Aerie Pharmaceuticals to Acquire Avizorex Pharma to Advance Its Dry Eye Program

By Staff
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 12:24 AM DURHAM, N.C.—Aerie Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AERI) announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Avizorex Pharma (AVX), a Spanish ophthalmic pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics for the treatment of dry eye disease. “This acquisition bolsters our pipeline with a clinical-stage dry eye product candidate, and we are excited to expand our footprint in ophthalmology. This product has a novel mechanism-of-action for treating dry eye and we believe that, if approved, it could nicely complement the currently approved drugs for this indication. Since the majority of our efforts in 2020 will be focused on supportive non-clinical studies, we do not currently expect to meaningfully increase our R&D expenditures next year,” said Vicente Anido, Jr., PhD, chairman and chief executive officer at Aerie.

ABB Optical Names Marc Tersigni as Country Manager for Business Operations in Canada

By Staff
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 12:21 AM
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.—ABB Optical Group, a leading provider of products, services and business solutions for the eyecare industry, has named Marc Tersigni as its country manager for its Canadian operations, according to an announcement on Tuesday. In this role, Tersigni will be responsible for leading business operations in Canada as ABB Optical Group will begin distributing contact lenses to Canadian eyecare professionals beginning in the first quarter of 2020. In September, ABB Optical first announced its plans to expand into the Canadian market beginning next year. It will distribute contact lenses starting with servicing FYidoctors, Canada’s largest doctor-owned provider of eyecare and ophthalmic products and services, and the group’s independent alliance clinics, as VMAIL reported

Leica Microsystems Taps Precision Lens for U.S. Midwest Distribution

By Staff
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 12:18 AM
BUFFALO GROVE, Ill.—Leica Microsystems and Precision Lens have signed an exclusive distribution agreement. Precision Lens, which sells and distributes intraocular lens (IOLs) and supplies for cataract surgery in its markets, will be Leica's exclusive channel partner for ophthalmic surgical microscopes and digital imaging equipment for the OR in select geographies in the U.S. Midwest. Under the agreement, Precision Lens will deploy a dedicated sales team to introduce the Leica ophthalmic portfolio to surgeons in 12 states, namely Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Study Shows Eye Damage Linked to Vitamin B3 Can Be Reversed

By Staff
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 12:15 AM
NEW YORK, N.Y.—In a first-of-its-kind clinical report, retina specialists at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) have shown that severe vision loss from a self-prescribed high dose of over-the-counter niacin is linked to injury of a specific cell type in a patient’s eye. The experts report that discontinuing the vitamin led to reversal of the condition and have published their findings in the fall issue of Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases. Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is used for lowering hyperlipidemia or cholesterol and comes in prescription and over-the-counter forms; it can produce a rare toxic reaction called niacin-induced cystoid maculopathy, a form of retinal swelling.

Warby Parker Enters Contact Lens Category With New Scout Lens and Other CL Brands

By Staff
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 10:08 AM NEW YORK—Today, Warby Parker moves into new optical territory as it enters the contact lens arena in the U.S., with the debut of a branded daily wear contact lens called Scout. The new daily lens was developed by the company, executives said, with a Japanese contact lens manufacturer. The lens is described as "made from a super-moist, breathable material that resists drying for lasting hydration. The lenses incorporate Centraform technology for wearing comfort." The lenses will be priced $55 per eye for a 90-day pack, $110 for a 90-day supply of two lenses, or approximately $440 a year. Each Scout lens comes in an innovative, space-saving flat pack that’s easier to transport and store than a traditional contact blister pack, the company noted, adding that it uses almost 80 percent less packaging than traditional contact packs. Dave Gilboa, co-ceo of Warby Parker, told VMAIL, "We have been thinking about contact lenses for several years. Being a direct-to-consumer brand, we get a lot of feedback from our end customers, and roughly 40 percent of them wear contact lenses. We're hopeful that they will love the opportunity to get their contact lenses prescriptions from us, when they see our ODs. In addition, he said, " If you are a customer not near one of the WP stores, or want to go to a doc you've been seeing, that doctor, outside of the WP system, can request one of the six-day trial kits as well." Warby has been piloting contact lenses in some of its offices during the past year, he noted (the company currently operates 112 locations and has 80 optometrists.)

CooperVision Says ‘Breakthrough’ MiSight 1 Day Lens for Childhood Myopia Set for March 2020 U.S. Launch

By Staff
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 12:24 AM
SAN RAMON, Calif.—CooperVision announced today that its innovative MiSight 1 day contact lens will launch in the U.S. early next year as part of a CooperVision myopia management initiative. The initiative is scheduled to begin in March. The MiSight lens received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval on Friday (Nov. 15), as VMAIL reported, and will be the cornerstone of a comprehensive myopia management approach to be offered by CooperVision, according to the company’s announcement.

