Gene Therapy May Preserve Vision in Retinal Disease and Serious Retinal Injury

By Andrew Karp
Friday, July 23, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Mount Sinai researchers have uncovered a potential pathway for treatment that can prevent blindness. Gene therapy in mouse models showed promise in preventing vision loss or blindness from serious retinal injury including optic nerve damage, and from retinal disease including diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, Mount Sinai researchers report. Their study, published in the July 22 online publication of Cell, could transform treatment for those at risk of major vision loss from retinal degenerative diseases, which currently have no cure.

OD Duo Breaks Ground With New Soft Contact Lens for Presbyopes

By Staff
Friday, July 23, 2021 8:05 AM “The contact lens market for presbyopes is a huge opportunity,” said Melissa D. Bailey, OD, PhD, associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. But nearly every option commercially available involves some kind of compromise. So Dr. Bailey had a graduate student survey more mature adults who were wearing eyeglasses at a science museum. Of the participants, approximately 70 percent said they would prefer to wear contact lenses. This finding convinced her there really is a hole in the market. “I see [the same] from our advanced clinical experience, too,” she says. “We knew this was a need.”

Registration Is Now Open for Vision Expo West 2021

By Staff
Friday, July 23, 2021 12:30 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Registration is now open for Vision Expo West 2021, taking place September 22-25 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. With Las Vegas fully reopened, the Show organizers, The Vision Council and RX, are planning a robust Show experience featuring several new neighborhoods, in addition to the return of The Suites, as well as extensive education opportunities and the return of the OptiCon @ Vision Expo program and hub.

Nova Southeastern University Names Linda S. Rouse as Dean of College of Optometry

By Staff
Friday, July 23, 2021 12:24 AM FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—Nova Southeastern University (NSU) has announced that Linda S. Rouse, OD, MBA, will become the permanent dean of NSU’s College of Optometry.

National Optometric Association, Dr. Marvin R. Poston Foundation and VSP Global Announce Recipients of Visioning the Future Mentorship Program

By Staff
Friday, July 23, 2021 12:21 AM RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—In continuing a commitment to increasing awareness about the optometric profession to minority communities, the National Optometric Association (NOA), the Dr. Marvin R. Poston Foundation and VSP Global, announced the recipients of Visioning the Future mentorship program.

Clarification Regarding Zeiss DuraVision AntiVirus Platinum UV Availability

By Staff
Friday, July 23, 2021 12:15 AM HEBRON, Ky.—VMAIL recently reported in the International News section on the release of Zeiss DuraVision AntiVirus Platinum UV. However, the product is only available in certain markets. Zeiss Vision Care U.S. issued the following clarification: “Zeiss DuraVision AntiVirus Platinum UV, an anti-reflective coating with antibacterial and antiviral properties, is now available on Zeiss plastic lenses in several countries. The product is being reviewed for further release by local, country specific, regulatory agencies and is not yet available in North America.”

Johnson & Johnson Reports Rebound in Sales and Earnings, With Vision Care Segment Also Bouncing Back from 2020’s Dropoff

By Staff
Thursday, July 22, 2021 4:39 PM NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported Wednesday that its second-quarter sales increased 27.1 percent to $23.3 billion, with operational sales growth of 23 percent and adjusted operational growth of 23.8 percent. Net earnings increased 73.1 percent, totaling $6.3 billion in the recent quarter compared with $3.6 billion in the year-ago period, according to the announcement. In the J&J’s medical devices business segment, which includes vision care and contact lenses, worldwide sales rose 62.7 percent in the quarter on a reported basis (57 percent on an operational basis) to approximately $7 billion (compared with $4.3 billion in the year-ago period). Read More

Pandemic Recession Was the Shortest Ever in the U.S.

By Staff
Thursday, July 22, 2021 3:36 PM While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, as rising case numbers in various countries sadly illustrate, the recession it brought on to the U.S. economy officially is. And for quite some time, as the official chronicler of U.S. business cycles announced on Monday. According to an official statement from the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the U.S. economy bottomed out in April 2020, just two months from its previous peak in February 2020.

