Ocular surface disease is such a huge issue in our patients, and I find it very encouraging to see so many new potential management and therapy options either in the pipeline or becoming available to us in practice. One thing that I hope we keep sight of is the concept of preventing ocular surface disease—that is, before it becomes a disease that is problematic. While I have not seen good clinical research showing what prevention-based strategies work best, I think we all can agree with the concept of “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care” relative to managing these patients. (Benjamin Franklin)
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Annual CLMA Meeting Attendance Soars As Members Focus on Excellence
The 54th Annual Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA) Meeting and Exhibition, held in Miami on October 29-31, drew a 67% increase in attendance over the previous year. With a theme of Focus On Excellence, the annual meeting hosted representatives from 13 countries.
Educational sessions covered many aspects of custom contact lens manufacturing with a focus on using the latest technology to maximize quality and comfort for patients and cutting-edge design options for eyecare practitioners.
This yearly meeting provides member attendees, who are competitors in the global custom contact lens industry, an opportunity to find common ground and collectively promote the Mission Statement of the CLMA: To Increase Awareness and Utilization of Custom Manufactured Contact Lenses. After two material suppliers discontinued their CLMA membership earlier this year, a pre-meeting survey was sent out to CLMA members in order to gauge opinions on how best to move forward. Results of this survey were discussed in a town hall meeting in which members overwhelmingly expressed a continued commitment to the educational goals of the CLMA and pledged to support the remaining CLMA material suppliers for 2016 at a level consistent with recent years which will make those goals attainable.
CLMA material suppliers collect a small portion of sales as a fee to support education programs, primarily through the Gas Permeable Lens Institute (GPLI), the CLMA’s educational wing. Members voted unanimously to increase this collected pass-through amount for the upcoming 2016 fiscal year. Additionally, 17 member companies have made pledges of $7,500 each to support the educational efforts of the GPLI for a total of well more than $100,000.
The new CLMA Board of Directors were elected including: President, Jan Svochak (Tru-Form Optics, Inc.); Vice President, Daren Nygren (Custom Craft Lens Service, Inc.); Secretary/Treasurer, Kurtis Brown (Menicon America, Inc.); and as board members, Ken Leonhard (Quality Contact Lens, Inc.); Josh Adams (Valley Contax, Inc.); Daniel Bell (Corneal Design Corp.); Jeff Birk (Essilor Gas Permeable Contact Lenses); Mike Fischer (Misupco, Inc.); Troy Miller (Accu Lens, Inc.); Chris Pantle (DAC International, Inc.); and Keith Parker (Advanced Vision Technologies, Inc.).
At the CLMA Awards Banquet the following awards were presented:
CLMA 2015 Industry Enhancement Award: Daniel L. Bell (Corneal Design Corp.), Daniel J. Manelli (Manelli & Fisher, PLLC) and Troy A. Miller (Accu Lens, Inc.)
CLMA 2015 Honorary Recognition Award: Keith D. Parker (Advanced Vision Technologies, Inc.)
CLMA 2015 Trailblazers Award: Al J. Vaske (Lens Dynamics, Inc.)
CLMA 2015 Leonardo da Vince Award: Christopher F. Pantle (DAC International, Inc.)
GPLI 2016 Practitioner of the Year: Douglas P. Benoit, OD, FAAO (Eye Center of Concord, NH)
Register Now for the 2016 GSLS – Take Advantage of Early Bird Savings
The 10th Global Specialty Lens Symposium will be held January 21 – 24, 2016 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Nevada. The GSLS is a must-attend meeting, brought to you by Contact Lens Spectrum, focusing on the successful management of ocular conditions using today's specialty contact lenses. This meeting will include insightful presentations by international experts in the field, hands-on demonstrations of cutting-edge products and valuable continuing education credits.
The 2015 event was attended by almost 600 registrants from 36 countries, 42 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. It continues to be the largest conference of its kind in the U.S.
Join your peers in 2016 for the 10th anniversary in Las Vegas! Visit www.GSLSymposium.com for more information and to register.
Allergan Enters into Licensing Agreement with Mimetogen to Develop
Topical Dry Eye Treatment
Allergan plc announced that its wholly owned subsidiary has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Mimetogen Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage biotechnology company, to develop and commercialize tavilermide (MIM-D3), a topical formulation of a novel small molecule TrkA agonist for the treatment of dry eye disease.
