PE-Backed Midwest Vision Partners Sets First Partnership in Michigan With Michigan Eye Institute

By Staff
Friday, January 10, 2020 12:27 AM CHICAGO and FLINT, Mich.—Midwest Vision Partners, which is backed by Alpine Investors, has announced a partnership with Michigan Eye Institute (MEI), which represents MVP’s first partnership in the state of Michigan. Michigan Eye Institute is led by Dr. Gary Keoleian, Dr. Jeffrey Diskin and Dr. David Diskin and has a network of 12 providers. The practice employs approximately 110 support staff across six clinical locations, according to an announcement earlier this week. The terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

EyeCare 20/20 Becomes the First New Jersey Eyecare Practice to Join OCLI Group

By Staff
Thursday, December 12, 2019 12:18 AM
GARDEN CITY, N.Y.—OCLI, a Spectrum Vision Partners (SVP) managed practice organization, has added the EyeCare 20/20 practice of New Jersey to its group. The northern New Jersey practice becomes the first in New Jersey within the OCLI ophthalmology group, according to the announcement earlier this week. Founded in 1997, OCLI oversees a leading group of ophthalmology practices in the Northeast, with 21 state-of-the-art medical facilities across Manhattan, Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York.

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.”

Canon Realigns Strategy to Prepare for Eyecare Systems Business Growth

By Staff
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:21 AM TUSTIN, Calif.—As part of Canon Inc.’s global medical business strategic realignment, the eyecare business operations within Canon U.S.A. will transfer to Canon Medical Systems USA, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Canon’s shift in business operations will allow Canon Medical Systems USA to offer ophthalmologic solutions to IDN customers, while leveraging full-line medical imaging business synergies to address population health challenges associated with chronic conditions, according to an announcement this week. Chronic conditions can include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, inherited retinal diseases and other retinal conditions that can lead to loss of vision and blindness.

Vision Innovation Partners Acquires Three Northern Maryland Eyecare Facilities

By Staff
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:18 AM ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Vision Innovation Partners has acquired two practice groups and a surgery center in northern Maryland, according to a recent announcement. The acquisition of Carroll Vision CenterCenter for Total Eye Care and Carroll County Surgery Center further expands Vision Innovation Partners' growing network of ophthalmology practices in the Mid-Atlantic region, the announcement noted. Vision Innovation Partners, which is a portfolio company of the private equity firm Centre Partners, said the acquisitions demonstrate its “continued commitment to recruiting top-performing doctors and expanding patient access to care across its growing network of practice locations and surgery centers in the Mid-Atlantic [region].”

EyeCare Services Partners Names Stark as Vice President, Managed Care

By Staff
Friday, December 6, 2019 12:24 AM DALLAS—EyeCare Services Partners (ESP), a leader in integrated eyecare services, has named Chris R. Stark as vice president, managed care. Stark is responsible for the firm’s contractual relationships with payors and provider enrollment/credentialing, according to the ESP announcement. Stark comes to ESP with nearly 20 years of experience in health care contracting and provider network development. Most recently, Stark was vice president, contracting and network development for Methodist Health System in Dallas, where he led payor contracting and related functions for an integrated health system that included hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers and a 600-physician ACO.

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.