News Spectrum

NEWS spectrum

Nicox Launches Sjö in U.S.

Nicox S.A. has launched Sjö, a diagnostic panel for Sjögren's Syndrome, in the United States. Sjö is a proprietary laboratory test developed by Immco Diagnostics Inc. that combines traditional markers with three novel, proprietary biomarkers, allowing earlier detection of the disease. Nicox's U.S. sales force will promote Sjö to U.S. eyecare professionals under an exclusive North American agreement signed with Immco in June 2013.

Sjögren's Syndrome causes patients' immune cells to attack moisture-producing glands. This results in dry eye, which is one of the early and hallmark symptoms of the disease. Nicox states that eyecare practitioners are therefore in a unique position to help identify patients who have Sjögren's Syndrome. Currently, there is an average delay of 4.7 years for patients to receive an accurate diagnosis, and patients are often diagnosed in late stages of the disease after gland degradation has taken effect. Nicox has established a partnership with the U.S. Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation to raise awareness of the prevalence, seriousness, and significance of Sjögren's Syndrome to eyecare specialists.

Sjö was approved by U.S. regulatory authorities in 2013 and is available across North America (United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico). Call (855) 696-4269.

In other Nicox news, the company has appointed Joseph Boyd as director, Medical Development and Advocacy, in its U.S. subsidiary Nicox Inc. Mr. Boyd will be responsible for Nicox's educational efforts among key opinion leaders, medical societies, and advocacy groups in the U.S. ophthalmic space. Mr. Boyd has more than 17 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, most recently serving as director, Compliance Operations, Astellas US, LLC.

TVCI Offers Clinical Grading Scales App

The Vision Care Institute, LLC (TVCI), a Johnson & Johnson company, has launched The Vision Care Institute Clinical Grading Scales App, an educational tool featuring the most comprehensive grading scales in clinical use and designed to help practitioners assess the severity and evaluate the progression of complications associated with lens wear.

The app allows users to evaluate common eye conditions and the progression of complications, demonstrate clinical assessment to patients, export a report for office records without collecting personal data, and view a comprehensive assessment guide (including slit lamp illumination techniques, corneal inflammation versus infection, signs of oxygen deficiency, and more).

The free app is compatible with the iPhone and can be downloaded via the Apple App Store (currently available for download only in the United States).

BCLA New CEO, Redesigned Site

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has announced that Cheryl Donnelly has been appointed to the new role of chief executive officer (CEO).

A qualified contact lens optician and former president of the BCLA, Donnelly joins the Association from Bausch + Lomb where she held the position of director, Medical Affairs, Vision Care for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In the newly created role of BCLA CEO, Donnelly will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the Association; she will also support the BCLA Council and staff in driving development, delivering on the Association's investment and business plans, and increasing membership and conference delegate numbers. Donnelly will officially begin her new role on Jan. 6, 2014.

The BCLA has also launched a redesigned website at Users can create profiles and start conversations, ask questions, comment on news stories, and will soon even be able to share employment opportunities in an upcoming "Jobs" section. The website incorporates the BCLA's new branding and slogan, "Partnership, Leadership, Community." Existing member resources, such as Virtual Lectures and Clinical Photo Libraries, have been retained and will be enhanced with new content including podcasts and webcasts via BCLA's new YouTube channel.

In other BCLA news, the organization is calling for submissions of scientific papers and posters to be presented at its 2014 Clinical Conference and Exhibition, June 6 to 9, 2014. The final deadline for submitting papers and posters is Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. For more information or to submit an entry online, visit the BCLA's website at

Art Optical Debuts Technical Training Center

Art Optical announced that its newly completed onsite Technical Training Center is open for business at the company's headquarters in Grand Rapids, Mich. The facility features the latest diagnostic assessment equipment including a Topcon SL-D2 Video Slit Lamp and digital camera, a Medmont E300 Corneal Topographer, a Topcon KR-800 Auto Kerato-Refractometer, dual 60" Samsung smart monitors, and a digital line vision chart.

With custom sound and lighting and seating capacity for up to 75, the Training Center will be used for customer-focused events, such as educational lectures and focus groups, as well as hands-on specialty lens fitting workshops for individuals and small- to medium-sized practitioner groups. A newly refurbished dining/banquet services area accommodates dinner meetings and lunch and learn style events.

Barr Receives OSU Alumni Award

Joseph T. Barr, OD, MS, FAAO, a longtime Ohio State University College of Optometry faculty member as well as former editor of Contact Lens Spectrum for 20 years and founding editor of Contact Lenses Today, is a recipient the Ohio State Alumni Association's 2013 Ralph Davenport Mershon Award. The Mershon Award is presented to alumni who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to Ohio State.

