NEWS spectrum


Actavis to Acquire Allergan

Actavis plc and Allergan, Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement under which Actavis will acquire Allergan for a combination of $129.22 in cash and 0.3683 Actavis shares for each share of Allergan common stock. Based on the closing price of Actavis shares on Nov. 14, 2014, the transaction is valued at approximately $66 billion, or $219 per Allergan share. The combined company will create one of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies by sales revenue, with combined annual pro forma revenues of more than $23 billion anticipated in 2015, according to the companies. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is supported by both management teams.

Brent Saunders, CEO and president of Actavis, will lead the combined company, which will operate out of New Jersey and California. Paul Bisaro, executive chairman of Actavis, will remain executive chairman of the board. Senior management teams of both companies will lead the integration to a single company. Additionally, two members of the Allergan board of directors will be invited to join the Actavis board following the completion of the transaction.

The addition of Allergan’s portfolio, including multiple therapeutic franchises, doubles the revenues of Actavis’ North American Specialty Brands business. On a pro forma basis for full year 2015, the combined company will have three franchises each with annual revenues in excess of $3 billion in ophthalmology, neurosciences/CNS, and medical aesthetics/dermatology/plastic surgery. The specialty product franchises in gastroenterology, cardiovascular, women’s health, urology, and infectious disease treatments will have combined revenues of approximately $4 billion.

Actavis projects that the transaction will generate at least $1.8 billion in annual synergies commencing in 2016, in addition to the $475 million of annual savings previously announced by Allergan. Actavis also plans to maintain annual R&D investment of approximately $1.7 billion, ensuring the appropriate resource allocation to continue driving exceptional organic growth.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the shareholders of both companies as well as to customary antitrust clearance in the United States, the European Union, and certain other jurisdictions. It is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2015.

Valeant Acquires U.S. Subsidiary Nicox, Inc.

Nicox S.A., an international ophthalmic company, has announced that Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. has acquired Nicox’s U.S. diagnostics subsidiary, Nicox, Inc., in a deal worth up to $20 million. Nicox intends to concentrate its commercial and development resources on ophthalmic therapeutics as part of its strategy to build an international ophthalmic company in Europe and in the United States.

Under the terms of the agreement, Valeant has acquired Nicox, Inc. for $10 million in cash, plus further cash payments of up to $10 million based upon Valeant achieving certain sales targets with the transferred products. The transaction is effective immediately. Nicox’s operations outside of the United States and its acquisition of Aciex Therapeutics, Inc. in October 2014 are not affected by this transaction. Valeant has acquired most of the Nicox commercial infrastructure in the United States associated with diagnostics, including Sjö and RetnaGene, while Nicox has retained a number of U.S.-based employees focused on therapeutics. Those employees retained by Nicox have transferred to Nicox’s U.S. subsidiary Aciex.

Alcon Launches Online CL Guide

Alcon has launched a web-based Guide to Clinical Contact Lens Management for contact lens practitioners. The guide is available on and provides a compact summary of signs, symptoms, and management options of a broad range of anterior segment and contact lens-related conditions.

The easy-to-use guide has been updated to include more conditions, images, and videos compared to previous print versions. Conditions can be searched by anterior segment anatomy, including cornea, limbus, conjunctiva, and lid, or by the accompanying signs and symptoms. There is also a section specific to contact lens fitting complications.

The guide is edited by Dr. Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science.

B+L Launches Consumer Campaigns

Bausch + Lomb is launching several patient-facing initiatives throughout the fall aimed at helping patients and eyecare practitioners (ECPs) learn how common vision issues may be addressed by advancements in contact lens and lens care technology. The educational campaigns are designed to reach patients where they seek health information, largely on digital and social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as other media outlets, including radio, e-magazines, and newspapers. The contact lens campaigns also underscore the importance of patients taking care of their eyesight and regularly seeing an ECP. The campaigns include:

Ultra Contact Lenses: “Keeping Up With Today’s Advances In Digital Technology”

    – Patient site including an ECP locator is at

Biotrue Oneday Contact Lenses: “What’s in Your Dryness Survival Kit?”

    – Patient site is at

PureVision2 Multi-Focal Contact Lenses for Presbyopia: “Do Your Eyes Show Your Age?”

