Eyevensys Closes $30M Series B Financing, Adds to Board, Opens U.S. Office in Fort Worth, Texas

By Staff
Monday, January 13, 2020 12:21 AM PARIS & FORT WORTH, Texas—Eyevensys, a privately held clinical-stage biotechnology company developing non-viral gene therapies for retinal and other ophthalmic diseases, announced that it has completed a $30 million Series B financing. The round was led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and included participation from existing investors Pontifax, Bpifrance, CapDecisif, and Inserm Transfert, as well as new investors, the Global Health Sciences (GHS) Fund (Quark Venture LP and GF Securities) and Pureos Bioventures. The company said it will use the funds to continue the development of its clinical lead candidate EYS606 for the treatment of chronic non-infectious uveitis (NIU), including the launch of its Electro Study. 

The Firmament Group Invests in St. Louis Ophthalmology Practices and Names Jim Wachtman to Lead its Eyecare Platform Strategy

By Staff
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 12:18 AM
NEW YORK—The Firmament Group, which provides debt and equity capital solutions to small- and medium-sized enterprises, has invested in three ophthalmology practices and an ambulatory surgery center in St. Louis, according to an announcement Tuesday. Concurrent with the transactions, industry veteran Jim Wachtman has joined as chief executive officer, Firmament said. The transactions demonstrate Firmament's “continued conviction in the ophthalmology sector,” the announcement added. No other details about the transactions were available at press time. Parris Boyd and Green Campbell led the transactions for Firmament.

AOA Provides an Update on Upcoming Changes to Coding and Reimbursement Procedures

By Staff
Friday, January 3, 2020 12:24 AM ST. LOUIS—The American Optometric Association (AOA), in response to “information disseminated by various individuals and organizations regarding upcoming changes to coding and reimbursement” for evaluation and management services (E/M services), has provided an update about this topic for optometrists. Given the importance of E/M services in patient care, it's critical that all optometrists “are aware of these changes,” the association noted in the post on its website. According to the AOA post, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2018 proposed to reduce the payment variation for office/outpatient E/M visit levels by paying a single rate for office/outpatient E/M visit levels 2 through 4 (one rate for established patients and another rate for new patients), while maintaining the payment rate for office/outpatient E/M visit level 5.

EssilorLuxottica Reports Fraudulent Financial Activities at an Essilor Plant in Thailand

By Staff
Thursday, January 2, 2020 12:24 AM
CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—EssilorLuxottica reported on Monday that its subsidiary Essilor International recently discovered fraudulent financial activities in one of its plants in Thailand. Essilor International filed complaints in Thailand and in other jurisdictions and mobilized all available internal and external resources to put an immediate end to these fraudulent activities and implement remedial actions, according to the announcement. The company also noted that it is carrying out “comprehensive investigations and is taking all possible actions to seek to recover the misappropriated funds in order to mitigate the impact on the Group.”

VSP Ventures Acquires Stockton’s Largest Optometric Practice, Brookside Optometric Group

By Staff
Friday, December 27, 2019 12:30 AM RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—VSP Ventures, a care-focused practice transition partner and a business unit of VSP Global, announced Thursday the acquisition of Brookside Optometric Group in Stockton, Calif. Founded in 1998 by the late Craig Hisaka, OD, Brookside Optometric Group was established after the five largest optometric practices in Stockton merged together, according to the announcement. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. VSP Ventures was launched in March 2019 as part of VSP Global’s expanded retail strategy, as VMAIL reported

Jobson Optical Research’s Eyecare Professional Income Study for 2019 Is Now Available

By Staff
Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:21 AM
NEW YORK—The 2019 study of eyecare professionals’ income, compiled by Jobson Optical Research, is now available. This newly designed extensive study provides average income for optometrists, optician/dispensers and optical office managers across the U.S. In addition, a full comparison of male vs. female is broken out across all demographics. The research data is a critical resource to benchmark a practice’s compensation policies against the national and regional variances. The information and data are presented in charts and tables for quicker understanding and comprehension.

Bausch Health Resolves ‘Stock Drop’ Litigation Initially Filed in 2015

By Staff
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 12:24 AM LAVAL, Quebec—Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE/TSX: BHC) said this week that the parties in a securities class action filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey have agreed to resolve the action for $1.21 billion, subject to court approval. Once approved by the court, the settlement of this action, which has been referred to as the “Valeant stock drop” case, will resolve and discharge all claims against the company, according to an announcement. “Resolving this action enables Bausch Health to close the door on one of the more meaningful and unpredictable liabilities associated with the legacy Valeant era,” Bausch Health chairman and CEO Joseph C. Papa said in the announcement.

With EyeCare Partners Deal, Swiss Firm Sees a Base for ‘Organic Growth, Expansion and Consolidation’ of U.S. Vision Market

By Staff
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 12:24 AM
DENVER and BAAR-ZUG, Switzerland—In the second major acquisition of an eyecare practice management group this year, the Switzerland-based Partners Group announced Monday morning that it has agreed to make a significant investment in EyeCare Partners LLC (ECP), a leading vertically integrated medical vision services provider in the U.S. FFL Partners announced separately that it was selling the stake it had held in EyeCare Partners since its initial investment in April 2015. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a person familiar with the the transaction told The Wall Street Journal the value of the deal (including debt assumption) was approximately $2.2 billion.