According to the NBER’s conventions for chronicling economic cycles, a recession begins in the first month following a peak in economic activity and ends in the month of the subsequent trough. In this case, that means the COVID-19 recession only lasted for two months, making it the shortest on record.

While the protracted length of an economic contraction is usually one of three criteria for determining a recession—depth, diffusion and duration—the NBER states that “extreme conditions revealed by one criterion may partially offset weaker indications from another.”

Click here to read the full story from statista.com.

NECO Announces $100,000 Diversity Scholarship Donation from National Vision

By Staff
Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:21 AM BOSTON—The New England College of Optometry (NECO) has announced that National Vision, Inc. donated $100,000 to establish a new scholarship geared toward first-generation students from under-represented backgrounds.

Oculus Joins International Myopia Institute as a Sponsor

By Staff
Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:18 AM SYDNEY, Australia—The International Myopia Institute (IMI) announced that German ophthalmic medical device maker, Oculus has agreed to support IMI activities to advance the research and awareness of myopia to prevent future vision impairment and blindness.

Surface Ophthalmics Announces $25 Million Private Round of Fundraising

By Staff
Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:15 AM PLEASANTON, Calif.—Surface Ophthalmics, a pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics for ocular diseases, announced it has secured gross proceeds of approximately $25 million in a private placement of preferred stock, at a purchase price of $4.50 per share.

KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: In Their Own Words, Six Months Later

By Staff
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 2:25 PM At the beginning of 2021 as vaccine distribution began in the U.S., The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) conducted interviews with a nationally representative sample of adults using open-ended questions to better understand public concerns around receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Six months later, KFF re-contacted these individuals to find out whether they chose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, their reasoning behind their decisions, and how they are feeling about their choice. Here are some of their findings:

•  The vast majority (92 percent) of those who planned to get vaccinated “as soon as possible” in early 2021 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as have slightly more than half (54 percent) of individuals who had previously said they wanted to “wait and see” before getting vaccinated. On the other hand, a majority (76 percent) of people who had previously said they would “only get vaccinated if required” or said they would “definitely not” get a COVID-19 vaccine remain unvaccinated. 

•  One-fifth of adults (21 percent) now report being vaccinated after saying in January they planned on waiting to get vaccinated, would only get it if required, or would definitely not get vaccinated. Many of these individuals noted the role of their friends and family members as well as their personal doctors in persuading them to get a vaccine. 

•  When asked to name the feeling that best describes how they feel now that they have been vaccinated, nearly a quarter of vaccinated adults offer responses around feeling safe (24 percent) and relieved (22 percent). Other positive feelings reported were freedom, confidence, and more certainty that if they did get COVID-19 it would be less serious or they were less likely to die from it.

Following Downturns from July Fourth Holiday, Optical Sales Make a Quick Recovery for Week of July 12-18, Jobson’s Latest Weekly Tracker Shows

By Staff
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 12:30 AM NEW YORK—Optical sales quickly recovered last week, July 12-18, following the previous week’s downturns due to the Independence Day holiday. In fact, the national average for gross revenue at ECP locations not only regained the -16 index points it lost the previous week (July 5-11) but also added an additional 2 index points last week for a total increase of 18 index points, according to the latest Practice Performance Tracker from Jobson. Last week, all optical sales categories not only regained the losses they experienced the previous week but also surpassed their prior levels.

Click here to view the complete Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker

Optometrists Named as 'See Tomorrow' Visionaries Ahead of July 22 Kick-Off, to Help Peers and Inform Consumers as Part of CLI Initiative

By Staff
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 12:27 AM WASHINGTON, D.C.—A group of leading optometrists from across the U.S. has been named as See Tomorrow Visionaries by the Contact Lens Institute (CLI).

Eyenuk Announces $6.2 Million Financing to Accelerate Adoption of FDA-Cleared AI Technology for Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy

By Staff
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 12:24 AM LOS ANGELES—Eyenuk Inc., a global artificial intelligence (AI) medical technology and services company and a leader in real-world applications for AI Eye Screening, announced Tuesday that it has completed a financing round of $6.2 million led by AXA IM.