-Flynn, OD, MS, and co-investigator Mahmoud Ghannoum, PhD, from Case Western Reserve University, "Prevention of Soft Contact Lens Associated Fusarium Biofilms"; Steven M. Kymes, PhD, MHA, from Washington University in St. Louis, "Development of a Model for Estimation of Longitudinal Changes in Mean Deviation in Patients with Primary Open Angle Glaucoma."

Taiwan Macro Vision Corporation (TMVC) and Dakota Sciences have entered into an exclusive agreement to manufacture and distribute the patented So2Clear Lens Technology throughout Taiwan. TMVC will initially launch the standard single vision and keratoconus designs around summertime.

Bausch & Lomb has named Francisco Ascencion as president, Bausch & Lomb Japan, effective immediately. He has been serving as interim president since mid-January. B&L also recently named Colum Honan as general manager, Bausch & Lomb Ireland, with responsibility for its Waterford plant that manufactures contact lenses and other eye health products.

Allergies and Lens Wear Survey

A new survey conducted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and supported by 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand Contact Lenses (Vistakon) indicates that eye-related allergy symptoms leave many lens wearers feeling frustrated and irritable, tired, and distracted. In addition, nearly half (45 percent) say that eye-related allergy problems often prevent them from wearing their contact lenses. More than 800 people responded to the online survey.

One-third of survey respondents (33 percent) say they currently wear lenses, with more than one in 10 (12 percent) having dropped out of lens wear because of allergies. Current wearers report that symptoms such as itchy, dry, red, and watery eyes have led many of them to either use rewetting drops more frequently (50 percent), wear their glasses instead (50 percent), or wear their lenses less often (45 percent).

The majority of contact lens-wearing respondents report that they replace their lenses monthly (45 percent) or every one-to-two weeks (38 percent). Two out of three say they find it uncomfortable to wear their contact lenses while suffering from eye allergy symptoms. The survey also found that three in four respondents (74 percent) said that their practitioner has never suggested single use lenses as an option for them to continue comfortably wearing contact lenses during allergy season.

The AAFA offers a free educational brochure supported by 1-Day Acuvue Moist titled Eye Health & Allergies, available at You can order a free set (50 brochures) for your practice via e-mail at Requests should include name and complete address.

Dry Eye Tool Receives FDA Approval

OccuLogix, Inc. dba TearLab Corp. has received FDA 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its TearLab Osmolarity System (TOS). The TOS is intended to measure the osmolarity of human tears to aid in the diagnosis of patients who have signs or symptoms of dry eye disease, in conjunction with other methods of clinical evaluation. The 510(k) clearance allows the company to begin market activities in the United States to clinical facilities categorized as highly or moderately complex under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act of 1988.

OccuLogix dba TearLab Corp. is an in-vitro diagnostics company that develops and commercializes TearLab, a proprietary tear testing platform.

AOF Announces Award Recipients

The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) has announced the recipients of the 2009 Vistakon Award of Excellence. 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 will receive a $1,000 award and a personalized plaque. The recipients are:

  • Laura MacDonald, Illinois College of Optometry
  • Trevor Graham, Indiana University School of Optometry
  • Nilka J. Pabón Torres, Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry
  • Melanie Jade Denton, Michigan College of Optometry
  • Anna Sleeper, The New England College of Optometry
  • Elizabeth L. Schulz, Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry
  • Christen M. Russell, Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
  • Travis Frank Anderson, Pacific University College of Optometry
  • Lauren Wu, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University
  • Lauren Evans, The Southern California College of Optometry
  • Rebecca King, Southern College of Optometry
  • Nadine M. Jamal, State University of New York, State College of Optometry
  • Brittany Hoersten Ellis, The Ohio State University College of Optometry
  • Amy Diane Huckaby, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
  • Anthony J. Rudick, University of California Berkeley School of Optometry
  • Jamie Houser, University of Houston College of Optometry
  • Dane M. Peterson, University of Missouri Saint Louis College of Optometry
  • Nathalie Trottier, École d'optométrie - Université de Montréal
  • Liana Wong, University of Waterloo School of Optometry
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