Eyecare Services Partners Names Dakon Montgomery as Chief Operating Officer

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 12:21 AM DALLAS—Eyecare Services Partners (ESP), a leader in integrated eyecare services, has announced the appointment of Dakon H. Montgomery as chief operating officer, effective Monday (Nov. 11). Montgomery comes to ESP with 12 years of leadership experience in outpatient health care services. Most recently he was a senior vice president in the ambulatory surgery division (ASC) of HCA Healthcare in Dallas, where he was responsible for four divisions encompassing seven markets and 37 ambulatory surgery centers, according to the announcement.

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.

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.

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.

Alpine Investors Makes Strategic Growth Investments in Ohio Eyecare Practices

By Staff
Thursday, June 27, 2019 12:21 AM SAN FRANCISCO and AKRON, Ohio—Alpine Investors, a middle market private equity firm, is investing in the Ohio-based eyecare practice, Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons Inc. (NEOES), including its subsidiary business, Ohio Eye Care Consultants (OECC). An official announcement of the transaction is expected today (June 27). The two eyecare firms will together form a new ophthalmology platform for Alpine, and will continue to operate independently under their respective brands. The terms of the private transaction are not being disclosed.

Biogen Completes Acquisition of Nightstar Therapeutics for Approximately $800 Million

By Staff
Friday, June 14, 2019 12:15 AM CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Biogen (Nasdaq: BIIB) announced that it has completed its acquisition of Nightstar Therapeutics (NST; Nasdaq: NITE), a clinical-stage gene therapy company, which is focused on adeno-associated virus (AAV) treatments for inherited retinal disorders. As a result of the acquisition, Biogen now has added two mid- to late-stage clinical assets, as well as pre-clinical programs, in ophthalmology. The total transaction value was approximately $800 million, after taking into account expected transaction expenses and cash at closing. NST’s common stock will no longer be listed for trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Remote Possibilities

By Andrew Karp
Monday, June 10, 2019 12:30 AM Many different forms of ocular telemedicine—also referred to as ocular telehealth—have emerged in the past few years. They create a dynamic but fragmented market in which different business models and service offerings compete for consumer dollars and buy-in from eyecare professionals. The proliferation of ocular telehealth options and the growing investment in the category leaves little doubt that it is gaining momentum, VM has learned for this special Megatrend report.

Study Probes ODs’ Attitudes About Blue-Light Blocking Devices

By Staff
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 12:24 AM VANCOUVER—A recent study found that optometrists remain split on the impact of blue light from electronic devices, such as computer and phone screens, and the effectiveness of blue light-blocking devices, according to reporting by Patrick Campbell in MD Magazine. The study, titled “Insights into Australian optometrists’ knowledge and attitude toward prescribing blue light-blocking ophthalmic devices,” was published in the Journal of the College of Optometrists and presented at the 2019 meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) held here recently.

FDA Approves EYLEA Injection for Diabetic Retinopathy

By Staff
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 12:21 AM TARRYTOWN, N.Y.—Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN) announced on May 13 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved EYLEA Injection to treat all stages of diabetic retinopathy (DR), and thereby reduce the risk of blindness. “Millions of people have been robbed of their vision due to the progression of diabetic retinopathy,” said David Brown, MD, FACS, an investigator for the Panorama trial and director of research at retina consultants of Houston. "The prevention of worsening diabetic retinopathy with EYLEA provides a compelling rationale for early treatment of patients with this disease, particularly since eyes dosed with EYLEA as infrequently as every 16 weeks showed significant improvements in the pivotal Panaroma trial.”

Eyecare Services Partners Names Neal as Chief Executive Officer and Adds Two Other Executives

By Staff
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 12:27 AM DALLAS—Eyecare Services Partners (ESP), a leader in integrated eyecare services, has appointed George Neal as chief executive officer, effective March 4. Neal was previously chief executive officer of Access Dental, a dental services organization that was recently sold by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. He succeeds former chief executive officer Michael Fricke, who has retired, a spokesman told VMAIL. In addition, ESP has named Aaron Cho—a former colleague of Neal’s—as chief financial officer and Roberto Conte as vice president, operations–east.

CEI Vision Partners Adds Virginia Eye Consultants as Fifth Partner

By Staff
Friday, February 8, 2019 12:30 AM CINCINNATI—CEI Vision Partners (CVP), a portfolio company of Revelstoke Capital Partners LLC , a Denver-based private equity firm, has completed a partnership with Virginia Eye Consultants (VEC) , a premier multi-specialty ophthalmology group comprised of 17 providers that service the Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake markets through four clinic locations and an ambulatory surgery center.

Moorfields Eye Hospital Secures Multimillion Pound Investment for New Project

By Staff
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 12:18 AM LONDON—Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has successfully bid for government funding to support Oriel, a proposal to design, build and operate a new, integrated eyecare research and education facility, according to an announcement by the hospital late last week. Moorfields has managed to secure nearly £20 million of funding as part of the Department of Health & Social Care’s major investment in the long-term future of the NHS, the announcement noted. Oriel will relocate all services from Moorfields Eye Hospital on City Road and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology on Bath Street to the new facility at its preferred site at St. Pancras Hospital, the announcement noted.

The Retina Group of Washington Will Merge With Maryland’s Retina Associates

By Staff
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 12:21 AM GREENBELT, Md.—The Retina Group of Washington (RGW), a leading provider of retinal and macular care in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, has announced plans to merge with Retina Associates (RA), a five-office practice operating in suburban Maryland locations. The merger of the two firms will be effective Jan. 1, according to the announcement earlier this month. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. RGW currently has 14 offices in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and totals 26 full-time physicians who provide expertise in a variety of retina-related sub-specialties, according to the announcement.

SightMD Announces ‘Partnership’ With Mid Island Eye Physicians & Surgeons

By Staff
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 12:21 AM HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.—SightMD, a leading multi-specialty ophthalmology platform and a portfolio company of Chicago Pacific Founders, has announced a strategic partnership with Mid Island Eye Physicians & Surgeons. The partnership adds five physicians and one location in Bethpage, N.Y., to SightMD’s team of more than 50 physicians working across 25 locations in New York, according to the announcement. SightMD is backed by Chicago Pacific Founders, a leading middle-market private equity firm that focuses exclusively on partnerships with companies in health care services.