Article

O.D. Notebook: Trivia and World Sight Day Challenge Aids More than 190,000

O.D. Notebook — updated Jan. 30
 
Trivia: In 2013, this study revealed results regarding whether an original formulation for eye disease could be improved. (See answer at the bottom.) 

Optometry Giving Sight’s World Sight Day Challenge delivered eye exams and glasses to more than 190,000 people in 2018. This is the result of more than 160 companies and 360 optometry practices around the world that participated in the challenge to raise more than $970,000. 
 
Associations

  • The Vision Council released its 2018 Annual Report, which included highlights: (1) 54 new member companies (2) first year of the Optical Retail Division (3) regulatory success in the update of the Chemical Management/Hazard Communication handbook and Prop 65 compliance education (4) 1.7 billion consumer media impressions from its consumer campaign efforts (5) 16% increase in optician turnout at Vision Expo, with the introduction of OptiCon. View the report in full at http://bit.ly/2FZr1RI. In other news, OptiCon at Vision Expo will debut the National Federation of Opticianry Schools College Bowl at Vision Expo East. The quiz competition will test 12 students on their optical knowledge. It will take place on March 23 at 6 p.m. at the Javits Center. 
Company news
  • CooperVision contact lens facility in Costa Rica has been awarded the prestigious LEED Silver certification for its environmentally conscious design and operation. 
  • EyePoint Pharmaceuticals has appointed David Guyer, M.D., to the company’s board of directors. 
  • Optovue promoted Joe Garibaldi to vice president of U.S. sales, where he will continue to lead the U.S. salesforce, as well as identify new strategic partnering opportunities to grow the company’s U.S. product portfolio. 
  • Paragon Vision Sciences is targeting five United States regions for expansion, citing rising ECP demand for myopia education and support. These regions: Northern California, Southern California, New York/New Jersey, Houston/Dallas and Phoenix. Teams in these areas will support eye care practitioners to integrate Paragon CRT and other contact lenses into their practices. This includes customized clinical education experiences for individual practitioners and staff.  
  • Regeneron will receive the 2019 Eyes on Innovation Award at the Eyes on New York Awards Celebration in March 22. 
  • The 2019 advertising campaign, launched by Think About Your Eyes, includes: TV ads on more than 26 cable stations; national radio ads and podcast ads in a network of more than 3,000 podcasts. All ads include a call-to-action to get an annual eye exam. 
New products
  • Zen multifocal scleral lens for presbyopia, from Bausch + Lomb, is now available in add power ranges from +1.00D to +3.50D in 0.25D steps. The lens features SmartCurve technology, which allows eye care professionals to simply fittings by modifying only the parameter they need, the company says.
  • Boss has introduced its Titanium XL eyewear collection for release in Spring/Summer 2019. Six styles, in optical and sun styles, are included in the release of larger fit frames.
  • Eyeleve, from Bruder Healthchare, is a compress for increasing comfortable contact lens wear by up to three hours daily. The mask delivers consistent, therapeutic moist heat that alleviates symptoms of MGD and contact lens-related dry eye. By stimulating glands and increasing oil production, the mask helps stabilize the ocular surface to reduce dryness and extend comfortable wear time of contact lenses. 
  • Costa has debuted three new frames, Rinconciot, Panga and Cheeca, as well as an expansion of color availability in several Del Mar Collection frames. 
  • VES Falcon Autofocus Bioptic Telescope, from Ocutech, is a low vision tool. It features four times Keplerian optics, a high-contrast, wide-field and a 12.5° field of view, with a focusing range as close as 13 inches. 
  • Tangible Clean, from Tangible Science, is a daily multi-purpose cleaning and disinfecting solution designed to protect Tangible Hydra-PEG coating on custom contact lenses. This product will be available early 2019. Additionally, Tangible Boost is a monthly condition solution that restores the coating and its benefits. This product is expected to be available later in the year, pending FDA clearance. 
  • WestGroupe has released its FYSH 2019 Sunwear Collection of 13 styles and two to three color combinations. 
Nonprofit
  • Prevent Blindness, Vision 2020/USA and other leading vision and eye health groups have joined together to issue a formal request to U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, M.D., to initiate a call to action to mark the year 2020. Calls to action are science-based summary documents intended to stimulate action nationwide to solve an urgent public health problem, in this case preventable vision impairment and vision loss.  

Trivia: In what year was the Armed Forces Optometric Society formed? (See answer below.)