Under the terms of the agreement, Allergan will make an upfront payment of $50 million to Mimetogen and will fund phase 3 development of tavilermide. Mimetogen will additionally be entitled to receive potential milestone payments and royalties based on commercialization of the product.
Tavilermide is a small cyclic peptidomimetic of NGF, a naturally occurring protein in the eye responsible for the maintenance of corneal nerves and epithelium. According to the company, Tavilermide is differentiated from other investigational therapies in dry eye disease because it induces the production of mucin, a naturally occurring component of the tear film, and works upstream prior to inflammation.
In a previously announced Phase 2 trial (Study Designation MIM-725) tavilermide demonstrated significant improvements in both signs and symptoms with 1% tavilermide versus placebo, together with strong safety, comfort and tolerability profiles. Tavilermide is currently being evaluated in two multi-center Phase 3 clinical studies in the United States for the treatment of dry eye disease.
TruForm Optics Expands Scleral Lens Offerings
TruForm Optics, manufacturer of the DigiForm line of scleral lenses, is now recommending these products in Optimum Extra material from Contamac and Tyro-97 material from the Lagado Corporation. The design features included laser markings for ease of fitting along with toric, quadrant specific and multifocal options. TruForm will continue to offer DigiForm in the Boston XO at this time.
For additional information please contact TruForm Optics at 800-792-1095 or www.tfoptics.com.
AccuLens Launches New Interactive Website
AccuLens Inc., manufacturer of the Maxim, EasyFit and Comfort SL scleral lenses, announced the launch of their new interactive website and corporate look. The new website and branding are more closely aligned with the company’s strategic vision for growth and expansion over the next decade and beyond.
The new clean, modern design provides easy-to-navigate functionality. New features include a virtual troubleshooting fitting guide, an improved online ordering feature, as well as informational and educational tools and videos.
CooperVision’s Best Practices Initiative Applications Due November 23
In September CooperVision, Inc. unveiled a first-of-its-kind Best Practices initiative —kicking off a nationwide search for honorees. Best Practices will discover and recognize U.S. eye care practices that have found unique ways to make their businesses thrive and can share a refreshing perspective with the entire profession.
The Company reports receiving so far information from more than 40 applicants, representing 22 states. The applicants' practices range in size from one ECP (solo/independent) to five ECPs in the practice, and with revenues from $250,000 to more than $1 million. There is still time to submit applications.
All U.S. optometry practices currently fitting contact lenses are invited to participate. Best Practices candidates are encouraged to submit practice profiles and stories, sharing their insights and experiences in one or more of the following areas:
Innovation will be evaluated on contributions to the betterment of eye health and education, leveraging technology in interesting ways to grow the practice, and advancing the eye care profession among the public.
Patient Experience will be judged on how a practice delivers excellent eye care experiences and education to its patients, and unique aspects of patient care.
Business Culture will be rated on a cultivation of staff, an enriching working environment and community impact in relation to the overall success of the office.
For more information about the Best Practices initiative, or to apply, visit www.eyecarebestpractices.com. Applications will be accepted through Monday, November 23, 2015.
This is a semiscleral 17mm soft lens (four fenestrations) on an eye with advanced keratoconus (steepest K reading is 72.00D). The lens is well centered and very comfortable. Image taken with high molecular fluorescein and high contrast blue filter.
We thank Jaime Ibanez for this image and we welcome photo submissions from our other readers! It is easy to submit a photo for consideration for publishing in Contact Lenses Today. Simply visit http://www.cltoday.com/upload/upload.aspx to upload your image. Please include an explanation of the photo and your full name, degree or title and city/state/country.
