For MyEyeDr. The Patient Experience, Boosted by New Tech and Investment, Tops 2020 Plan

By Staff
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:27 AM >NEW YORK—Beginning its next chapter, armed with the investment and health care perspectives from its new financial partner at Goldman SachsMyEyeDr. (MED) is viewing the future as one which will amplify its efforts to put the patient experience front and center. Its leadership team is poised to employ technology in a range of ways, from those that streamline and make patient service more actionable, to an approach that further develops professional paths for its optometrists and raises vision care’s profile and awareness among patients and other provider groups in the health care field.

Allergan Teams Up With Von Miller to Raise Awareness of Glaucoma's Impact on Daily Living

By Staff
Friday, January 17, 2020 12:18 AM DUBLIN—Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), a global pharmaceutical company with more than 70 years of heritage in eyecare, announced a partnership with Von Miller, a former Super Bowl MVP, Denver Broncos linebacker and advocate for healthy vision, to shine a light on the millions of people living with glaucoma. As an ambassador for the “My Glaucoma” campaign, Miller will address the misunderstandings and impact of glaucoma and encourage those with the disease, and their caregivers, to take early action, according to the announcement this week. This includes going to the doctor regularly and taking medications as prescribed. 

California Optometric Association Commends Restoration of Eyeglass Benefit in Medi-Cal Program

By Staff
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 12:18 AM SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The California Optometric Association(COA) has noted that as part of the state’s “strong commitment to strengthening the Medi-Cal program” eyeglass benefits for Medi-Cal recipients have been restored, and the association also noted that it will continue in 2020 to advocate for a Medi-Cal reimbursement rate increase for optometrists practicing in the state. “California’s rate is among the lowest in the nation,” a COA official told VMAIL. “We will be advocating for the rate increase again this year.”

Exonate Will Collaborate With Janssen to Develop a New Eye Drop for Treating Retinal Vascular Diseases, Including AMD

By Staff
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 12:15 AM CAMBRIDGE, England—Exonate, an early stage biotechnology company based here, said Monday that it has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a unit of Johnson & Johnson, that will work toward developing an eye drop treatment for retinal vascular diseases, such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO). The effort will focus on using mRNA targeted therapies. The agreement was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Exonate has developed small molecules that inhibit the production of pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) through the selective inhibition of serine/threonine-protein kinase (SRPK1)-mediated VEGF splicing, according to the announcement.

Envision Dallas Unveiled As New Name of Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind

By Staff
Tuesday, January 7, 2020 12:21 AM DALLAS—On Monday, Envision announced Envision Dallas as the new name for Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind. The rebranding formalizes a relationship initiated in 2018, when the Wichita, Kansas-based Envision added Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind to its growing family. With locations in 11 states, Envision is one of the country’s largest employers of people with visual impairments. Envision’s mission is to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education and research.

Lumibird to Acquire Ellex’s Laser and Ultrasound Business

By Staff
Friday, December 27, 2019 12:27 AM LANNION, France—Lumibird (Paris:LBIRD), a leading European laser technology company, has signed an agreement with the Australian company Ellex Medical Lasers to acquire Ellex’s laser and ultrasound business for 100 million Australian dollars (approximately €62 million). This acquisition will create a world leader for laser and ultrasound technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases. Under the transaction agreed on December 23, 2019, the Lumibird Group will acquire all of Ellex’s laser and ultrasound activities, with pro forma revenues of AUD 65.5 million based on the year ended June 30, 2019. The assets acquired include the Ellex brand, the R&D and production site in Adelaide and the commercial subsidiaries based in Australia, Japan, the U.S., France and Germany. For the year ended June 30, 2019, the laser and ultrasound segment recorded a AUD 9.5 million EBITDA, excluding head office costs (AUD 5.2 million for the consolidated group, with about 75 percent estimated for the laser and ultrasound segment).

Glaucoma, ‘The Sneak Thief of Sight,’ Continues to Affect Vision of Millions of Americans

By Staff
Friday, December 27, 2019 12:21 AM CHICAGO—According to estimates from the Prevent Blindness report, “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” more than 3.2 million Americans ages 40 and over have glaucoma in the year 2020. The number is expected to increase as the population ages. Glaucoma, often referred to as the "The Sneak Thief of Sight," is a leading cause of vision loss that damages the optic nerve. Although symptoms may not be noticeable at first, glaucoma slowly diminishes peripheral vision (side vision), making activities such as driving increasingly, according to a Prevent Blindness announcement this week.

