Ocular Therapeutix Names Patricia Kitchen as Chief Operations Officer

By Staff
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:18 AM BEDFORD, Mass.—Biopharmaceutical company Ocular Therapeutix has appointed Patricia Kitchen as chief operations officer. Kitchen brings nearly 25 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical experience, including roles managing global operations and manufacturing relating to complex product development, technology transfer, supply chain management, and process-scale up and validation. Prior to joining Ocular, she held a number of senior management positions at Mundipharma, including global director of technical operations (ex-U.S.) where she was responsible for leading the transformation of manufacturing operations, supply chain, technical services, and other technical development teams across Mundipharma’s global markets and manufacturing suppliers.

Ohio Ends Sales Tax on Eyeglasses, Contact Lenses

By Staff
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:15 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Ohio Optometric Association has commended its membership for the support they provided to the association’s effort to make eyeglasess and contact lens purchases exempt from Ohio’s state sales tax. According to the state’s revised tax code, which became effective July 1, all sales of corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses that require a prescription by an optometrist or ophthalmologist will be exempt from sales tax, the association noted on its website. The exemption for the sale of eyeglasses includes both lenses and the corresponding frames.

Every Decoration Has a Story at This Illinois Practice

By Staff
Friday, July 12, 2019 1:04 PM Faye Gamboa, OD, has created a carefully crafted, immersive experience for patients and customers at Wanderlust Eyecare in Northfield, Illinois. She was inspired by her love of traveling—wanderlusting, as she calls it, as well as going on mission trips to help those in need—and each piece of décor has also been placed with great consideration. “Each decoration has a story,” Dr. Gamboa said. There’s pottery from a mission trip in Morroco, teacups from Dr. Gamboa’s honeymoon in the Maldives and a collection of vintage cameras to represent a love of photography. There’s a large, canvas display in the optical space, which maps out where she’s traveled on her mission trips.

Dr. Ken Krivacic Joins Faculty for ‘Demystifying Private Equity’

By Staff
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 12:27 AM NEW YORK—Ken Krivacic, OD, MBA, has joined the faculty of presenters for “Demystifying Private Equity and Its Role in Optometry.” This series of symposia is produced by Review of Optometric Business and is sponsored by leading PE-based companies that invest in optometry. The first symposium is slated for Dallas on July 20. The second is slated for Chicago on August 24. The program is geared toward OD-owners, associates and office managers. Click here to register.

Zeiss Gets FDA Clearance for CLARUS 700

By Staff
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 12:21 AM DUBLIN, Calif.—The Zeiss Medical Technology Segment of Zeiss announced that it has received 510(K) clearance from the FDA for the CLARUS 700, high-definition, ultra-widefield imaging system for advanced care specialists. CLARUS 700 is the first high-resolution ultra-widefield imaging with true color and a complete range of fundus imaging modalities, including fluorescein angiography (FA), according to Zeiss. Ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography helps eyecare specialists identify earlier more severe forms of diabetic retinopathy like neovascularization and retinal diseases such as uveitis, choroidal masses, retinal tears, detachments, and peripheral ischemia. The high-resolution and high contrast images of the FA from the CLARUS 700 allow clinicians to capture the smallest details from the macula in early phase to the periphery in late phase of FA, Zeiss said.

Altaire Pharmaceuticals Issues Recall of Multiple Ophthalmic Products

By Staff
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 12:24 AM
 
NEW YORK—Altaire Pharmaceuticals announced last week that it is voluntarily recalling several prescription drug products “as a precautionary measure.” The company attributed the recall to management concerns regarding the sufficiency of quality assurance controls over critical systems in the manufacturing facility. The recall is being carried out to the retail level and is only for the specific lots listed, the company said. In addition, Altaire announced that it is voluntarily recalling over-the-counter (OTC) drug products sold at both Walmart and Walgreens under the companies' store-brand labels. They include Lubricant Eye Drops Moisturizing and related products. (The Walmart products affected are marketed under the "Equate"  and "Support Harmony" labels and the Walgreens' products carry a Walgreens name on the packaging.) For more information on this recall, visit the FDA notice here.

Wize Pharma Forms Joint Venture With Cannabics Pharmaceuticals

By Staff
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 12:21 AM HOD HASHARON, Israel—Wize Pharma (OTCQB: WIZP) and Cannabics Pharmaceuticals(OTCQB: CNBX) have formed a joint venture focused on the research and development of cannabinoid formulations to treat ophthalmic conditions. "We are very pleased to have jointly created and approved a plan that will support our pursuit of a significant opportunity to create ophthalmic treatments that leverage the therapeutic power of cannabis. Having assessed the regulatory pathway for eyedrops containing cannabinoids or cannabinoid strings, we are eagerly engaging in technology development and clinical advancement. Cannabics, a world leader in the development of cannabinoid-based therapies for cancer, and with a state of the art laboratory that has received approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health to conduct research with Cannabinoids and Cancer is an ideal partner for Wize," said Noam Danenberg, CEO of Wize, based here.

