Unless you’ve been in serious hiding, you have probably heard of the Ebola crisis that is impacting everyone on a global basis at this stage. Many governments have been slow to respond, yet this disease has a significant mortality rate (the World Health Organization estimates 70% with 10,000 new cases per week). While eyecare practitioners may perceive low risk in terms of their involvement with patients who have the disease, it is important to remember that there is a long incubation period (21 days) whereby the patient may be symptom free. Do your part in the global healthcare responsibility and be proactive with your understanding of this disease and its consequences.
RPS Diagnostics, Inc. (RPS), a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests, announced the closing of $28 million of non-dilutive debt financing with OrbiMed. This and other preceding financing allow RPS significant flexibility as it continues to grow and advance toward profitability.
According to the company, the combination of RPS’s strong intellectual property (IP) and unique technology platforms facilitates the development of unique and easy-to-use tests that target critical and unmet healthcare needs in the diagnostic marketplace. RPS has two FDA-cleared and CLIA-waived products currently on the market, AdenoPlus to aid in the diagnosis of Adenoviral conjunctivitis (pink eye) and InflammaDry to aid in the diagnosis of dry eye disease, as well as a robust pipeline of tests in development.
OrbiMed is a leading investment firm dedicated exclusively to the healthcare sector, with approximately $12 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the spectrum of healthcare companies, from venture capital start-ups to large multinational companies.
ABBOptical Group announces the winners of its new annual grants program, ABB Cares. Launched in August, ABBOptical Group created the program to highlight and celebrate outstanding organizations throughout the country that have improved the quality of life in communities served by the company.
In its inaugural year, the program garnered more than 140 applications for non-profit organizations nominated by eye care professionals nationwide. Due to the amount of outstanding applications received, the company expanded the number of $1,000 grants available from five to ten.
The 2014 ABB Cares grant program recipients include Best Buddies Indiana of Indianapolis, Ind.; Buddy Cruise of Lithia, Florida.; Corpus Christi Metro Ministries of Corpus Christi, Texas; Hope Children’s Home of Tampa, Florida.; Lighthouse of Pinellas of Largo, Florida.; MEND of Pacoima, California; Prevent Blindness Northern California of San Francisco; Semper Fido of Marlton, New Jersey; Southeastern Guide Dogs of Palmetto, Florida.; and Vision to Learn of Los Angeles, California.
Learn from the best. Experience the motivation. Move your practice forward. Plan now to attend the Optometric Management Symposium on Contemporary Eye Care, December 5-7, 2014 at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL.
This popular annual symposium provides the perfect balance of timely, disease management courses and practice-building courses with plentiful networking and leisure time to enjoy all that Disney resorts and theme parks have to offer.
OMS offers a comprehensive program, flexible schedule, ABO, COPE and Florida Board approved credits included 12 CEE's (TQ credits)! The education is also sponsored by a school of optometry meeting the requirements of several states. Rejuvenate yourself and expand your education while visiting exhibitors to learn about their products and services during our refreshment breaks.
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that NovaBay’s i-Lid Cleanser with Neutrox will be added to the Vision Source Independent Optometry Network of more than 3,400 optometrists and clinicians. For NovaBay, the addition of i-Lid Cleanser to the Vision Source network brings a major increase in the number of eye doctors having convenient access to the product and in the number of patients who will benefit.
Enter the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) International The Power of Your Vision Contest for a chance to win $2,500 for your vision!
To participate, in 250 words or less, answer the following questions:
1. How can TFOS better achieve its mission?
2. How can you help TFOS achieve this mission?
Entries must be received by November 21, 2014. This competition is open to all, with the exception of the TFOS Board of Directors (BOD) and the TFOS Scientific Advisory Council (SAC). Responses must be written in the “VISION BOX” and be less than or equal to 250 words. The TFOS SAC will select the ten best responses, and the BOD will select the two winners from the ten finalists. The finalists and the winners will be announced and visions will be posted on the TFOS website. The winners will be awarded $2,500 each.
Image is status post penetrating foreign body with corneal scar, irregular pupil, retina repair, and aphakia of the left eye. Contact lens is a Soft K 7.6/14.2 +15.50 sphere at dispense. Best visual acuity with prior Rx was 20/200, with Soft K 20/40.
We thank Dr. Kelly 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.