Authentic Brands Group, Electric Visual Evolution Announce Global Partnership to Launch Volcom Eyewear

By Staff
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 12:21 AM NEW YORK—Authentic Brands Group and Electric Visual Evolution have announced a global partnership for Volcom eyewear. Under the agreement, Electric will design, develop, produce and distribute both eyewear and snow goggles for the lifestyle brand. The first collection of Volcom Eyewear will debut in 2020 at Volcom stores, key departments stores and action sports specialty accounts worldwide, as well as online on Volcom.com. A company spokesperson told VMail that the collection will include prescription sunglasses, but there are no plans for optical channel distribution or optical frames at the moment. Southern California born, Volcom’s lifestyle brand is rooted in art, music, film and board sports.

Giving Tuesday Is Approaching on Dec. 3

By Staff
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 12:18 AM
NEW YORK—Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been celebrated as Giving Tuesday, a global movement that encourages people to do good. According to the Giving Tuesday organization, “GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 3, 2019 and every day. It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.” This year, Giving Tuesday falls on Tuesday, December 3 and is an opportunity for vision-care related groups as well as optical retailers and ECPs to take part.

World Optometry Foundation Announces First-Ever Recipients of WOF Student Travel Fellowships

By Staff
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 12:15 AM ST. LOUIS—The World Optometry Foundation (WOF), the World Council of Optometry’s Foundation, has announced the first-ever recipients of the World Optometry Foundation Student Travel Fellowships. This program was started in 2019 as a way to encourage optometry students to further their education by providing a $1,250 stipend for travel expenses for the 3rd World Congress of Optometry and Academy 2019 Orlando joint meeting held October 23-27, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. WOF Student Travel Fellowships were presented during the International Reception on Friday, October 25, 2019 during the joint meeting.

'The Future of Healthcare: Beyond 2020' Registration Opens for the VM March 25 Global Leadership Summit

By Staff
Monday, November 18, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—The healthcare industry is being shaken by powerful forces that are creating new forms of competition and transforming patients into consumers who are seeking pathways to wellness that offer convenience, affordability and personalized care. New market leaders are emerging, and established brands are reinventing themselves with fresh approaches and enhanced customer experiences. Doctor-patient relationships are being redefined. How will these transformative changes impact vision care providers and payors? Suppliers? VM’s 14th annual Global Leadership Summit will explore these and other pivotal questions as part of its program, “The Future of Healthcare: Beyond 2020.” Thought leaders and influential thinkers will share their visions of healthcare’s future and discuss how the optical industry can play a broader, more significant role in it. Attendees will take away actionable ideas and practical strategies that will help them compete in today’s consumer-centric business environment.

FDA Approves CooperVision's MiSight Contact Lens, Indicated to Slow the Progression of Myopia in Children

By Staff
Monday, November 18, 2019 12:27 AM SILVER SPRING, Md.—The FDA announced on Nov. 15 that it has approved the first contact lens to slow the progression of myopia in children.

Vision Source’s John McCall Appointed to the University of Houston’s Board of Regents

By Staff
Monday, November 18, 2019 12:24 AM
KINGWOOD, Texas—Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Vision Source’s John McCall, OD, to the University of Houston System Board of Regents.

EyeQue Earns 2020 CES Innovation Award for DIY Vision Monitoring Kit

By Staff
Monday, November 18, 2019 12:21 AM NEWARK, Calif.—EyeQue, a supplier of vision wellness devices, has been honored with a CES 2020 Innovation Award for its EyeQue Vision Monitoring Kit, a convenient, low-cost eye wellness system designed for everyone from children to adults. EyeQue will feature the system at CES 2020, the mega technology exhibition which will take place in Las Vegas from January 7-10, 2020. This is the company’s third CES Innovation Award in the last four years and its second in the category of “Tech for a Better World.”

Researchers Discover Potential Mechanism That May Lead to Treatments for Glaucoma, Other Diseases

By Staff
Monday, November 18, 2019 12:18 AM TUCSON, Ariz.—Scientists in the University of Arizona Department of Physiology have identified a potential molecular mechanism that may hold the key to understanding how pressure is regulated in the eye. Funded by a $2.3 million five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Eye Institute, this research could help to develop future treatments for glaucoma and other diseases. Current treatments focus on lowering eye pressure with eyedrops and oral medications. However, these drugs lose their effectiveness over time. More than three million Americans suffer from glaucoma, the second-leading cause of blindness in the U.S., according to Prevent Blindness America.

Versant Health Announces Sponsorship of LPGA Pro Lizette Salas

By Staff
Monday, November 18, 2019 12:15 AM BALTIMORE—Versant Health, a leading national managed eye health and vision plan company, has announced its sponsorship of LPGA professional Lizette Salas, a graduate of the University of Southern California. Since joining the women’s professional LPGA golf tour in 2012, Salas has earned 29 career Top 10 finishes, including winning the Kingsmill Champion tournament in 2014. Additionally, she was a member of the Solheim Cup team in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. Currently, Salas is ranked No. 13 in the Top 100 Money List, No. 18 in the Rolex Ranking, and No. 25 in the CME Ranking. She also was featured in the LPGA’s Drive On campaign with her “Where I Come From” video.