Updates from Jan. 23

GSLS kicks off tomorrow
Global Specialty Lens Symposium takes place this week in Las Vegas. The event, hosted by PentaVision (Optometric Management’s publisher) begins Thursday with specific tracks of education, including the practice management track, presented in partnership with OM! The track features topics that cover billing and coding procedures for contact lenses and how to build a specialty contact lens practice, among others. 
You can follow along with the meeting via Twitter, as “Contact Lens” columnist Jason Miller, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O., takes over @OptoManagement on Thursday and Friday, and/or follow #GSLS19. In addition, sister publication Contact Lens Spectrumwill be sharing live footage from the show. You can find this on Optometric Management’s Facebook page
 
Company news

  • Aerie Pharmaceuticals has appointed Ami Bavishi as director, investor relations. In addition, the company appointed Vincent Santucci, Pharm.D., as director, scientific market access. 
  • Johnson & Johnson Vision launched a contact lens recycling program in the United Kingdom this month. The program, called Acuvue Contact Lens Recycle Programme, provides an avenue for patients to recycle their contact lenses, blister packs and foil after use. In offering the service, the company has partnered with TerraCycle. 
  • Kala Pharmaceuticals has hired a specialty ophthalmology sales organization, including 57 territory sales managers who have been trained and deployed. 
  • Natural Ophthalmics Inc. has appointed Linda Axelrod as its new president. Ms. Axelrod replaced Brian Banks, whose recent death left a vacancy in the position. (More on Mr. Banks life and career can be read here: http://bit.ly/2F8O0cF.) She has been with the company for 15 years. 
New products
  • Inveltys (loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic suspension 1%), from Kala Pharmaceuticals, is a twice-daily ocular corticosteroid indicated for the treatment of post-operative inflammation and pain following ocular surgery. It is now available through local retail pharmacies.  
Nonprofit
  • Members of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education will participate in a series of events at this week’s Global Specialty Lens Symposium in Las Vegas. Tomorrow, Jan. 24, Lyndon Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., FCOptom, F.A.A.O., F.B.C.L.A., and Karen Walsh, O.D., B.Sc(Hons), MCOptom, will present at 3 p.m. PT on the topic “Sensitive to Silicone? Understanding and Managing Who Present with an Adverse Reaction.” Additionally, Dr. Jones will speak on Friday at 10:30 a.m. PT on the subject “Hydrogen Peroxide Care Systems: Should it Be the First Choice?” In other news, CORE reviewed public health literature to provide techniques to help prevent microbial keratitis or corneal inflammatory events among contact lens patients with proper hand hygiene. The report was published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye
  • Think About Your Eyes launched its 2019 advertising campaign, which includes TV, radio, online radio, online display ads and paid search, all with the call to action of encouraging the public to schedule an annual eye exam. New this year, the ads will also appear on Acast, a podcast network. The ads feature the messaging: Seeing is a gift.  
Research notes
  • Statins could be associated with a decreased prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and may decrease the progression of DR in patients with Type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia, according to a study conducted among Taiwanese patients and published in JAMA Ophthalmology. 
Surgery/co-management
  • The FDA accepted the Investigational NDA for Aerie Pharmaceuticals’ AR-1105 (dexamethasone intravitreal implant), allowing the company to initiate human studies in the treatment of macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion. 

Updates from Jan. 16

Trivia: William R. Baldwin wrote a book about this optometric founding father in 2006. (See answer at the bottom.) 

Associations

  • SECO International announced its speaker lineup for its meeting Feb. 20 to 24 in New Orleans. They include optometrists Jill C. Autry, Melissa Barnett, A. Paul Chous, Keshia S. Elder, David Heath, Daryl F. Mann and Patricia Modica. To register, visit attendseco.com.  
Company news
  • Private equity firm Atlantic Street Capital announced it will form Advancing Eyecare Holdings, a partnership of Lombart Instrument, a portfolio company, and Marco Ophthalmic, according to a company press release. The completion of the transaction is expected in the first quarter, at which point David Marco will serve as meaningful investor and join Advancing Eyecare as co-chairman. He will oversee the operating and strategic guidance of assets in North America with Bryan Bevin, senior operating advisor to Atlantic Street, who will serve as co-chairman of Advancing Eyecare. 
  • Cleinman Performance Partners, a consultancy for larger optometry practices, is celebrating 30 years in optometry. 
  • Essilor announced a partnership with 14 leading vision experts for the action to better treat and manage myopia. The Myopia Taskforce includes doctors Thomas Aller, David Anderson, Craig Brawley, Mark Bullimore, Alan Glazier, John Lahr, Maria Liu, Pamela Lowe, Moshe Mendelson, Pamela Miller, Yi Pang, Earl Smith, Long Tran and David Triolo. 
  • Safilo has reached a multi-year global licensing agreement for the design, manufacture and distribution of Levi Strauss & Co.’s Levi-branded eyewear. The agreement will come into effect January 2020 and run through November 2024 and is renewable for an additional five years, to 2029.  
  • Vision Associates Inc. employees organized a fundraiser for two employees who lost their homes to wildfires at the end of 2018 in Paradise, Calif. The fundraiser was supported by the company, Partners in Vision and Essilor. It raised $16,000, with $8,000 presented to each woman. Both employees are safe and currently working in Chico Eye Center
New products
  • Acuity Pro has released a new version of its digital acuity software and system, version 10. Versions of the software are available for Windows and Mac operating systems. For more on the updates visit acuitypro.com. 
  • Arch Crown has released its 2019 catalog of tags, labels and bar code technology. Visit ArchCrown.com for more. 
Surgery/co-management
  • Ocular Therapeutix has submitted a supplemental New Drug Application to the FDA for Dextenza (dexamethasone ophthalmic insert) to expand the current indication to include the treatment of ocular inflammation following ophthalmic surgery.  
Trends
  • Pantone announced that the 2019 color of the year is Living Coral (or 16-1546), which the company describes as warm, nourishing and buoyant. Pantone isknown for its proprietary system that standardizes color reproduction. 