    – Patient site is at

Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution: The Eye-Opening Facts about Binge-Watching

    – Patient site is at

ABB Optical Group Honors Lynda Baker

ABB Optical Group recently announced that industry pioneer Lynda Baker retired on Dec. 1, 2014. The executive vice president of ABB Optical, Baker was instrumental in the 2007 merger of ABB Optical and Con-Cise Contact Lens Company, where she began her career in 1965.

Baker started her career as a contact lens technician at Con-Cise before there was a soft contact lens market. One of seven employees, she was responsible for manufacturing hard lenses. As the company grew, her role developed into managing a wide variety of functions within the organization.

In the mid- to late-1970s, Baker spent most of her time managing the company’s soft lens inventory and sales. In 1980, she took an equity and leadership role in the organization as vice president/general manager, and was promoted to executive vice president in 1985.

She has also served as the clinical monitor for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Paragon Vision Sciences’ GP material in 1981; and, in 1987, she served as one of the first members of Ciba Vision’s Authorized Distributor Advisory Board.

Other accomplishments include passing the first National Contact Lens Exam (NCLE) in the late 1970s as well as serving on the board of directors for the Pacific Coast Contact Lens Society for 12 years, including as its first female president. She also taught college-level courses, served on various advisory boards, and won Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical award in 2005.

Holden Awarded Prentice Medal

Professor Brien Holden, from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia, and CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute, received the Charles F. Prentice Medal (established in 1958) in recognition of a career-long record of advancing knowledge in vision science at the annual American Academy of Optometry meeting last month in Denver.

Professor Holden has spent nearly 50 years studying the cornea, the requirements and solutions for safe and comfortable lens wear, surgical vision technologies, the major causes and solutions to blindness and impaired vision from refractive error, and the global epidemic of myopia. He has been a global leader in research and innovation in vision correction and blindness prevention.


CooperVision, Inc. now offers a 90-pack configuration for Proclear 1 Day Multifocal daily disposable contact lenses. Having both 90- and 30-pack configurations available will allow eyecare professionals to more easily dispense Proclear 1 Day Multifocal lenses, according to the company.

SynergEyes, Inc. has released eight video tutorials for Duette Progressive. The videos, each only a few minutes in length, are available through the “Video Tutorials” link on the homepage of The step-by-step tutorials cover lens design, lens calculator, fitting guide, lens dispensing, optimizing fit, optimizing near vision, optimizing distance vision, and optimizing patient compliance. The videos address the vision optimization made possible by the recent expansion of lens parameters to 0.1mm increments.

Alcon is marking five years of unrestricted grant support for the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) team. Alcon has provided nearly $700,000 to the CLAY team, whose early research focused on determining whether youth is an independent risk factor for contact lens complications. It has since expanded toward understanding risk factors associated with contact lens complications in both children and adults. Some other key areas of learning include the development of a standardized contact lens risk survey (CLRS) as well as a greater understanding of contact lens wear, care, and access and behaviors unique to college wearers. Since CLAY was first formed in 2008, researchers have generated six peer-reviewed manuscripts and more than 20 conference presentations.

Alden Optical has promoted Bill Shelly to vice president sales for the company’s North American business. Shelly will assume responsibility for sales strategy and execution in coordination with Alden Optical partners ABB Optical Group in the United States and HJS Consulting in Canada. Prior to joining Alden Optical in 2011, Shelly held positions with CooperVision and Paragon Vision Sciences.

NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has signed a nationwide distribution agreement with McKesson Corporation. The agreement covers NovaBay’s i-Lid Cleanser, a prescription lid and lash hygiene product

■ To raise awareness and help those struggling with dry eye, ZeaVision LLC subsidiary EyePromise is kicking off the EZ Tears Dry Eye Challenge as well as launching an educational campaign that includes a contest, free prizes, and special learning resources. The challenge and contest, found at, allows participants to take part in an online “scratch and play” game. Visitors can enter daily, winning prizes such as gift cards or a monthly grand prize including an Apple iPad. Each participant who plays will also receive a free Dry Eye Information Kit.

Alcon has announced its support for the Think About Your Eyes public awareness campaign. This national campaign, presented by the Vision Council and the American Optometric Association, is designed to educate the public on the benefits of vision health and to promote the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam. As a Leadership Partner, Alcon will work closely with Think About Your Eyes to provide insights and educational information to the public about a number of eye care topics.