Article

NEWS SPECTRUM

COOPERVISION ACQUIRES PARAGON VISION SCIENCES

The Cooper Companies, Inc. announced that CooperVision has acquired Paragon Vision Sciences, a leading provider of orthokeratology (ortho-k), specialty contact lenses, and oxygen-permeable rigid contact lens materials. CooperVision stated that the acquisition provides the opportunity to grow its myopia management presence worldwide. The transaction is valued at approximately $80 million and is expected to be neutral to earnings per share in fiscal 2018 excluding one-time charges and deal-related amortization. Terms of the acquisition were not made public.

Paragon, headquartered near Phoenix, will continue to operate as an independent yet complementary business, retaining its offices and brands. Customers should continue to work with their current representatives. Rich Jeffries, president of Paragon, will remain with the company, responsible for its day-to-day operations. Former Paragon CEO Joe Sicari will become a consultant to CooperVision.

STUDENT DEVELOPS POLARIZED CONTACT LENSES

University of Canterbury (UC) student Logan Williams has invented 3D-printed polarized contact lenses, providing sufferers of photosensitive epilepsy—in which flashing light can cause epileptic seizure—with a tool to overcome the threat of the condition.

Mr. Williams says he was inspired by the lack of non-medical prevention available to address the condition with the special lenses that he calls Polar Optics. Environmental threats include strobe lighting, but also such situations as walking past a line of trees that cast shadows with a flashing effect. The polarized contact lenses help through a process of refraction, according to Mr. Williams.

In his fourth year of a Master of Science degree in Applied Psychology at UC, Mr. Williams is in the process of commercializing Polar Optics with the aim of making the lenses accessible and affordable for those affected by photosensitive epilepsy.

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NOVABAY PHARMACEUTICALS NAMES LEWIS J. STUART CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER

NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. appointed Lewis J. Stuart as Chief Commercial Officer. Mr. Stuart brings more than 30 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience. At NovaBay, he will be responsible for leading all commercial activities, including driving sales and revenue growth of Avenova in new and existing markets and expanding the company’s global commercial channel.

Prior to NovaBay, Mr. Stuart was vice president, U.S. Oncology for Genomic Health, where he led the marketing, sales, and medical affairs teams for the company’s oncology franchise. He was also a member of the Board of Directors for Linkage Biosciences, Inc. recently acquired by Thermo Fisher, Inc. Previously, he served as president and general manager of Genetic Technologies, a women’s health/oncology company, where he established a U.S.-based molecular diagnostics division. He has also held leadership positions as senior vice president, Commercial Operations at CV Therapeutics, a Gilead Sciences acquisition, and vice president, Sales & Community Marketing at Agouron Pharmaceuticals before its acquisition by Pfizer, Inc.

BLANCHARD CONTACT LENSES ADDS NEW TEAM MEMBER IN SOUTH AMERICA

Blanchard Contact Lenses announced that Hector Ernesto Velasquez, OD, has joined the company as an Expert Consultant. Velasquez will provide consultative support to Blanchard’s customers in South America.

Dr. Velasquez brings 23 years of experience in the eyecare industry, including vast expertise in fitting scleral and GP specialty lenses. He is a member of the Scleral Lens Education Society and the International Association of Contact Lens Educators. Dr. Velasquez graduated from the Institute of Optometry in Caracas, Venezuela (Instituto Universitario de Optometria), where he was also a professor of Clinical Contactology. He travels around the world to share his knowledge and clinical experience in fitting specialty contact lenses. He also is a member of a professional group, Ophthalmologists of the Valley Clinic, in Venezuela.

FOR THE RECORD

In the October 2017 article “Scleral Lens Wear in Scuba and Deep-Sea Diving” by Karolien Elving-Kokke, MOptom; Peter Germonpré, MD; and Esther-Simone Visser, PhD, the email address for obtaining information, a link to the questionnaire, and an informed consent form was listed incorrectly. The correct email address is keg@vissercontactlenzen.nl.

NOVATEARS+OMEGA-3 APPROVED IN EUROPE FOR THE TREATMENT OF EVAPORATIVE DRY EYE DISEASE

Novaliq GmbH announced the European registration of NovaTears+Omega-3 for the enhanced treatment of the signs and symptoms of evaporative dry eye disease (DED). According to the company, NovaTears+Omega-3 stabilizes the lipid layer of the tear film, reduces the evaporation of the underlying water phase of the tear film, and supplements the lipid layer with essential Omega-3 fatty acids. The company says that NovaTears is the first clinically proven lipid layer stabilizer that improves signs and symptoms in patients who have DED without causing vision blurring. With the addition of Omega-3 fatty acids, this effect can be further enhanced. Until now, Omega-3 fatty acids could only be reliably supplemented through diets (e.g., fish) or balanced nutrition, according to the company. Post-market clinical studies with NovaTears+Omega-3 are planned for 2018.