Takeda Completes Sale of Xiidra to Novartis

By Staff
Monday, July 8, 2019 12:24 AM OSAKA, Japan—Takeda Pharmaceutical Company (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) announced last week that it completed the sale of its Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5 percent product to Novartis for $3.4 billion upfront in cash and up to an additional $1.9 billion in potential milestone payments. VMail first reported news of the pending deal in May. “The completion of this transaction marks an important step in executing Takeda’s strategy, which is focused on optimizing our portfolio around the key business areas that are core to our long-term growth and creating the most value for our patients and shareholders,” said Christophe Weber, president and CEO of Takeda.

EyeSouth Establishes Presence in Alabama with Montgomery Eye Physicians Partnership

By Staff
Monday, July 8, 2019 12:18 AM ATLANTA—EyeSouth Partners has completed an affiliation with Montgomery Eye Physicians and Prescription Eyewear, which marks the firm’s first partnership in Alabama, according to an announcement late last week. EyeSouth also noted that Alabama “will be a priority growth state for the company in the future.” Montgomery Eye Physicians will continue to operate under its brand, with no changes to its staff, physicians or locations, according to the announcement. EyeSouth, an eyecare-focused management services organization committed to partnering with leading physicians in the Southeast, is backed by Shore Capital Partners, a lower middle-market health care private equity firm.

Essilor’s Points de Vue and IOA to Develop Joint CE Program

By Staff
Monday, July 8, 2019 12:15 AM CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France and LONDON, England—The International Opticians Association (IOA) and Essilor’s online review of ophthalmic optics Points de Vue have announced a partnership to develop continuing education for ECPs. The program aims to embrace the diversity and expertise of opticians around the world. By leveraging intersections between the many different professionals within the eyecare sector, this CE partnership is designed to build knowledge sharing networks between opticians, ophthalmologists, and optometrists. Olga Prenat, global director of professional relations at Essilor International and chief editor of Points de Vue, said, “In the context of the profound transformation of the eyecare sector, opticians, ophthalmologists and optometrists alike need to have access to the latest information and trends in their field and relevant training programs to be able to meet the different challenges successfully.

Essilor Vision Foundation Introduces One Millionth Glasses Recipient and New Campaign

By Staff
Wednesday, July 3, 2019 12:24 AM DALLAS, Texas—The Essilor Vision Foundation introduces Khloe, a first grader who also happens to be the recipient of the one-millionth pair of glasses provided by Essilor Vision Foundation since 2007. Alongside being one of the 10 million children in the United States who needs vision care, Khloe loves unicorns, dancing, and shopping with her mom. She also loves reading with her tablet, but was having vision trouble and began struggling in school—until she got the glasses she needed.

Covenant Surgical Announces Partnership with De La Peña Eye Clinic of Los Angeles

By Staff
Wednesday, July 3, 2019 12:21 AM NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Covenant Surgical Partners here said it has formed a new partnership with Los Angeles-based De La Pena Eye Clinic, A Medical Group, one of the largest private eyecare practices in Southern California. De La Peña Eye Clinic offers a full spectrum of ophthalmologic, optometric and optical services, according to the announcement earlier this week. Whereas typical eyecare clinics only focus on one or two elements of eyecare, De La Peña Eye Clinic offers multiple services in its one facility, including ophthalmology, optometry, optical and surgical capabilities, among others, the announcement noted. Covenant is acquiring the majority ownership of De La Peña Eye Clinic through this partnership transaction, a spokeswoman told VMAIL.

OneSight and The Gambia Sign Memorandum Guaranteeing Vision Care Access to all Gambians

By Staff
Monday, July 1, 2019 12:24 AM CINCINNATI—OneSight, a vision care nonprofit organization, and The Gambia government signed a Memorandum of Understanding transitioning oversight of the country’s sustainable vision care infrastructure.

Low-Cost Retinal Scanner Could Help Prevent Blindness Worldwide

By Staff
Monday, July 1, 2019 12:18 AM DURHAM, N.C.—Biomedical engineers at Duke University have developed a low-cost, portable optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanner that promises to bring the vision-saving technology to underserved regions throughout the U.S. and abroad. Thanks to a redesigned, 3D-printed spectrometer, the scanner is 15 times lighter and smaller than current commercial systems and is made from parts costing less than a tenth the retail price of commercial systems—all without sacrificing imaging quality. In its first clinical trial, the new OCT scanner produced images of 120 retinas that were 95 percent as sharp as those taken by current commercial systems, which was sufficient for accurate clinical diagnosis, according to Duke.

The Vision Council Hosts Congressional Briefing in Recognition of National Sunglasses Day

By Staff
Friday, June 28, 2019 12:25 AM WASHINGTON—To celebrate National Sunglasses Day on June 27, 2019, The Vision Council took to Capitol Hill to brief congressional staff on the brief Congressional staffers on the importance of UV protection for the eyes.