2015 GSLS Breaks Records
The 2015 Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS), which took place from Jan. 22 to 26 at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, hosted a record-breaking nearly 800 attendees and exhibitors from 36 countries, 42 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The exhibit hall also featured 56 sponsors and exhibitors.
The education program offered approximately 30 hours of COPE, NCLE, and JCAHPO continuing education credits. New this year was a preconference practice-building program that included tracks focusing on myopia control, billing and coding, dry eye, and scleral lenses.
The main conference included general sessions on the state of the contact lens industry; scleral, corneal GP, hybrid, and custom soft lenses; myopia control; contact lens care; presbyopia; contact lens discomfort; and soft lens fitting. Attendees had numerous CE breakout sessions to choose from as well as manufacturers’ breakfast and lunch seminars. The education program was once again developed by the GSLS Education Planning Committee members: Craig Norman, FCLSA; Jason Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO; Edward Bennett, OD, MSEd, FAAO; Eef van der Worp, BOptom, PhD; and Patrick Caroline, FAAO. An in-depth report on the education program highlights will appear as a feature article in an upcoming issue.
The GSLS Award of Excellence this year recognized four scleral lens pioneers, each of whom played a significant role in modernizing scleral designs, fitting techniques, and patient management. Recipients included Don Ezekiel (Australia), Ken Pullum (United Kingdom), Perry Rosenthal, MD (USA), and Rients Visser (The Netherlands). Lynette Johns, OD, FAAO, accepted the award for Dr. Rosenthal, and Ron Beerten, BOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, FIACLE, and Marco van Beusekom, BOptom, FBCLA, FIACLE, accepted for Rients Visser.
The 2015 GSLS also featured a poster contest and a photo contest. Seventy clinical and scientific posters were displayed. The winners were as follows:
• First Place: Amy Dinardo, OD, MBA, FAAO, and Evan Andrews, A Comparison of the Neutralization Process Amongst Various Hydrogen Peroxide-Based Contact Lens Solutions
• Second Place: Adeline Bauer, OD, and Josh T. Lotoczky, OD, FAAO, Let’s Settle This Once and For All: A Comparison of Scleral Lens Settling
• First Place: Heidi Miller, OD, and Timothy B. Edrington, OD, MS, FAAO, Corneo-Scleral Lens Management of a Bilateral Corneal Transplant Patient Suffering from Severe Ocular Surface Disease
• Second Place: Brooke Messer, OD, Utilizing Micro-Vaults to Improve Comfort and Cosmesis in Scleral Lens Wearers with Pingueculae
• First Place: Masao Matsubara, MD, DMSc, Dementors in a Cornea
• Second Place: Stephanie L. Woo, OD, FAAO, Explosive Iris Bomb
The next GSLS will take place from Jan. 21 to 24, 2016 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
CooperVision Names Orsborn VP, Global Professional & Clinical Affairs
CooperVision, Inc. has named Gary Orsborn, OD, MS, FAAO, FBCLA, vice president, Global Professional & Clinical Affairs. In this role, he is responsible for the continued development and management of the company’s professional and clinical affairs strategy worldwide.
Dr. Orsborn has nearly 30 years of experience in the contact lens industry, working in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. He previously served as senior director, Global Professional Affairs, a position he held since joining CooperVision in 2013. Prior to that, he was with Bausch + Lomb for 28 years.
IACLE Launches 2015 Awards
The 2015 International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards, sponsored by CooperVision and supported by the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), will be awarded to three individuals, one from each of IACLE’s three regions: Asia Pacific; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and Americas.
The IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards are open to all IACLE members from any country, with preference given to members who are active Fellows of IACLE and/or have attempted the IACLE Fellowship Exam. The awards will recognize work by those who are established contact lens teachers.
Equally, the award may be given in recognition of a useful educational contribution by an associate member who is actively involved in IACLE and in contact lens education.
The IACLE Travel Award, sponsored by IACLE and supported by the BCLA, is a travel scholarship for an IACLE Educator Member starting out on his or her career who would not otherwise be able to attend the BCLA and IACLE conferences.
This year also marks the first-ever IACLE Award for Lifetime Achievement in Contact Lens Education to an individual who has made a substantial contribution to IACLE over the course of his or her career and has furthered the cause of contact lens education worldwide. This award will be decided by the IACLE Executive Board.
The deadline for entries for the 2015 awards is midnight on Feb. 27, 2015. Entries should be submitted by email to IACLE Director of Operations Bonnie Boshart at email@example.com using the application forms that are found at www.iacle.org.
INAUGURAL DRY EYE SUMMIT HELD
More than 70 optometry experts from across the United States and Canada convened in Dallas on Dec. 11 to 13, 2014 for the inaugural Dry Eye Summit to discuss challenges faced by eyecare professionals in managing dry eye disease. Seventeen companies in the field of optometry and dry eye disease jointly sponsored the summit. Attendees discussed concise, effective recommendations for identifying and managing patients who have dry eye disease. The summit participants plan to disseminate the insights from the summit in a set of expert recommendations as well as through numerous publications and other communications throughout 2015.
