Meet the #Achievers—VM's Most Influential Women in Optical 2019

By Staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 12:24 AM NEW YORK—This week, Vision Monday announced its roster of #Achievers, women from throughout the business and profession who were nominated and selected by VM's editors as 2019’s "Most Influential Women in Optical." This special program, now in its 17th year, is eagerly awaited by VM readers. This diverse group consists of executives, sales and marketing professionals, ECPs, administrators, researchers and teachers. This eclectic mix is emblematic of the broad reach of women in our industry and indicative of how deeply they are embedded in its fabric.

Visionworks Says New Advertising Campaign Positions the Company for New Growth

By Staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 12:21 AM SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Visionworks has launched a new brand campaign, “See the Difference," that the optical retail company said will position it for a “new phase of growth.” The campaign is designed to introduce audiences “to a comedic cast of villainous eyecare executives intent on making the industry as complex as possible,” Visionworks said in its announcement on Monday. The multimedia effort also is intended to show audiences that "eyecare really doesn't have to be that difficult," the announcement noted.

Stanford University Develops ‘Autofocals’ With Eye-Tracking Technology

By Staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 12:18 AM STANFORD, Calif.—Engineers at Stanford University have used eye-tracking technology to create a prototype for “autofocals” designed to restore proper vision in people who would ordinarily need progressive lenses. “More than a billion people have presbyopia and we’ve created a pair of autofocal lenses that might one day correct their vision far more effectively than traditional glasses,” said Stanford electrical engineer Gordon Wetzstein. For now, the prototype looks like virtual reality goggles but the team hopes to streamline later versions.

Jobson Research’s 2019 ECP Digital Solutions Study Is Now Available

By Staff
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 12:15 AM NEW YORK—Jobson Research’s 2019 ECP Digital Solutions study is now available. This year’s study explores how ECPs are using digital solutions within their practices and dispensaries. It discusses which technological tools ECPs find are helping their patients and practices, and can help ECPs see how their practices measure up with their competitors'. The study is made up of sections on the use of digital devices with patients; inventory tracking, apps, podcasts, and software; social media; online reviews; practice websites; emailing and texting with patients; and vendor ordering.

Vision Expo West Offers Diversified Education Content at 2019 Show

By Staff
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:27 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—New education at Vision Expo West 2019 will offer attendees a wide range of tracks, courses, workshops and competitions featuring the latest in leadership, marketing, patient care and more with real-time planning and interactive demonstrations. With over 300 hours of educational content available at the upcoming Las Vegas conference and exhibition, attendees will have the opportunity to fulfill multiple aspects of their professional aspirations.

Clerio Vision Acquires Maker of Extreme H2O Contact Lenses

By Staff
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:24 AM ROCHESTER, N.Y.—Clerio Vision, a developer of laser-based vision correction solutions, has acquired Hydrogel Vision Corporation (HVC). Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction brings together HVC’s long-standing expertise in the manufacturing and distribution of high performance contact lenses with Clerio’s innovative product pipeline, Clerio said in a statement issued today. HVC, founded in 2002, is best known for its Extreme H2O product line and its multiple differentiated offerings that personalize the contact lens wearing experience.

Blackfin Names Filippo Pustetto Global Sales Director

By Staff
Monday, July 15, 2019 12:21 AM BELLUNO, Italy—Pramaor, the company specializing in the manufacture of high-end titanium eyewear under the Blackfin brand, has named Filippo Pustetto as its global sales director. Pustetto began his role on July 8, and will report directly to CEO Nicola Del Din. In this role, Pustetto will define and implement a new sales strategy consistent with Blackfin’s growth, sales, and profit objectives. He will also work on the development and management of the Blackfin sales force, which consists of 30 direct sales agents and 25 distributors in 35 countries.

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.

Shopko Optical Rounds Out Leadership Team and Details Plans for Adding Stores

By Staff
Friday, July 12, 2019 12:24 AM GREEN BAY, Wis.—Shopko Optical, which was formed with the backing of private investment firm Monarch Alternative Capital LP in May, announced this week several appointments to its leadership team and noted that it “continues the relocation of 80 optical centers into freestanding locations.”

Transitions Optical Announces Transitions Academy 2020 Dates and Ways to Attend

By Staff
Friday, July 12, 2019 12:21 AM PINELLAS PARK, Fla.—Transitions Optical set the dates for Transitions Academy, its popular education event. The meeting will be held Feb. 2 to 5 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando.

Nicox Gets $3 Million Milestone Payment for Ocular Drug

By Staff
Friday, July 12, 2019 12:18 AM SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS, France—International ophthalmology company Nicox SA (Euronext Paris: FR0013018124, COX) announced that it has received a $3 million milestone payment from partner Eyevance Pharmaceuticals, triggered by the completion of the regulatory and manufacturing activities under Nicox’s responsibility necessary for the final manufacturing milestone payment in preparation for the future launch of Zerviate in the U.S. Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution), 0.24%, is the first topical ocular formulation of the antihistamine cetirizine for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis, according to Nicox.

ABB Optical Group Adds John Weber to Board of Directors

By Staff
Friday, July 12, 2019 12:15 AM CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.—ABB Optical Group has announced the addition of John Weber to its board of directors. Weber has worked in the optical industry for more than 25 years, most recently as chief commercial officer for Hoya Vision. Before joining Hoya, Weber was chief executive officer at Vision-Ease Lens and has held a number of senior leadership roles within CooperVision, Inc., including president. Weber graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in economics, has an MBA from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, and was a captain in the U.S. Army.

Coloursmith Closes $600K Financing to Develop Lens-Enhancing Filters for Contacts

By Staff
Thursday, July 11, 2019 12:24 AM HALIFAX, Nova Scotia—Coloursmith Labs, a Halifax-based startup, announced that it has raised over $600,000 in pre-seed funding to advance the development of its optical filter platform. According to Gabrielle Masone, CEO of Coloursmith Labs, both private and institutional investors participated in this private placement financing, including Brigus Capital Inc., Island Capital Partners LP and Killick Venture Fund LP. In conjunction with the financing, Brigus Capital’s president, Wade Dawe, will join Coloursmith’s board of directors, along with Rhiannon Davies, former vice president and board member of GrandVision N.V (Euronext: GVNV).

Plaintiffs in Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Agree to Settlement With Luxottica

By Staff
Thursday, July 11, 2019 12:21 AM SALT LAKE CITY—The plaintiffs in a lawsuit related to keyword search advertising that named several optical companies as defendants, including 1-800 Contacts, have agreed to settle claims against Luxottica Retail North America, another of the defendants, according to documents filed in federal court here late last week. The settlement will resolve “all claims brought by plaintiffs and the proposed class against Luxottica in exchange for a monetary payment plus specified cooperation,” according to the filing, which was made in U.S. District Court of Utah, Central Division.