Essilor has partnered with 14 eyecare professionals to form the Myopia Taskforce. Part of the Myopia Initiative in Action (MIA) program, the team plans to establish recommended protocols for myopia management and detection, which will be shared with the optical community later this year.

Essilor announced its plan at its annual sales meeting in January, when it introduced the members of the taskforce: Thomas Aller, OD, FBCLA; David Anderson, OD; Craig Brawley, OD, FAAO; Mark Bullimore, MCOptom, PhD, FAAO; Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO; John Lahr, OD, FAAO; Maria Liu, OD, PhD; Pamela Lowe, OD, FAAO; Moshe Mendelson, OD, FIAO; Pamela Miller, OD, FAAO, JD, FNAP; Yi Pang, MD, OD, PhD, FAAO; Earl Smith, OD, PhD, FAAO; Long Tran, OD, FAAO; David Troilo, PhD.

“The rate at which the prevalence of myopia is increasing is staggering,” said Millicent Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, senior vice president of customer development at Essilor of America. “True to our mission of improving lives by improving sight, we are bringing together some of the industry’s top eyecare professionals with diverse areas of myopia interest and expertise to address this problem together through new research and open collaboration.”
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Alcon has recently launched for U.S.- and Canada-based eyecare professionals (ECPs) and academic institutions. The new website consolidates information about Alcon’s scientific, academic, and related activities into one portal. Visitors may download clinically focused publications, submit grant applications for Investigator-Initiated Trials (IITs), apply for independent medical education support and apply for educational equipment donations, among other activities.

“ brings together key Alcon Medical Affairs and Education information in one convenient place for our customers,” said Roee Lazebnik, MD, PhD and Head, Alcon Medical Affairs & Clinical Development North America. “This is a unique offering in the eyecare industry and an example of how we continually work to better partner with ECPs and academic institutions in support of patient care and the clinical community.”
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Bausch + Lomb has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Multifocal For Astigmatism contact lenses. According to the company, it is the first multifocal toric lens to be available as a standard offering in the eyecare professional’s fit set.

“Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Multifocal for Astigmatism contact lenses were developed to specifically fulfill a significant unmet need for patients who require astigmatic correction—the second largest segment in contact lenses—and are presbyopic or entering the age of presbyopia,” said John Ferris, general manager, U.S. Vision Care. “Up until now, the contact lens options for this group of patients has been limited to custom ordered lenses, monovision, readers or complete contact lens drop out.”  Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Multifocal for Astigmatism contact lenses are expected to be available by mid-2019.
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The American Academy of Ophthalmology agrees with important patient safety guidelines recommended in a joint report issued by three federal agencies, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor. The report focuses on reforms that deliver system-wide cost savings, with significant attention paid to the delivery of care at the state level. One recommendation that the Academy supports is that states forego scope-of-practice expansion when there are legitimate health and safety concerns.

Scope-of-practice regulations ensure that only those professionals with the necessary medical education and clinical training are authorized to perform surgical eye procedures. “Too often there is a rush to extend surgical privileges to those who lack the years of medical education and clinical training necessary for understanding and safely performing critical procedures,” said Keith D. Carter, MD, FACS, president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in a statement. “It is critical, certainly in eyecare, that should our states opt to expand scope of practice, that they eschew any dangerous softening of surgical standards and heed the recommendations in this report by preserving regulations that protect patients seeking surgery and complex medical care of eye disease.”
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CooperVision has acquired Blanchard Contact Lenses, Inc. “The acquisition further expands our scleral lens portfolio, extending the way we help improve the way people see each day,” said Juan Carlos Aragón, president of CooperVision’s Specialty EyeCare Division. “Its innovative products, services, technologies and people will augment what we are building with Paragon, Procornea, and Soflex. This creates even more opportunities for CooperVision to partner with eyecare professionals, and for them to meet a range of patient needs.”

Blanchard recently introduced the OneFit MED scleral lens, and the company has grown globally over the past several years, with its products available in more than 20 countries.

“The new relationship with CooperVision will be instrumental in extending our reach and potential, providing access to a broad range of research, operations and commercial resources for the benefit of customers and wearers,” said Jean Blanchard, president of Blanchard Contact Lenses, who will continue to lead the organization. He has also been appointed as a member of the CooperVision Specialty EyeCare global management team.

Blanchard will retain its name and continue to operate as a separate yet complementary organization. Customers should continue to work with their current representatives.
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Carl Zeiss Meditec has acquired IanTECH, Inc., a privately held company focused on technology solutions for micro-interventional cataract surgery headquartered in Reno, NV.

Visioneering Technologies Inc. has appointed Brian D. Lane, CPA, as its chief financial officer.

Bausch + Lomb has entered into an exclusive agreement with Modulight, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of lasers and optics for personalized medicine, to collaborate and develop a new laser specifically designed for use with Bausch + Lomb’s VISUDYNE (verteporfin for injection) photodynamic therapy (PDT).

Alcon acquired Tear Film Innovations, Inc.

Notal Vision, Inc. has announced its first U.S. clinical trial initiated with a home-based, patient-operated, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) system. The first targeted application of the Notal Home OCT is to monitor exudative (wet) age-related macular degeneration (eAMD) patients between scheduled, standard-of-care examinations by their treating retinal specialist.

Opternative announced its company name change to Visibly.

ABB OPTICAL GROUP announced that its specialty lens lab has been approved by Contamac to manufacture gas permeable contact lenses in the Optimum line of GP materials with Tangible Hydra-PEG surfaced coating technology.

Clearside Biomedical submitted new drug application for XIPERE for the treatment of macular edema associated with uveitis. If approved by the FDA, XIPERE would be the first therapy for macular edema associated with uveitis.

Atia Vision, a Shifamed portfolio company, closed $10 million in Series C financing.

Ophthotech Corporation announced the election of Adrienne L. Graves, PhD, former chief executive officer of Santen Inc., to its board of directors.

CooperVision’s Specialty Eye Care Division has named two eyecare industry veterans to newly established professional services roles in support of its MiSight 1 day contact lenses. Elizabeth Lumb, BSc(Hons) MCOptom, FBCLA, has been appointed head of Professional Services, MiSight 1 day, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and global brand manager for the lens. Chi Shing Fan, PD Optom, PhD, who led the test market introduction of MiSight in Hong Kong, has been appointed as professional service and commercial lead, MiSight & Specialty Business, Asia Pacific.

Kala Pharmaceuticals has submitted a new drug application to the FDA for KPI-121 0.25%, a topical product candidate for dry eye disease. KPI-121 0.25%, which utilizes Kala’s Amplify mucus-penetrating drug delivery technology, could be the first FDA-approved product for temporary relief of dry eye signs and symptoms.


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