Contamac has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the therapeutic use of its Optimum Extra, Optimum Extreme, and Hexa100 lens materials in contact lenses.

Optimum Extra, Optimum Extreme, and Hexa100 lens materials are suitable for therapeutic use in eyes with ocular surface disease (e.g., ocular graft-versus-host disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, dry eye syndrome, and filamentary keratitis), limbal stem cell deficiency (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome, chemical radiation and thermal burns), disorders of the skin (e.g., atopy, ectodermal dysplasia), neurotrophic keratitis (e.g., herpes simplex, herpes zoster, familial dysautonomia), and corneal exposure (e.g., anatomic, paralytic), for which the expanded tear reservoir and protection against an adverse environment afforded by a scleral lens might prove beneficial. ■


SynergEyes, Inc. announced a new webinar series featuring nationally recognized optometrists addressing astigmatism, presbyopia, and irregular cornea conditions. The webinars are designed to provide eyecare professionals with tools for success when prescribing the latest scleral and hybrid contact lenses. The series will be hosted by leading industry experts including Louise Sclafani, OD; Melissa Barnett, OD; Christine Sindt, OD; and Jeffrey Sonsino, OD.

The series includes the following four webinars held on various dates between mid-June and the end of August: SynergEyes VS Scleral Lens: Introduction to Prescribing, with Case Studies; SynergEyes VS Scleral Lens: Design Overview and Complex Cases for Current Prescribers; Duette Progressive Hybrid Lenses: Personalized Contact Lenses for Presbyopia, with Case Studies; and Duette Hybrid Lenses: Playbook for High Performance Vision for Astigmatic Patients, with Case Studies. Practitioners can register for the webinars at . ■


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Dr. Joseph Mallinger, senior vice president of Professional Relations for Healthy Eyes Advantage (HEA) and previously the president & CEO of Vision West (VWI), will receive the 2018 American Optometric Association’s (AOA’s) Distinguished Service Award. The presentation will take place during Optometry’s Annual Meeting in Denver in June. This award recognizes the long-term dedication to the profession of optometry by an OD.

His long list of contributions to the optometric profession includes serving as president of the San Diego County Optometric Society, president of the California Optometric Association (COA), president of the COA’s Public Vision League, secretary treasurer of the Marshall B. Ketchum University Southern California College of Optometry Board of Trustees, and current president of Optometry Cares, the AOA’s charitable foundation.

During his term as president of the COA, he played a significant part on behalf of optometry when the efforts of his board empowered properly licensed ODs in California to diagnose and treat eye disease with therapeutic pharmaceutical agents. In 1996, he left private practice to join the COA’s then-subsidiary purchasing organization, which became Vision West Inc. ■


Primary Eyecare Network (PEN), a division of ABB Optical Group, is offering a workshop on scleral lenses presented by Mile Brujic, OD, on Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to noon in Concord, CA.

This hands-on workshop is designed to cover all of the bases of scleral lenses from fitting to billing. Participants will experience a virtual lens fitting that will allow them to see the application, fit assessment, and clinical considerations of scleral lenses. Additionally, the workshop will provide a framework for appropriate office procedures, including proper billing and coding. This workshop is worth four hours of Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) credits, pending approval.

The cost to attend the workshop is $175 for PEN members and $200 for non-members. To register or for more information, visit or e-mail ■


Johnson & Johnson Vision announced the U.S. launch of , a new online presence that serves as the company’s digital front door and connects its established online properties for consumers and eyecare professionals, according to the company.

Through rich video content, high-resolution images, infographics, and downloadable materials, the newly-launched highlights innovation (e.g., a short video on contact lens innovation tells the story of eyelid stabilization), products and services (e.g., an overview of J&J Vision’s current product portfolio, featuring links to , , , and ), education (e.g., an eye health checklist with tips for consumers), and caring and giving (e.g., featured videos on two signature initiatives—Cure Blindness and Sight for Kids—as well as links to request charitable grants). ■


Optovue announced the retirement of industry veteran John Hawley, the company’s senior vice president of global sales. Hawley will retire on July 1, 2018 and will remain with Optovue in an advisory role.

