Ciba, J&J Reach Global Settlement
Novartis recently announced that Ciba Vision (Ciba) has reached a global settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (J&J) to license the Ciba “Nicolson” patents, which protect Ciba's proprietary silicone hydrogel (SiHy) lens technology. The settlement ends ongoing litigation in the United States as well as in several European countries.
Novartis indicated that the settlement covers the J&J full portfolio of SiHy lenses, including Acuvue Oasys, Acuvue Advance and 1-Day Acuvue TruEye. It allows J&J to continue to manufacture, market and sell its SiHy lenses world-wide under a license from Ciba, including markets previously under court-ordered injunction. Terms of the agreement are confidential.
Grant Program Supplies Free Hybrid Lenses
The Sharing Vision Grant Program, sponsored by SynergEyes, Inc., was created to bring the new ClearKone hybrid lens (SynergEyes) to keratoconus patients who may otherwise not have access.
The Sharing Vision Grant Program is a three-way partnership between SynergEyes, an eyecare practitioner and a patient. Prospective patients apply to the program by sharing their vision stories and why they believe ClearKone could positively improve their lives. SynergEyes will select 25 candidates for the grant program based on a patient application process and refer the patients to participating practitioners in their area to be fit with the lenses.
SynergEyes will supply one lens for each eye fit for the patient. The practitioner will donate his professional contact lens fitting fees, and the patient receives the lenses and fitting for free.
Currently, more than 15 patients are enrolled in the program receiving free lenses from SynergEyes and free fitting from participating eyecare practitioners. Patients can apply for the program on at www.TreatKeratoconus.com.
B+L Initiates Voluntary Recall of Eye Drops
Bausch + Lomb (B+L) is conducting a voluntary recall of its Soothe Xtra Hydration (XH) eye drops, which have been available in the United States since April 2010. B+L chose to initiate this recall based on a small number of consumer reports citing the presence of possible foreign matter in the tip of the bottles. Initial testing by B+L on the opened, partially used product has identified the particles as mold.
While there have been no adverse events reported for this product in connection to mold, the company chose to voluntarily recall all existing lots of the eye drops. The company alerted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the voluntary recall and is conducting an ongoing investigation into the reports of mold in the tip of the bottles. A determination of future product distribution will be made at the close of this investigation, which could last for several months.
The Soothe XH eye drops are the only eye drops affected in this recall; all other Soothe eye products remain on the market.
B+L directly contacted U.S. retailers who have been shipped this product to initiate the recall as well as eyecare professionals. The company is asking anyone who currently has Soothe XH eye drops to return them to B+L, even if they're comfortable using them. Consumers who have this product in their home should call one of the following numbers for instructions on returns and reimbursement: Soothe XH Recall Hotline at (877) 907-9964 or B+L customer service center at (800) 553-5340.
The recalled lot numbers are: GC0124, GD0146, GF0121, GF0157, GJ0023, GK0044, GC0135, GC0142, GE0049, GE0050/GE0074, GF0063, GF0064/GF0065, GF0021, GG0035, GG0036, GG0055, GJ0003, and GJ0004.
Bill Shelly Joins Alden Optical
Alden Optical Inc recently announced that Bill Shelly has joined the organization. Shelly will lead the U.S. sales efforts of Alden Optical and will report to Tom Shone, president, Alden Optical.
Most recently, Shelly served in sales management and customer oriented roles at CooperVision. In addition, Shelly has served in sales-related capacities at Paragon Vision Sciences, UCO Optics, and Gordon Contact Lenses. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Contact Lens Society of America and has attained NCLC status as bestowed by the National Contact Lens Examiners.
“Bill possesses tremendous contact lens sales management experience, an in-depth knowledge of the specialty lens niche and innumerable connections with eyecare professionals across the country. Bill's strengths will be extremely important as we look to serve more U.S. practitioners with our custom and specialty lenses” stated Shone.