There are always instances when a new GP material is needed, some of these may be because of a patient comfort, deposits, or a change in the material cost. I’d like to give some tips on how to make material changes if you are inclined to do so. First and foremost, remember that your GP laboratory is a phenomenal resource for you. Asking them for a material that they think is best, we have found, is one of the best ways to go about the process. If you are inclined to do some of this research on your own ahead of time, there are a couple things to keep in mind for your patients. In my opinion, three characteristics of a GP material are critical: material type, the oxygen permeability, and the wetting angle. If you are intending to keep as many things similar as possible, you may want to choose a new material that has as many properties that are similar to the materials that you have used in the past. If you want a different feel to the lens, you may want to consider switching the material type or to a material with a different wetting angle. Each has its advantages and can be researched further to your liking. If you would like a starting resource, you may want to look at the GPLI’s website which has an informative material guide located here (http://www.gpli.info/materials/). Although it does not list wetting angles, there is also an extensive GP materials list in the 2015 Contact Lenses & Solutions Summary, a supplement to Contact Lens Spectrum (http://www.clspectrum.com/class, pages 24-15). As always, contacting your labs directly is also very helpful.
CARE SOLUTION CORNER Susan J. Gromacki, OD, MS, FAAO
Contact Lenses Are Medical Devices
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies daily wear contact lenses as Class II medical devices. They require professional supervision and a valid medical prescription, and for good reason. Research has confirmed that our patients can be noncompliant regarding the proper care and replacement of their contact lenses.1,2 It also has demonstrated that this nonadherence can be devastating for eye health.3
The root of all of this is our patients’ deep misunderstanding regarding the medical nature of contact lenses. Surely, some culpability can be attributed to some internet sellers’ commoditization of these sophisticated medical devices, and their emphasis on advertising and selling product ahead of providing timely, compassionate eye care.
But other responsibility lies squarely on our, the practitioners’, shoulders. The FDA and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with professional organizations in both optometry, ophthalmology, and opticianry, as well as industry, have exerted much effort into educating the public on the medical nature of contact lenses and on the importance of their proper care and replacement.4 These campaigns are making some impact, and we members of the 3 O’s should be grateful that they exist. But the only way to ensure that we reach each and every patient with our message on how to safely care for their contact lenses is one patient at a time. How about we start tomorrow?
2. Wu Y, et al. Contact lens user profile, attitudes and level of compliance to lens care. Contact Lens & Anterior Eye 2010;33:183–188.
3. Stapleton F, Keay L, Edwards K, Naduvilath T, Dart JK, Brian G, et al. The incidence of contact lens-related microbial keratitis in Australia. Ophthalmology 2008;115:1655–62.
4. Gromacki SJ. CDC Contact Lens Health Week. In: Care Solution Corner, Contact Lenses Today 2015; August 22.
Slowing the progression of myopia has become a considerable concern for parents of myopic children. At the same time, clinical science is rapidly advancing the knowledge about methods to slow myopia progression. This article reviews the peer-reviewed literature regarding several modalities attempting to control myopia progression.
Several strategies have been shown to be ineffective for myopia control, including under correction of myopic refractive error, alignment fit gas-permeable contact lenses, outdoor time, and bifocal of multifocal spectacles. However, a recent randomized clinical trial fitted progressing myopic children with executive bifocals for 3 years and found a 39% slowing of myopia progression for bifocal-only spectacles and 50% treatment effect for bifocal spectacles with base-in prism, although there was not a significant difference in progression between the bifocal-only and bifocal plus prism groups. Interestingly, outdoor time has shown to be effective for reducing the onset of myopia but not for slowing the progression of myopic refractive error.
More effective methods of myopia control include orthokeratology, soft bifocal contact lenses, and antimuscarinic agents. Orthokeratology and soft bifocal contact lenses are both thought to provide myopic blur to the retina, which acts as a putative cue to slow myopic eye growth. Each of these myopia control methods provides, on average, slightly less than 50% slowing of myopia progression. All studies have shown clinically meaningful slowing of myopia progression, including several randomized clinical trials. The most investigated antimuscarinic agents include pirenzepine and atropine. Pirenzepine slows myopia progression by approximately 40%, but it is not commercially available in the United States. Atropine provides the best myopia control, but the cycloplegic and mydriatic side effects render it a rarely prescribed myopia control agent in the United States. However, low-concentration atropine has been shown to provide effective myopia control with far fewer side effects than 1.0% atropine. Finally, two agents, low-concentration atropine and outdoor time have been shown to reduce the likelihood of myopia onset.
Over the past few years, much has been learned about how to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children, but we still have a lot to learn.
Walline JJ. Myopia Control: A Review. Eye Contact Lens. 2015 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]