Hawley joined Optovue in 2008 as the company was just beginning its entry into the ophthalmic and optometric optical coherence tomography (OCT) markets as the vice president of business development. Within six months, he was also heading up the U.S. organization. As the company introduced its OCTA technology to markets outside of the United States, he was promoted to senior vice president of global sales in 2016.

He has also held executive and sales management positions at Heidelberg Engineering, Interzeag, BioRad, and Cilco. Prior to this, Mr. Hawley was a member of the Royal Australian Navy. ■


The Cooper Companies, Inc. announced that Holly Sheffield has been appointed executive vice president and chief strategy officer of The Cooper Companies, effective June 4, 2018. She will be responsible for corporate strategy, business development, and global human resources, with a strong focus on driving long-term shareholder value. She will report directly to Albert White, president and CEO.

In addition, Dr. Robert Auerbach, executive vice president, chief strategy officer, and chief medical officer of CooperSurgical, was promoted to president of CooperSurgical, effective Apr. 17, 2018. He is responsible for CooperSurgical’s worldwide business, reporting directly to Mr. White. ■


Aveo Hello contact lenses are available for online subscription. With a monthly plan, the lenses cost $1 a day, and shipping is free. Aveo’s lenses are made with omafilcon A with 58% water content. These U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared lenses are available with a base curve of 8.6mm, a diameter of 14.2mm, a center thickness (at –3.00D) of 0.07mm, and a light blue visibility tint. ■


Shire plc launched Screen Responsibly, its new educational initiative about the intersection between screen use and eye health. This initiative is underscored by new national Shire-sponsored survey data and, as part of it, a partnership with Thrive Global, a behavior-change media and technology company, to increase dialogue about how to love our screens and our eyes. Screen Responsibly is an extension of Shire’s Eyelove campaign, which launched in 2016 to elevate the importance of eye health and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of chronic dry eye.

New resources and custom content are available on that show how people can live a screen-healthy lifestyle. A screen personality quiz is also available that will guide users to content tailored to their unique screening style along with information on dry eye and tips on how to best chat with their eyecare practitioner. ■


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first standalone prosthetic iris, a surgically implanted device to treat adults and children whose iris is completely missing or damaged due to aniridia or other damage to the eye, in the United States.

The CustomFlex Artificial Iris is made of thin, foldable, medical-grade silicone and is custom-sized and colored for each individual patient. A surgeon makes a small incision, inserts the device under the incision, unfolds it, and smooths out the edges using surgical instruments. The prosthetic iris is held in place by the anatomical structures of the eye or, if needed, by sutures.

The CustomFlex Artificial Iris is contraindicated in eyes with any of the following conditions: uncontrolled or severe chronic inflammation (uveitis), abnormally small eye size (microphthalmus), untreated retinal detachment, untreated chronic glaucoma, cataract caused by rubella virus, abnormal blood vessels on the iris (rubeosis), certain kinds of damaged blood vessels in the retina, and intraocular infections. It is also contraindicated for patients who are pregnant.

The CustomFlex Artificial Iris was approved through a premarket approval application (PMA) and was granted Breakthrough Device designation. The FDA granted approval of the CustomFlex Artificial Iris to Clinical Research Consultants, Inc. ■


ABB Optical Group, a national supplier of optical products and services for the eyecare industry, has agreed to acquire Glimpse Live, a data and analytics provider for eyecare professionals and other healthcare practitioners. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Casey Hedberg, who founded Glimpse in 2013, will become managing director of Glimpse following the acquisition by ABB Optical Group. ■


The first human corneas have been 3D printed by scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Currently, there is a significant shortage of corneas available to transplant, with 10 million people worldwide requiring surgery to prevent corneal blindness as a result of diseases such as trachoma, an infectious eye disorder. Therefore, this technique could be used in the future to ensure an unlimited supply of corneas, according to the release.

The proof-of-concept research, conducted by Abigail Issacson, Stephen Swioklo, and Che J. Connon and published in Experimental Eye Research, reports how stem cells (human corneal stromal cells) from a healthy donor cornea were mixed together with alginate and collagen to create a solution that could be printed, a “bio-ink.”