Researchers Discover New Cellular Mechanisms Involved in Visual Memory, Amblyopia

By Staff
Friday, December 27, 2019 12:15 AM CAMBRIDGE, MASS. —Researchers led by Massachusetts Institute of Technologyprofessor Mark Bear discovered new cellular mechanisms serving visual recognition memory, in which the brain learns what sights are familiar so it can focus on what’s new, and of a potential therapy for amblyopia, also called lazy eye. They found that both of these conditions depend on the presence of key proteins called NMDA receptors in the neurons in layer 4 of the visual cortex, an area that is thought to directly receive visual information.

Bausch Health Licenses Novaliq’s Investigational Treatment for Dry Eye Disease

By Staff
Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:24 AM LAVAL, Quebec, and HEIDELBERG, Germany—Bausch Health Companies Inc.  (NYSE/TSX: BHC) and Bausch + Lomb, its leading global eye health business, and Novaliq GmbH, a pharmaceutical company focused on ocular therapeutics, announced late last week a licensing agreement for an investigational dry eye treatment. Bausch Health has acquired an exclusive license for the sale and development in the U.S. and Canada of the investigational treatment NOV03 (perfluorohexyloctane), a first-in-class investigational drug with a novel mechanism of action to treat dry eye disease (DED) associated with Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), according to the joint announcement.

STAAR Surgical Announces Strategic Alliance Agreement With California Center for Refractive Surgery (CCRS)

By Staff
Monday, December 23, 2019 12:21 AM LAKE FOREST, Calif.—STAAR Surgical (NASDAQ: STAA), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable lenses and companion delivery systems, has entered into a strategic alliance with the California Center for Refractive Surgery (CCRS), a Los Angeles-based eyecare group with locations in Hancock Park and Sherman Oaks. “Our new multi-clinic alliance with CCRS and its founder Dr. Paul Lee is representative of the new strategic partnership model we are now offering to highly-qualified ophthalmic partners in the U.S., the second largest market for refractive vision correction in the world,” said Caren Mason, president and CEO of STAAR Surgical.

Vision Benefits of America Grants $298,000 to the Pennsylvania Vision Foundation

By Staff
Monday, December 23, 2019 12:18 AM
PITTSBURGH—Vision Benefits of America, Inc. (VBA), a commercial group benefits organization, announced donations totaling $298,000 to the Pennsylvania Vision Foundation in 2019. The donations will provide essential eyecare to those in need.“VBA is proud to support the Pennsylvania Vision Foundation in its mission to offer fundamental eyecare and preserve human eyesight,” said Jeff Hollowood, CEO and president at VBA. “In addition to providing our own members with access to high-quality eyecare, we are privileged to be able to give to the community through the relationships we’ve built in the optical industry.”

The American Optometric Association Urges Visionary Companies to Make 2020 the Year of the Eye Exam

By Staff
Thursday, December 19, 2019 12:24 AM ST. LOUIS—As part of its #2020EyeExam initiative, the American Optometric Association (AOA) is urging visionary companies across the country to join the 2020 Employer Pledge program, which affirms the importance of caring for the overall health and well being of employees and their families by reminding them of the importance of an annual comprehensive eye exam, according to an announcement from the organization. "Comprehensive eye exams are one of the most important, preventive ways to preserve vision and overall health," said AOA president Barbara L. Horn, OD.

Versant Health Designates December as Gift of Sight Month

By Staff
Thursday, December 19, 2019 12:15 AM BALTIMORE—Versant Health, a leading national managed eye health and vision plan group, announced that it has designated December as Gift of Sight Month. The vision care company noted that it had decided to establish the “holiday” after a Vision Wellness Study found that just 51 percent of people saw an eye doctor regularly. The same study also noted that 39 percent of consumers cited cost and/or affordability as the reason why household members do not see an eye doctor as often as they would like to.

EyePromise Announced as Official Eye Vitamin of the Boston Red Sox

By Staff
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 12:18 AM BOSTON—EyePromise and the Boston Red Sox have announced a partnership naming EyePromise the official eye vitamin of the Boston Red Sox through 2020. As part of this official partnership, the Boston Red Sox will expand their use of EyePromise’s vitamins throughout their organization. EyePromise has been a partner of Major League Baseball’s Arizona Fall League since 2013. As part of its Arizona Fall League partnership, EyePromise educated some of baseball’s emerging talent on the performance benefits of their vitamins. Current Boston Red Sox players were introduced to EyePromise during this program.

Tim Carney Joins BrightBenefits as Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer of BrightBenefits

By Staff
Monday, December 16, 2019 12:21 AM NASHVILLE—Tim Carney has joined BrightBenefits a recently established vision and dental insurance business, as executive vice president and chief sales officer. Carney has the primary responsibility of building, leading and overseeing the activities of the sales team, identifying new markets, as well as designing and delivering special programs and partnerships for the company, an announcement said. BrightBenefits is a national dental and vision insurance business lead by long-time insurance industry expert, Danny Bentley, president, as VMAIL reported last month.