We Want Your Nominations for Most Influential in CLs
Contact Lens Spectrum’s 30th Anniversary Issue will publish in September 2016. We are doing some noteworthy things to commemorate our 30 years, including a redesign that will be phased in over the next few months. We will also run a feature article on the 30 most influential people in the field of contact lenses over the last 30 years (1986-2016) in the anniversary issue. The list may include anyone (practitioners, researchers, educators, and industry leaders) who has made a significant impact in the field of contact lenses over the last 30 years. We are looking for people who have contributed or are contributing to the betterment and/or advancement of contact lenses during this period.
We are asking you to nominate people for this honor. There is no limit to your nominations, so please put forward whomever you think is worthy of this distinction. If you have any comments about the specific accomplishments of your nominees, we welcome those as well. Please send your nominations to Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jason Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for your support of Contact Lens Spectrum.
DD Multifocal Now in 90-Packs
CooperVision Inc. announced the addition of a 90-pack configuration for Clariti 1 Day Multifocal contact lenses. Until now, these lenses were available only in 30-pack cartons. Clariti 1 Day Multifocal lenses feature a base curve of 8.6mm, a diameter of 14.1mm, and a Dk/t (at –3.00D) of 86, with a power range of +5.00D to –6.00D (0.25D steps) and add powers of Low (up to +2.25D) and High (+2.50D to +3.00D).
Novartis Appoints Alcon Division Head/CEO
Novartis announced that Michael Ball has been appointed division head and CEO of Alcon, effective Feb. 1, 2016. Ball will be a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis (ECN). He joins Novartis from Hospira, where he was CEO from 2011 until recently. Prior to Hospira, he spent five years as president of Allergan, where he held a series of leadership positions over 16 years with the company. Ball succeeds Jeff George, who has decided to leave Novartis.
A Novartis press release accessing the Novartis Q4/Full Year results also discussed the corporation’s growth plan for Alcon. According to the release, Novartis is focusing the Alcon Division on its core Surgical and Vision Care business. Within this business, the corporation has identified key actions to accelerate growth in 2016 and beyond. These include:
• Optimizing IOL innovation and commercial execution
• Prioritizing and investing in promising pipeline opportunities
• Ensuring best-in-class service, training, and education for eyecare professionals
• Improving sales force effectiveness
• Investing in DTC behind key brands
Novartis is transferring Alcon’s pharmaceutical products to the Pharmaceuticals Division, thereby creating the world’s leading ophthalmology business, according to the company.
IACLE Welcomes New Fellows
Contact lens educators in countries from Jordan to Ecuador could soon be adding letters after their names having successfully completed the International Association of Contact Lens Educators’ (IACLE) latest Fellowship Exam.
Held every two years, the Fellowship Exam took place in November 2015. Candidates with a successful outcome who have been IACLE members for 12 months or more can now apply to become Fellows of IACLE and use the FIACLE designation in recognition of their contact lens knowledge.
A total of 131 members from 29 countries in all three of IACLE’s global regions sat the latest exam, and 39% were successful. More than half of candidates (56%) were from IACLE’s Global Priority Countries.
The Asia Pacific region fielded the most candidates, with 89 in total, followed by the Americas (29) and Europe/Africa-Middle East (13). China (24) and India (23) were the countries contributing the largest numbers, followed by Korea (18). The 2015 Fellowship Exam also saw countries such as Oman and Malawi represented.
A majority of candidates (107) were Educator Members, working full time or part time at a recognized teaching institution, and 24 were Associate Members, of whom 13 worked in industry. All of IACLE’s Platinum and Silver Sponsors fielded candidates. Most of those sitting the exam were optometrists (62%), although 8% were ophthalmologists.
The 2015 Fellowship Exam was the 10th administration. The next exam will be held in November 2017. Anyone interested should start to think about engaging with the IACLE’s Distance Learning Program now to aid their preparation for the next Fellowship Exam.
SLS Approved as COPE Provider
The Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE), a nationally recognized accreditation program for optometric continuing education (CE) courses, has approved the Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS) as a COPE-accredited CE provider. COPE-accredited CE providers are the only organizations approved to offer CE courses for optometrists on behalf of optometric licensing boards.