Using a simple, low-cost, 3D bio-printer, the bio-ink was successfully extruded in concentric circles to form the shape of a human cornea. It took less than 10 minutes to print. The stem cells were then shown to culture—or grow. The gel—a combination of alginate and collagen—keeps the stem cells alive while producing a material that is stiff enough to hold its shape but soft enough to be squeezed out of the nozzle of a 3D printer. The dimensions of the printed tissue were originally taken from an actual cornea. By scanning a patient’s eye, data could be used to rapidly print a cornea that matches the size and shape. ■


  • Alcon has launched its “See Near and Far” direct-to-consumer (DTC) campaign to increase consumer awareness of multifocal contact lens options and to encourage them to visit an eyecare professional (ECP). The campaign will include a television spot that will run on ABC, NBC, CBS, and ESPN, among others, throughout 2018 and will also feature national print and digital media. According to the company, the new campaign aims to reach presbyopes who may already wear reading glasses or who are just starting to experience difficulties with their near vision. 
  • The Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE) has developed another Healthy Habits tool to educate contact lens patients. This new guide focuses on corneal reshaping lenses and can be utilized by educators, practitioners, residents, and students to educate novice contact lens users on how to properly take care of their contact lenses as well as patients who are noncompliant with instructions. The guides are available in three languages—English, French, and Spanish—and are all downloadable at 
  • CooperVision, Inc. has unveiled the Best Practices EYEdea Lab, a “think tank” that will take place on June 21 in the exhibit hall at Optometry’s Meeting 2018 in Denver. In the EYEdea Lab, Best Practices honorees will leverage their collective experiences and expertise to advance the profession. The 2018 Best Practices honorees will be joined in the EYEdea Lab by several past award recipients. In addition, all Optometry’s Meeting attendees are invited to stop by and provide their own insights about the future of the profession. The collaboration is being facilitated by Dr. David Ricketts, Innovation Fellow at Harvard University. He kicked off the initiative as 2018 honorees met for the first time this Spring at the CooperVision Best Practices Summit in Austin, TX.
  • AccuLens named Brett Cochran western regional sales manager. Mr. Cochran was employed as a chief deputy district attorney for 14 years prosecuting criminals in the Denver area. As western regional sales manager, he will be based in Denver and will serve the western United States helping eyecare practitioners integrate specialty contact lenses in their practices. 
  • The International Association of Women (IAW) is honoring Paula Shepherd as a 2018-2019 Influencer of the Year. She will be recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in entrepreneurship. In her current role as plant manager at Johnson & Johnson Vision, Ms. Shepherd manages the day-to-day operations of the Jacksonville, FL-based facility and oversees a team of professionals. She previously was plant manager at Animas Corporation and, before that, held the position of Manufacturing Strategy Director Europe at Johnson & Johnson.
  • Sightbox announced that it has joined the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety. The mission of the alliance is to advocate for solutions to advance patient eye health, vision care, and safety as well as to elevate the practitioner-patient relationship.
  • now has a library of 100 patient education articles about eye health and vision correction for its Spanish-speaking visitors. The translated articles have generated more than 2.6 million page views so far in 2018. A list of the articles can be found at , although visitors most commonly arrive directly to their topic of choice via a Google search. Each translated article is also linked from its English counterpart. The translated articles cover eye conditions and diseases, contact lenses, eyeglasses, eye exams, children’s vision, digital eye strain, and LASIK and vision surgery. 
  • Essilor of America and the American Academy of Optometry announced a new event for students—Essilor Academic Challenge @ Academy Stadium. The competition will be comprised of digital competition components by teams at each school and college of optometry, culminating in a final showdown at Academy 2018 San Antonio on Nov. 8 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. School teams will be comprised of three students at varying points in their academic career and one faculty coach. These academic teams will compete against each other in an entertaining environment to see which team has what it takes to win the coveted title. All Academy 2018 San Antonio attendees are invited to attend the live competition event held during the meeting. 
  • Opternative, Inc. has partnered with LD Vision Group to provide access to online prescription renewal technology on the company’s websites and . Customers of the aforementioned websites will be able to get an ophthalmologist-issued contact lens and glasses prescription.