Dr. Barr received his OD and MS in physiological optics degrees from Ohio State's College of Optometry. His first job after graduating was with Dow Corning, where he managed clinical and material research and helped bring to market a silicon-based GP lens that was thinner and more comfortable, including one for babies who had had congenital cataracts removed.

In 1983, Dr. Barr joined the Ohio State faculty as chief of the contact lens service at the College of Optometry and then as chief of optometry clinical services. By 2000, he was a professor of optometry and physiological optics. Over the years he served as assistant and then associate dean, both for clinical affairs and for clinical services and the professional program. During his tenure, he was the E.F. Wildermuth Foundation Professor in Optometry, advised graduate students, and served on the Council on Student Affairs.

Dr. Barr served on the executive committee for the first multicenter optometric study of keratoconus sponsored by the National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute. During this time, he also was director of the Photography Reading Center.

In 2007, Dr. Barr joined Bausch + Lomb. While there, he has led a major effort in collaboration with the Lions Club International Foundation and the Pediatric Cataract Initiative to sponsor studies in Nepal, India, Nigeria, South Africa, and China with the goal of eliminating childhood blindness from cataracts.

Dr. Barr is a long-time Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and has garnered numerous awards.

Alden Optical and Medmont Develop CL Module

■ Alden Optical and Medmont have announced a new topography-based method that allows for precise fitting of Alden Optical custom soft lenses. By incorporating topographical data with proprietary insight of the optimal corneal to Alden lens sagittal relationship, the two companies report that they have created a new fitting algorithm that will allow practitioners to effortlessly determine the optimal base curve and diameter of an Alden Optical lens. The companies expect this method to significantly improve lens fitting, which will in turn provide better lens stability, vision, comfort, and corneal health.

Currently practitioners can take advantage of this method by transmitting their Medmont maps to Alden Optical's consultation team who will make the necessary calculations and recommend the best fit lens. Ultimately, Alden Optical and Medmont plan to release AldenFit, a dedicated software module that automates the entire process, in the fourth quarter of 2013.


The Vision Care Institute (TVCI), an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., recently achieved the milestone of 100,000 eyecare professionals attending courses throughout its network of 14 sites worldwide. Launched in 2004, TVCI was a first-of-its-kind learning destination and has remained the only institution of such magnitude sponsored by a vision care company. It has evolved from one institute in the United States to sites across four continents. To date, there have been over 4,000 courses taught by 257 faculty members in 30 languages to accommodate attendees from 56 countries. TVCI in Jacksonville, Fla. opened in 2004 and has offered about 280 classes to date.

The Cooper Companies, Inc. has appointed Daniel G. McBride to executive vice president, chief operating officer, and general counsel. Mr. McBride most recently served as vice president, general counsel, and chief risk officer and has held positions of increasing responsibility within the legal organization focusing on operations, business development, and long-term growth. Cooper operates through two business units, CooperVision and CooperSurgical. The Cooper Companies also recently completed the sale of Aime, its GP contact lens and solutions business in Japan, to Nippon Contact Lens Inc.

Alexandro Gonzales died on Oct. 17 in Buenos Aires. Alex learned the technology of contact lenses from Pupilent Voss in Argentina. In the mid 80s, he was employed by Bausch + Lomb as production manager for soft and GP contact lenses. When the operation was closed in 1990, he founded Leader Design. Mr. Gonzales developed many unique lenses and has worked with lens professionals in South American countries for the past 23 years. His dedication to his work helped restore vision to many patients.

Professor Brien Holden has been awarded the inaugural Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) Humanitarian Award in recognition for his outstanding contribution in support of global efforts to help eliminate avoidable blindness and impaired vision and reduce the disability, poverty, and lack of opportunity associated with vision loss. Professor Holden received the award at a dinner held in Seattle, Wash., where he also announced that he would be stepping down as executive chair of OGS after 10 years. Professor Holden said that while he would stay on the Board, it was now time for someone new to take on the role of chair. He announced that the directors have elected Dr. Juan Carlos Aragon to succeed him as OGS chair. Dr. Aragon is currently chair of OGS's Global Development Board and senior vice president, Global Professional & Clinical Affairs, CooperVision.

■ The MSD Corporation, owner of the MSD scleral contact lens design, recently announced two new global partnerships: Ortolens in Serbia/Croatia, and Happy Vision in Korea. These new partners add to the company's existing network: Blanchard Contact Lens in the United States, Les Lab Blanchard in Canada, and Cardinal Contact Lens in Canada. Receiving KFDA approval in the Korean market is a milestone for the company.

Optometry Cares — the AOA Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2014 National Optometry Hall of Fame. The nomination form is available online, and inductees will be honored at Optometry's Meeting in June 2014. Visit of Fame.