Updates from Jan. 9

Trivia: Who was the first female president of the American Academy of Optometry? (See answer at the bottom)  

Associations
  • AOA released a statement in support of the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Treasury and Department of Labor titled “Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition.” (Find it in full here.) “The agenda-setting report highlights important recommendations and actions to improve safe patient access to an efficient health system that maximizes resources and care,” according to the statement. And, specifically, the AOA commends the report’s recommendation that states consider changes to scope of practice laws, as they relate to doctors of optometry. 
  • International Association of Contact Lens Educators celebrates 40 years of providing education with a number of events in various parts of the world. In the United States, it will be at the joint Academy 2019 and Third world Congress of Optometry in Orlando from Oct. 23 to Oct. 28. The organization traces its roots back to 1979, during which time the organization has brought together 2,500 members in 91 countries. 
  • Optical Women’s Association announced its 2019 award winners. Holly Rush, CEO of Costa Del Mar, will receive the Pleiades award; Laura Lewis, vice president of human resources at MyEyeDr., will receive the Pyxis award; Jessica Goebert, public relations and marketing manager for De Rigo REM, will receive the emerging leader award. The women will be honored at Vision Expo East during the OWA’s annual Champagne Breakfast, which will also feature keynote speaker Kathleen Taylor, former president and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and current chairwoman of the Board of Royal Bank of Canada. 
  • Close to 49% of American adults say they don’t know what digital eye strain is; nearly 35% aren’t concerned about the impact of digital device usage on their eyes, according to The Vision Council’s VisionWatch survey. Despite this, nearly six of 10 American adults report symptoms of digital eye strain: neck/shoulder pain, 35%; headaches, 27.7%, eye strain, 32.4%; blurred vision, 27.9%; and dry eyes, 27.2%. More information about digital eye strain can be found at thevisioncouncil.org/des
Company news
  • ABB Optical Group’s specialty lens lab has been approved by Contamac to manufacture GP contact lenses in the Optimum line of GP materials with Tangible Hydra-PEG surfaced coating technology. Hydra-PEG is only available for lenses manufactured in Contamac materials. Additional resources are at the O.D.’s disposal. Visit ABBOptical.com for more information.  
  • Alcon has acquired Tear Film Innovations, manufacturer of iLux, a therapeutic device used for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction that received FDA clearance in December 2017. 
  • CooperVision has acquired Blanchard Contact Lenses. For CooperVision, this means an expanded scleral lens portfolio, which already includes Paragon, Procornea and Soflex. For Blanchard, it means added resources to expand, according to the respective executives and a press release. Blanchard will retain its name and continue to operate as a separate organization in both the U.S. and Canada. Jean Blanchard, president, has been appointed as a member of the CooperVision Specialty EyeCare global management team. 
  • Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has changed its name to Harrow Health Inc. at the beginning of the calendar year. CEO Mark Baum said the new name reflects the business model in a diversified healthcare portfolio. ImprimisRx will continue using its existing name, as a wholly owned subsidiary under the Harrow Heath umbrella. 
  • RightEye ,an eye-tracking system designed to identify vision and brain health issues, has been administered to more than 100,000 patients. Additionally, the company forecasts exceeding 20,000 new tests each month by mid-2019. 
  • Transitions Optical has named finalists for its Innovation Awards program. They include:
    • 2018 Transitions Brand Ambassador:Amanda Rights, O.D., Sheena Taff, optician; Justin Tenczar, optician
    • Eyecare Practice of the Year:Napolean Family Vision, Ohio; Nicola Eyecare, British Columbia; Weaver Eye Associates, Pennsylvania. 
    • U.S. Retailers of the Year:Costco, Henry Ford OptimEyes, National Vision Inc. 
    • Canadian Retailer of the Year:Costco Optical, Iris
    • Best in Marketing:Sheena Taff, optician; Vlaue Optical, Vision Source
    • Best in Training:Iris, Professional VisionCare, Professional Eyecare Associates of America
  • Volk employees were among the first 200 to be screened for sight-threatening conditions, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, via Halma, a global group of technology companies, including five eye health companies: Volk, Keeler, Medicel, MST and Visometrics. Halma has launched a Gift of Sight campaign, which launched on World Sight day, and is in partnership with Himalayan Cataract Project.  