To achieve COPE-accredited CE provider status, the SLS completed a rigorous application process and successfully demonstrated adherence to COPE’s rules and regulations as a COPE-Approved Administrator/Provider. The SLS is committed to presenting high-quality CE courses focused on the science and art of fitting all designs of scleral contact lenses.
FDA Acknowledges NDA Resubmission for Lifitegrast
Shire plc announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has acknowledged receipt of the resubmission of the New Drug Application (NDA) for lifitegrast for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in adults. Shire resubmitted the NDA in response to the complete response letter (CRL) received from the FDA on Oct. 16, 2015 that requested an additional clinical study and more information related to product quality. The FDA determined that the submission is a complete response and has assigned a six-month review period for the NDA and a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date of July 22, 2016.
The new drug application for lifitegrast now includes data from five clinical trials, including one Phase 2 study, three Phase 3 safety and efficacy studies (OPUS-1, OPUS-2, and OPUS-3), and one long-term (one year) Phase 3 safety study (SONATA). This is the largest clinical trial program for an investigational-stage compound in dry eye disease, with more than 2,500 patients.
Shire originally submitted the NDA for lifitegrast to the FDA in February 2015. In April 2015, the FDA granted Priority Review designation to lifitegrast, which accelerated the review target to eight months instead of the standard 12 months.
Blanchard Announces 2016 Scleral Lens Workshop Tour
Blanchard Contact Lenses released the cities and dates for a large part of its 2016 Beyond the Limbus Scleral Lens Workshop tour. The Beyond the Limbus workshops, in their sixth year, are a component of Blanchard University, Blanchard’s educational division.
Workshops will be held in Charlotte, NC – April 3; Ft. Lauderdale, FL – April 10; Uniondale, NY – April 17; Kansas City, KS – April 24; Rockville, MD – May 1; San Francisco – May 8; and Houston – May 15. Dates are also in the works for Los Angeles; Anaheim, CA; Manchester, NH; and Boston.
Alden Becomes Silver Level Sponsor of IKA
Alden Optical, now part of the Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products (B+L SVP) group, announced that it has become a Silver Level Sponsor of the International Keratoconus Academy (IKA). The IKA is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote and develop the knowledge base and awareness of the state of the art pertaining to the diagnosis and management of keratoconus and other forms of corneal ectasia.
According to Alden Optical, this sponsorship represents a significant investment by itself and B+L SVP toward increased understanding of keratoconus and its management.
OGS Forms New Global Board
Optometry Giving Sight has announced the consolidation of its Global Board and Global Development Board, creating a new board structure with 11 members. The new members are:
• Dr. Glenn Ellisor – executive chairman, Vision Source
• Marc Ferrara – CEO Information Services, Jobson Medical Information
• Pat McNeil – chief communications officer, VSP Global
• Dr. Howard Purcell – senior vice president, Customer Development Group, Essilor of America
• Dr. Alan Ulsifer – president and chair, FYidoctors
• Dr. Rick Weisbarth – VP professional affairs, Alcon
• Dr. Juan Carlos Aragon (chairperson) – senior vice president, Southern & Central Eastern Europe, CooperVision
• Peter Ackland – CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)
• Dr. Susan Cooper – immediate past president, World Council of Optometry
• Amanda Davis – COO, Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) - Public Health
• Yvette Waddell – COO, BHVI
Dr. Aragon thanked outgoing board members, Professor Kovin Naidoo – CEO, BHVI; Bob McMullan – president, IAPB; and U.K. practitioner Robert (Bob) Chappell, for their service over recent years.
The announcement follows the first meeting of the new board on Feb. 4, which approved $1.5 million in funding for 39 projects in 24 countries.
AccuLens Forms Affiliation with Block Business Group
AccuLens has announced an affiliation with Block Business Group (BBG), a professional association in the optical buying group market. It provides assistance to independent eyecare professionals in their practice management and purchasing needs by offering members significant discounts from the leading suppliers of optical services, equipment, and lenses. This professional collaboration enables AccuLens to offer its scleral and multifocal designs to eyecare professionals with exclusive benefits and promotional offers for BBG members.
