Article Date: 6/1/2007

AMO Recalls Complete MoisturePlus
Practice pulse TIPS, TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE
CDC CITES CASES OF ACANTHAMOEBA KERATITIS

AMO Recalls Complete MoisturePlus

■ Late last month, Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) announced it voluntarily recalled Complete MoisturePlus contact lens solution in response to reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which found that 21 of 39 patients diagnosed with Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) since January 2007 reported using Complete MoisturePlus.

AMO states there is no evidence to suggest the recall is related to product contamination. The manufacturer continues to work with the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess the data. AMO's other contact lens care products are not affected by the recall.

Acanthamoeba is a water-borne microorganism that can contribute to serious corneal infections. Patients who are non-compliant or have a history of corneal trauma are at greater risk to develop AK.

Early symptoms of AK are similar to other eye infections but may eventually cause severe pain with possible vision loss. Left untreated, AK patients may require a corneal transplant.

Report adverse reactions to: FDA [(800) 332–1088] and AMO [(800) 347–5005]. Patients who possess the recalled product should discontinue use, and call the Complete MoisturePlus Recall Line at (888) 899–9183.

B & L ENTERS MERGER AGREEMENT

Bausch & Lomb Announce Merger with Private Equity Company, For Now…

■ After myriad rumors of a potential acquisition, Bausch & Lomb (B&L) announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with the affiliates of the global private equity firm, Warburg Pincus. The transaction is valued at approximately $4.5 billion, including approximately $830 million in debt.

From public to private company

Jeffrey Johnson, O.D. and senior medical technology research analyst for Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc., in Milwaukee, Wisc., says the deal makes sense considering the negative headlines — the fusarium outbreak — that the company's been grappling with over the last several months. "A private equity company has the ability to look beyond the headline risk, as it is not beholden to investors," he says. "And in a year or two, Bausch & Lomb could come back into the public markets as a healthier company."

Not a done deal

Under the agreement, B&L intends to solicit superior proposals from third parties during the next 50 calendar days. Should the company decide to go with a superior proposal, B&L would be obligated to pay a $40 million break-up fee to Warburg Pincus affiliates.

"The way the market's reacted to this news (trading above $65) and the comments B&L have made in their press release, I don't think the company would hesitate to seek out a higher bid," says Dr. Johnson. Indeed. As we go to press, Advanced Medical Optics has confirmed its interest in acquiring B&L.

CL SPECTRUM SEES CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Contact Lens Spectrum Editor Departs for Position at Bausch & Lomb
■After 20 years as editor of Contact Lens Spectrum (a sister publication of Optometric Management), Joe Barr, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O., has decided to leave the publication to serve as vice president for Research and Development, Vision Care at Bausch & Lomb, according to a press release issued by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, OM's publisher.
"There are too many of you name who have given me the advice and counsel to do this job," commented Dr. Barr. "But you know who you are. And you know how sincerely I thank you …"
Optometrist Carla Mack, F.A.A.O., will be taking Dr. Barr's place. Dr. Mack has been the Clinical Columns editor for Contact Lens Spectrum for more than two years. She is currently an associate professor of Clinical Optometry at the Ohio State University College of Optometry and a diplomate for the Section on Cornea and Contact Lenses of the American Academy of Optometry.


Optometric Management, Issue: June 2007