|For the Record|
|In the January Treatment Plan column, “Tracking Down a Diagnosis,” by Leo Semes, OD, FAAO, Alcon's TobraDex ST was mistakenly identified as an Allergan product. Also, last month's News Spectrum article, “Manufacturers Release Lenses in New Latheable Silicone Hydrogel Material” did not include information on Unilens Vision, Inc.'s lenses that are available in Contamac's Definitive material. This information is in the Product Spectrum of this issue. CLS regrets the errors.|
|Schnider Rejoins Vistakon|
|Vistakon has named Cristina M. Schnider, OD, MBA, FAAO, senior director, Medical Affairs, responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for Medical Affairs in the area of specialty contact lens products. In her new role, she will report to Colleen Riley, OD, MS, FAAO, Dipl CL, vice president, Professional Development and Medical Affairs.|
Dr. Schnider joined Vistakon in 1999 as manager of Claims Substantiation and Product Assessment, Research & Development. In 2003 she was named director of Professional Affairs and later, Medical Affairs. Dr. Schnider recently returned to Vistakon from a three-year assignment in Tokyo, Japan, where she served as a member of the management board, leading the Professional and Medical Affairs team and The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson KK.
“Cris' proven leadership partnered with her extensive background in clinical research and broad network of global contacts are an invaluable asset as we continue to develop and market innovative products that set new industry standards,” said Dr. Riley.
|Contamac Makes New Appointments|
|■ Contamac, Ltd. recently announced that Martin Conway has joined the company's Professional Services team.|
Conway has more than 25 years of experience in the eyecare industry, previously in his own optician practices and representing Revlon, Sauflon Pharmaceuticals, and Ciba Vision. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Contamac in helping the company expand its professional and clinical support to its customers, as well as supporting the company's Research and Development team at a clinical and professional level.
“The opportunity to expand the team in support of our customers is essential in developing the existing and new material technologies that Contamac offer or plan to bring to market,” said Robert McGregor, director at Contamac. “Martin's extensive industry and clinical knowledge will be a valuable asset to our customers and industry.”
Contamac also recently appointed Philipp Polonyi as sales executive to its Sales and Marketing team. Polonyi moved to the United Kingdom from Germany three years ago. He most recently was a customer service manager at A.T. Cross covering multiple European markets.
Polonyi will report to David Golden, Contamac's sales manager.
|■ The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has announced the program for its 2011 Clinical Conference. Taking place in the newly refurbished Manchester Central Convention from May 26 to 29, BCLA 2011 is themed: Learn Today—Practice Tomorrow. The event will offer a host of new features and a wide range of learning and hands-on events. Visit www.bcla.org.uk for details and to register.|
■ Optometry Giving Sight has recognized Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions VisionCare Group as Gold In-Kind National Sponsor. Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions VisionCare Group has been a supporter of the vision charity for many years by providing in-kind ad and advertorial space in its magazines Eyecare Business, Optometric Management, and Contact Lens Spectrum. “We are so grateful to enter into a formal arrangement with Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions
VisionCare Group as Gold In-Kind National sponsor. The company has supported us for so long and we are thankful for their efforts in helping us bring much needed vision care and glasses to people in developing countries,” said Vic Connors, OD, CEO of Optometry Giving Sight.
■ Vistakon has announced its “New You” Sweepstakes to give consumers the chance to have improved vision and better fitness in the New Year. The sweepstakes started Jan, 1, 2011 and ends Feb. 28, 2011. One Grand Prize winner will receive a one-year supply of Acuvue Brand contact lenses along with a one-year gym membership and five personal training sessions. Five First Prize winners will receive a one-year supply of Acuvue Brand contact lenses. Consumers can enter to win at www.eyes4living.com.
■ Addition Technology, Inc., is partnering with Swiss-based Sensimed AG, developer of the Sensimed Triggerfish, a contact lens that continuously monitors the fluctuations in intraocular pressure, to facilitate the management of related diseases such as glaucoma. Under the partnership, Addition Technology will begin rolling out the state-of-the-art glaucoma monitoring system in Latin America. Latin America is one of the regions in the world with the highest incidence of glaucoma. Addition Technology will handle the registration process and the commercialization of the product in the region.
■ Bausch + Lomb is offering a free iPhone application called Crystalens iClear to educate and entertain consumers about vision, cataracts, and the B+L Crystalens product. The app will also allow users to self-check their visual acuity and color vision as well as to have some fun with the Crystalens iClear “Picture Hunt” and find a Crystalens surgeon on the “doc finder.” In related news, B+L has announced that it will extend its “See Better and Save” patient rebate program for patients who have Crystalens implanted before March 31, 2011.
■ OcuSoft has appointed Patrick Ward, RPh, MBA, as its executive vice president. He most recently served as vice president, Finance and Administration and cofounder of Aviara Pharmaceutical Research. Formerly he was executive director of Business Development of Encysive Pharmaceuticals.