CARE SOLUTION CORNER Susan J. Gromacki, OD, MS, FAAO
Environmental Factors and Acanthamoeba Keratitis
At the September 12, 2014, United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Contact Lens Microbiology Workshop,1,2 Elmer Y. Tu, MD, presented a lecture entitled, “Potential Impact of Environmental Factors on Contact Lens-Related Infectious Keratitis.” The lecture provided a comprehensive literature review of contact lens-related infectious keratitis, with particular emphasis on Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK).3
Dr. Tu noted that contact lens wear is the primary risk factor for Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). However, historically, all major increases in AK infection have been related to water contamination.4,5 What’s more, even though Complete Moisture Plus (Advanced, now Abbott Medical Optics) was clearly a risk factor in the U.S. outbreak of 2005-7, AK incidence rates have remained virtually unchanged since the solution was removed from the market.6 He concluded, “Current (contact lens) disinfection methods and practices have been inadequate to return the risk of developing Acanthamoeba keratitis to (the) previous baseline.”
1. Gromacki SJ. 2014 Contact Lens Microbiology Workshop: Revamping Microbiological Test Methods for Contact Lenses, Products, and Accessories to Protect Health and Ensure Safety. CL Today: October 5, 2014.
4. Radford CF, Minassian DC, Dart JK. Acanthamoeba keratitis in England and Wales: incidence, outcome, and risk factors. Br J Ophthalmol. 2002 May;86(5):536-42.
5. Kilvington S, Gray T, Dart J, Morlet N, Beeching JR, Frazer DG, Matheson M. Acanthamoeba keratitis: the role of domestic tap water contamination in the United Kingdom. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2004 Jan;45(1):165-9.
6. Joslin CE, Tu EY. Program#/Poster#: 1479/D800 Abstract. Contemporary Annualized Incidence Rates of Acanthamoeba Keratitis, ARVO 2011.
It’s October and that means post-season baseball. While watching a game tonight, I was reminded of the sports vision work completed by colleagues whom I respect immensely, Drs. Fraser Horn and Graham Erickson. We know from their work, and others, that professional athletes have superior vision. In addition to that, superior vision can be learned and enhanced. But prior to tackling these endeavors, it is crucial to enhance the athlete’s sight as much as possible with contact lenses. Why should our patients be any different? Our patients’ activities are critical to them, whether it be near tasks on their phone or pristine sight on the golf course. Are you enhancing your multifocal fits with updated technology? Are you correcting that golfer or active adult softball player three quarters of a diopter of cylinder? When our patients tell us that things are good, it may be because they do not know any better. It’s up to us to challenge that which is good, and ask ourselves if it is good enough.
In Vitro Model for Predicting the Protective Effect of UV-Blocking Contact Lens in Human Corneal Epithelial Cells
The purpose of this study was to develop an in vitro method to determine the protective effect of UV-blocking contact lenses (CLs) in human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells exposed to UV-B radiation.
SV-40-transformed HCE cells were covered with non-UV-blocking CL, UV-blocking CL or not covered, and exposed to UV-B radiation. As control, HCE cells were covered with both types of CLs or not covered, but not exposed to UV-B radiation. Cell viability at 24, 48 and 72 hours, after UV-B exposure and removing CLs, was determined by alamarBlue assay. Percentage of live, dead and apoptotic cells was also assessed by flow cytometry after 24 hours of UV-B exposure. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production after 1 hour of exposure was assessed using the dye H2DCF-DA.
Cell viability significantly decreased, apoptotic cells and intracellular ROS production significantly increased when UVB-exposed cells were covered with non-UV-blocking CL or not covered compared to non-irradiated cells. When cells were covered with UV-blocking CL, cell viability significantly increased and apoptotic cells and intracellular ROS production did not increase compared to exposed cells.
The researchers concluded that UV-B radiation induces cell death by apoptosis, increases ROS production and decreases viable cells. UV-blocking CL is able to avoid these effects increasing cell viability and protecting HCE cells from apoptosis and ROS production induced by UV-B radiation. This in vitro model is an alternative to in vivo methods to determine the protective effect of UV-blocking ophthalmic biomaterials because it is a quicker, cheaper and reliable model that avoids the use of animals.
Abengózar-Vela A, Arroyo C, Reinoso R, Enríquez-de-Salamanca A, Corell A, González-García MJ. In Vitro Model for Predicting the Protective Effect of Ultraviolet-Blocking Contact Lens in Human Corneal Epithelial Cells. Curr Eye Res. 2014 Oct 6:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]