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPTOMETRY CALL FOR PAPERS, AWARD NOMINATIONS, AND ABSTRACTS

The Lectures and Workshops Committee of the American Academy of Optometry invites the submission of up to three course proposals for consideration for Academy 2018 in San Antonio, TX, which will take place Nov. 7 to 10. Submission is between Jan. 2 to 31, 2018. Visit the Call for Courses webpage at www.aaopt.org/annual-meeting/san-antonio-2018/academy2017-courses .

In addition, each year the Academy honors individuals who have made significant contributions to vision science, education, and service to the profession and humanity. Nominations must be received from an Academy Fellow, with an explanation of why the nominee is particularly deserving of the award for which the nomination has been made. A letter seconding the nomination must come from another Academy Fellow. These documents, as well as a CV of the nominee, should be emailed to Helen Viksnins at HelenV@aaoptom.org prior to Apr. 1, 2018. For more information and a list of Academy Awards, visit the Awards and Grants page at www.aaopt.org/ .

 

Finally, the Academy’s Scientific Program offers scientists, educators, and clinicians the opportunity to exchange the latest information in optometry and vision science in two formats: research paper presentations and scientific posters. Visit the Scientific Program webpage at www.aaopt.org/annual-meeting/san-antonio-2018/meetings-academy2018-sciprog for more information or to download resources on how to construct your Scientific Program abstract. Please note that you do not need to be an Academy member to participate.

INDUSTRY BRIEFS

  • The American Academy of Optometry launched a newly designed website for both the Academy and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation. The new website has been designed to offer the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality, while allowing visitors to access key information more easily. The site includes many new features designed to help users quickly and easily navigate the site and find what they need. New features include an updated and more modern look and design; an enhanced fellow and diplomate directory that allows users to easily identify diplomates who appear in the search results; optimized and enhanced responsive design, leading to better viewability on mobile devices and a variety of browser types; and a thorough search feature that encompasses website pages, past meeting abstracts and outlines, and directory information.
  • To assist eyecare professionals and other healthcare professionals in helping consumers better understand when and how to properly use over-the-counter eye drops, The Mentholatum Company, distributors of Rohto Dry-Aid, in conjunction with the Intrepid Eye Society and CEDARS/ASPENS (Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery/American Society of Progressive Enterprising Surgeons), a not-for-profit society of anterior segment surgeon educators, has developed a new educational resource, Before You Buy Eye Drops: What You Need to Know. The resource offers important information about different types of eye drops and what they are most commonly used for, helpful “Do’s and Don’ts” to follow when using eye drops, step-by-step instructions on how to properly instill eye drops, and links to additional eye health information resources. Copies can be downloaded from the Resources section at the Rohto Dry-Aid Professional website at www.rohtoeyedrops.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Before-You-Buy-Eye-Drops-What-You-Need-to-Know.pdf .
  • The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) is going global in 2018 with a series of events aimed at providing eyecare professionals with the latest insight into best practice and state-of-the-art technology. BCLA UK returns in 2018 and, for the first time, will take place over two days across two cities—at The IET in Savoy Place, London, and at Conference Aston at Aston University, Birmingham. Provisional dates are June 4 and 10, featuring lectures, workshops, and an exhibition plus the return of the popular “Optical Assistant Courses” hosted by Sarah Morgan. The inaugural BCLA Asia conference held in 2016 will also return in 2018, this time in Singapore on Sept. 2 to 3. Visit www.bcla.org.uk .
  • Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Inveltys (KPI-121 1%), a topical twice-a-day product candidate for the treatment of inflammation and pain in patients who have undergone ocular surgery. If approved, Kala expects that Inveltys would be the first twice-daily ocular corticosteroid indicated for the treatment of postoperative ocular inflammation and pain. The brand name for KPI-121 1%, Inveltys, has been conditionally approved by the FDA. Inveltys utilizes Kala’s proprietary Mucus Penetrating Particle (MPP) technology. MPPs are selectively sized nanoparticles with proprietary coatings that are designed to significantly enhance drug penetration and distribution in ocular tissues. In pre-clinical studies, MPPs increased delivery into ocular tissues more than three-fold by facilitating penetration through the tear film mucus.
  • The New England College of Optometry (NECO) has launched an ambitious Fundraising Appeal called Campaign 2020 to support the development of the new clinical campus for students. The new campus includes the newly renovated NECO Center for Eye Care and a boutique optical shop at the Commonwealth location. Construction was slated to begin in December for a contemporary, state-of-the-art student training facility, expanding and enhancing its current pre-clinic experiences for students. Visit www.neco.edu/giving/2020 or contact Tony Cavallerano, OD, director of Professional Relations, at (617) 587-5687 or email campaign2020@neco.edu.
  • The Heart of America Eye Care Congress (formerly the Heart of America Contact Lens Society Contact Lens and Primary Care Congress) will hold its 57th annual meeting from Feb. 9 to 11, 2018, at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center in Kansas City, MO. More than 60 CE hours will be available. Contact Dr. Ron Fiegel for registration information: 3460 N. Ridge Road, Ste. 140, Wichita, KS 67205; (316) 729-8900; e-mail registration@hoaecc.org; or visit the organization’s website at www.hoaecc.org .