Product news
  • VisoPOCKET, from Eschenbach Optik of America Inc., is a folding magnifier with an ultra-thin lens. It offers 2.4 times magnification, or 6.00 D, and a built-in leather case. Its large, 2.9 in by 1.9 in, diffractive aspheric lens provides a wide field of view, the company says. 
  • Vyzulta, from Nicox, a latanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution 0.024% for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, has been approved in Canada. Bausch + Lomb is the exclusive global licensee for Vyzulta, which received approval in the U.S. in November 2017. 
  • Maxim Toric PC, from AccuLens, trail sets are available as of Jan. 1 of this year. The company now offers Maxim 12 lens set in 15.9 mm and 16.4 mm diameters with +/-200 um toricity.  
Nonprofit
  • Prevent Blindness has provided resources and information on glaucoma, in support of January as National Glaucoma Awareness month. Eye care professionals can find these resources at http://www.preventblindness.org/glaucoma.
  • Think About Your Eyes has announced its advisory board for 2019. The board is led by Chairman Rick Weisbarth, O.D., and includes a representative from each of the six leadership partners and an at-large member. Board members include: Jacqueline Henderson, vice president of marketing and e-commerce for Johnson & Johnson Vision, who was elected vice chairwoman and will replaced Dr. Weisbarth as chair in 2020; Ken Bradley, chairman of The Vision Council and president of Eschenbach; Jacquie Bowen, O.D., trustee of the AOA; Renee Himel, senior vice president of marketing for NVI; Sherrianne James, chief marketing officer for Essilor of America; and Carl Spear, O.D., senior vice president of Eyecare for Luxottica. Additionally, and with Dr. Weisbarth as the chairman, Dr. Steve Loomis of the AOA moves to a non-voting role of immediate past chairman for 2019. 
O.D. Alliance
  •  Primary Eyecare Network is offering a workshop on scleral lenses on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Concord in Concord Calif. Cost is $175 for PEN members and $200 for non-members. To register, or for more information, visit PrimaryEye.net or email education@primareye.net. 
Research
  • A study, published in December’s Eye Brain, found significant changes to macula and retinal nerve fiber layer densities over an 18-month period in 16 Olympic boxers. The study found that macula and RNFL were thinner than healthy sedentary controls and concluded that OCT may prove clinically useful as a candidate retinal biomarker of neuropathological change. 
  • Centre for Ocular Research & Education at the University of Waterloo conducted a series of experiments to demonstrate the effects of improper contact lens hygiene. One experiment showed a significant growth of microorganisms on a contact lens that had been subject to human saliva over two days. Another experiment showed the impact of washed vs. unwashed hands on contact lenses. 
  • The Annals of Emergency Medicinepublished a composition of six tales that serve as warnings against the improper care or wear of contact lenses. View the copy online here
Schools
  • Clifford Scott, O.D., M.P.H., has been named president emeritus of New England College of Optometry. The honor comes in recognition of his accomplishments during a decade of leadership and 50 years of service to the college.  
Surgery/Co-management
  • AcuFocus Inc.announced that the first patient in the United States has been implanted with the IC-8 small aperture IOL as part of its study of the lens in cataract patients. The IC-8 is a clear monofocal IOL with an embedded mini-ring or pinhole at the center. It is designed to increase a patient’s natural range of vision by extending the focus of light rays that enter the eye and restricting peripheral defocused light rays. The prospective, multicenter, parallel-group study will enroll about 475 patients who have bilateral cataracts. Participants in the IC-8 group will receive a standard monofocal IOL in the first eye and, if visual requirements are met, the IC-8 IOL in the second eye. Participants in the control group will receive bilateral monofocal IOLs. Participants will be followed for 12 months and evaluated for improvement of vision at all distances.
  • Carl Zeiss Meditec has completed its acquisition of IanTECH, which offered micro-interventional cataract surgery technology solutions. Products now under Zeiss include miLOOP lens fragmentation device.
Answer: AREDS2
See also, 1/23 Answer: 1970; 1/16 Answer: Irvin Max Borish, O.D.; 1/9 Answer: Joan Exford, O.D.

For more news from industry and around eye care, see December's O.D. Notebook