Notal Vision Secures $25 Million in Funding Round for ForeseeHome and Pipeline Technologies

By Staff
Thursday, December 12, 2019 12:15 AM MANASSAS, Va.—Notal Vision Inc., a privately held ophthalmic diagnostic services company focused on advancing eyecare with precision medicine, said this week that Ganot Capital is extending a recent funding round to $25 million. The continued investment will enable Notal Vision to support the commercial growth of the company’s current service, ForeseeHome AMD Monitoring Program, as well as further research and development efforts for pipeline technologies, according to the announcement. “Pursuing additional funding has allowed us to expand our ForeseeHome field-based sales team,” chief executive officer Kester Nahen said in the announcement. “We have a proven model that includes low-cost medical devices, an effective artificial intelligence (AI)-driven decision support solution, and a dependable clinical patient engagement platform. With the additional investment, we believe we will be able to prove that partnering with accounts as an extension of their practice will drive deeper adoption of our home diagnostic services.”

Safilo's Business Plan Aims for Growth Via Customer-Centric Model, Digital Transformation, Launches and Italy Work Force Cuts

By Staff
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:24 AM
PADOVA, Italy—The board of directors of Safilo Group S.p.A. (SFLG.MI) approved the company's new group business plan for 2020-2024, which incorporates recent business developments and looks ahead to delivering sales growth and margin expansion through a modern customer-centric and consumer-oriented business model, powered by a new digital transformation strategy, in a statement released yesterday. Safilo said the business plan "responds to the requirement to realign the Group’s current industrial capacity to the future production needs and to achieve further costs of goods sold and overheads efficiencies, guaranteeing the Group’s economic and financial solidity and the pursuit, during the Plan’s timeline, of a recovery of the levels of profitability to which Safilo aspires." It includes a revision of fiscal guidance for the coming year.

CooperCompanies Reports Mid-Single Digit Sales Growth in Q4 as it Ends Fiscal 2019 on a ‘High Note’

By Staff
Friday, December 6, 2019 12:30 AM
SAN RAMON, Calif.—CooperCompanies (NYSE: COO) reported Thursday that its sales increased 6 percent (7 percent pro forma) in the fourth quarter to $691.6 million, and 5 percent (7 percent pro forma) for fiscal 2019 to $2.65 billion. The company also noted that its gross margin in the fourth quarter (which ended Oct. 31) stayed “consistent” at 66 percent, while its operating margin came in at 21 percent in the fourth quarter, which compares with 19 percent in the year-ago period, which the company attributed to operating expense leverage.

Alcon Reports Third-Quarter Sales Increase and Announces Plan for ‘Multi-Year Transformation Program’

By Staff
Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:27 AM GENEVA—Alcon (SIX/NYSE:ALC) reported third-quarter financial results showing a 6 percent sales increase (at constant currency) for the period ended Sept. 30 and also announced a plan for “a multi-year transformation program” designed to reorganize and reinvest savings into “strategic growth initiatives supporting long-term financial goals.” The company also noted its successful recent U.S. launches of PanOptix and Precision1 contact lenses. For the third quarter, worldwide sales rose 4 percent on a reported basis to $1.8 billion.

Safilo Group Reports Continued Financial Momentum in Q3, First Nine Months

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 12:27 AM PADUA, Italy—Safilo Group S.p.A. reported that its third quarter financial performance "continued the Group's positive momentum in sales and cost reduction," according to the company. The board of directors reviewed and approved the third quarter and first nine months of economic and key performance indicators yesterday. Angelo Trocchia, Safilo's CEO, commented, “In the third quarter of the year, we continued the improvement of our results, working with determination on those priorities aimed at enhancing our Group’s assets, in particular strengthening our commercial capabilities and enhancing our digital agenda, two areas in which our strategy is focused on the customer and on a continuous and ever closer connection with the final consumer. Meanwhile, we progressed also with actions to improve the efficiency of our production processes and overhead cost structures. The quarter brought significant results. We renewed two strategic partnerships relating to the Boss and Hugo licenses and the supply agreement with Kering Eyewear, and we prepared for the launch of our new licenses — David Beckham, Levi’s and Missoni."

National Vision Reports Double-Digit Sales Increase for Third Quarter and Raises Fiscal 2019 Outlook

By Staff
Friday, November 8, 2019 12:27 AM DULUTH, Ga.—Marking its 71st consecutive quarter of comparable-store sales growth, National Vision Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE) reported Thursday that its net revenue increased 11.5 percent to $431.9 million in the third quarter, driven in part by adjusted comparable-store sales growth of 6.2 percent (5.7 percent non-adjusted) in the quarter. Net income totaled $1.2 million in the quarter, which compares with net income of $5.2 million in the year-ago period. However, adjusted net income increased 65.8 percent to $14.5 million, compared with $8.7 million in last year’s third quarter.

Allergan Reports Third-Quarter Sales Increase of 3.6 Percent and Raises Full-Year Revenue Guidance

By Staff
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 12:21 AM DUBLIN—Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN) reported Tuesday that its third-quarter sales rose 3.6 percent to $4.05 billion (on a GAAP basis), and that its non-GAAP operating income fell by almost 8 percent because of the impact divestitures and the loss of patent protection for some products, among other factors. However, Allergan said it was raising its full-year sales guidance (on a GAAP basis) by $200 million to a range of $15.625 billion to $15.825 billion.