The Dry Eye Summit co-chairs were Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO; Derek Cunningham, OD, FAAO; Marc Bloomenstein, OD, FAAO; Ian Benjamin Gaddie, OD, FAAO; Scot Morris, OD, FAAO; and Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO.
Contamac Forms Agreements
Contamac, Ltd., and Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) have entered into a multi-year license that enables Contamac to commercialize, manufacture, and distribute customized silicone hydrogel and GP contact lens products based on utilizing background intellectual property on myopia control from the BHVI.
Under the license, Contamac will begin to commercialize specialized contact lenses designed to reduce the rate of myopia progression in children by sub-licensing the Contamac designs to key strategic partners within its existing customer base throughout the world, commencing in May 2015. The technology licensed by BHVI includes numerous U.S. and foreign patents.
Currently, a myopia control indication for use submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is to be completed in early 2017 as part of Contamac’s commercialization plan.
In related news, Contamac and Ocular Dynamics, a company with the mission to create technologies to improve comfort for contact lens patients who experience dryness during lens wear, also entered into a multi-year licensing, sub-licensable, manufacturing and commercialization agreement for incorporating Hydra-PEG technology into Contamac’s Definitive 50 and Definitive 65 silicone hydrogel lens materials. The companies are also discussing an agreement to incorporate the Hydra-PEG technology into Contamac’s line of Optimum GP lens materials. The Hydra-PEG technology is a permanently bonded polyethylene glycol (PEG) surface coating that augments contact lens wettability, lubricity, tear film surface quality, and the lens’ ability to resist protein/lipid deposits, according to Contamac.
Under the new agreement, Contamac will begin the worldwide commercialization of incorporating the Hydra-PEG technology into specialty contact lenses that are manufactured in Definitive silicone hydrogel materials through sub-licensing the technology to the entire Contamac global laboratory network channel, commencing May 2015.
■ The Vision Research Institute (VRI) at the Ferris State University’s Michigan College of Optometry has launched a new website at www.myopiacontrol.org. Under the guidance of Stephanie Ramdass, OD, the site is designed to be a central portal for global eyecare practitioners as a gateway to information on myopia and myopia prevention. According to Dr. Ramdass, the site’s goal is to provide a place where practitioners can learn about the latest studies, philosophies, treatments, and controversies. Featured are international perspectives on myopia control, recent publications, and, when fully populated, an archive on this topic dating back over the past 60 years.
■ Paragon Vision Sciences executed a worldwide license agreement with Katt Group, Inc. as the exclusive GP material and marketing partner for the ICD Family of Lens Designs, a scleral lens design portfolio with diameters of 14.5mm, 16.5mm, and a toric design, manufactured in Paragon HDS 100. The ICD Family of Lens Designs was developed by John Mountford, Dip. App. Sc., FAAO, FCLSA; Don Noack, Dip. Opt. (W.A.); Randy Kojima, FAAO, FOAA; and Robert Heavyside, president of Katt Group. The ICD family is fit using an 18-lens diagnostic fitting set and is manufactured by authorized ICD Laboratories worldwide. Currently, ABB Optical Group, Valley Contax, Lenticon Laboratories in Portugal, Chile, and Spain, LCS (Laboratoire Contact Service) in France, No. 7 Contact Lenses in the United Kingdom, Soflex in Israel, and T.S. Lenti a Contatto s.r.l. in Italy are Authorized ICD Laboratories.
■ SynergEyes, Inc. has expanded parameters for its Duette HD lens. Parameters are now available in 0.1mm increments. SynergEyes also expanded its practitioner resources with the release of seven video tutorials for Duette HD, which complement its Duette Progressive videos. The step-by-step tutorials cover lens design, lens calculator, fitting guide, lens dispensing, optimizing fit, optimizing vision, and optimizing patient compliance. They are available through the “Video Tutorials” link on www.synergeyes.com/professional.
■ The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has launched its global search for the recipient of the 2015 BCLA Industry Award—and for the first time will be inviting members to cast a vote from the list of nominees. Launched in 2013 to honor and recognize the entrepreneurial work being carried out by individuals working in contact lens science, research, and technology, the inaugural recipient of the BCLA Industry Award was Dr. Paul Rose, inventor of the Rose K lens for keratoconus. Nominations are being invited from all confirmed sponsors and exhibitors at both the 2014 and 2015 Clinical Conference and Exhibition, by the deadline of Feb. 27. A nomination form can be found on the BCLA website, www.bcla.org.uk. The winner of the 2015 BCLA Industry Award will be revealed during the BCLA Dinner to be held on May 30.
■ NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has rebranded its i-Lid Cleanser with Neutrox as Avenova with Neutrox. This name change, effective immediately, helps NovaBay to differentiate prescription Avenova from other products marketed as eye cleaners, in particular over-the-counter (OTC) products not intended for continuous daily use, according to the company. Avenova was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a prescription medical device through the 510(k) process.