In related news, AccuLens had a spotlight interview on BBG’s VisionLive.tv. Elissa Masler, AccuLens national sales director, appeared with TV hosts Erik Liegren and Gayle Gurchiek. The VisionLive program will feature news and interviews covering the hottest fashion trends to cutting-edge technology.
■ The December 2015 Is This the New Norm? column titled “Is Scleral Fogging the New Norm?” by Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO, & David L. Kading, OD, FAAO, discussed a technique suggested by Dr. Christine Sindt to flush the fluid from behind a scleral lens while the lens is being worn. A video of this technique (courtesy of Dr. Sindt) is now available with the online version of that article in the archive at www.clspectrum.com.
■ The American Optometric Association (AOA) Contact Lens and Cornea Section (CLCS) has published a new presbyopia supplement that is a result of its members gathering a year ago at the AOA annual meeting to have a roundtable to discuss ways to better serve these patients. This supplement, Through the Lens: Perspectives on Achieving Presbyopic Contact Lens Success, is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. The supplement is available at http://aoa.uberflip.com/i/635826-contact-lens-success.
■ Alcon has entered into an agreement to acquire Transcend Medical, Inc., a privately held, U.S.-based company focused on developing minimally invasive surgical devices to treat glaucoma. Transcend Medical recently developed a micro-stent to treat mild-to-moderate glaucoma.
■ ABB Optical Group has hired Melanie Miller as managing director of strategic and national accounts. Ms. Miller has more than 20 years of sales and account management experience and has held various leadership positions with Bausch + Lomb for 11 years, most recently as one of the company’s national account directors. Additionally, Bart Tessel, who has been with ABB Optical since 2009, will move to the new position of vice president of business development and strategic initiatives. In his new role, Mr. Tessel will focus on developing new business opportunities for ABB Optical, including expanding the company’s product portfolio and service lines, forging new business partnerships and collaborations, market development, and geographical growth.
■ Novaliq GmbH, a pharmaceutical company with a disruptive drug delivery platform that transforms poorly soluble drugs into effective therapeutics for ophthalmology, announced that it has begun enrolling patients in a Phase 2 clinical trial that will evaluate the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of CyclASol for the treatment of moderate-to-severe dry eye disease (DED). CyclASol is a clear, preservative-free ophthalmic solution of cyclosporine in SFA (semifluorinated alkanes). This Phase 2 study is a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial designed to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of topical CyclASol for the treatment of moderate-to-severe DED. The study is being conducted in approximately four sites in the United States; total planned enrollment is 200 patients.
■ The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) has announced a call for applications for the Academy Clinical Research Award. The purpose of the award is to provide a mechanism for Academy Fellows to conduct clinical research to answer clinically meaningful questions that will have a significant impact on patient care in optometry. The Academy will provide a maximum of $100,000 per project, and each project must be completed within two years. For full award information, including deadlines, visit www.aaopt.org/clinical-research-award.
The AAO also announced a call for submissions for the Academy Career Development Award, a new initiative for the Academy. Early career optometric faculty at schools or colleges of optometry and departments of ophthalmology are encouraged to apply. This award is designed for optometric educators and scientists involved in research including clinical, patient-oriented, educational, etc., as long as the case can be made for the potential to acquire future extramural funding. Preference is for innovative, original, independent, principal investigator (PI)-driven projects. Read the full RFP, including deadline information, online at www.aaopt.org/About/careerdevelopment.
■ CareCredit, a leading provider of patient financing, and AllAboutVision.com, an online consumer educational resource for eye health and vision correction options, have announced an exclusive advertising agreement promoting patient financing. The campaign will use targeted display ads to reach consumers who are researching LASIK, cataracts, eyeglasses, and contact lenses. Under the terms of the agreement, consumers can link directly from AllAboutVision.com to CareCredit’s website, where they can apply for a CareCredit credit card and, if needed, find an eyecare professional.