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.

CEI Vision Partners Acquires Dayton-Based Ophthalmology Practice

By Staff
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 12:24 AM CINCINNATI—CEI Vision Partners (CVP), a leading ophthalmology services organization formed by Cincinnati Eye Institute and Revelstoke Capital Partners, has acquired Dayton Eye Associates in Dayton, Ohio. This is the first acquisition for CVP since it was formed in May 2018, according to an announcement late last week. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI), one of the largest ophthalmology practices in the country, announced the formation of CEI Vision Partners in partnership with Denver-based Revelstoke Capital Partners in May, as VMAIL reported.

20/20NOW Pursues Expansive Approach to Telehealth

By Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses and Technology

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 12:05 AM NEW YORK—Three years ago, as ocular telehealth began to attract widespread attention throughout the eyecare industry, the focus was largely on “store and forward” technology, which involves collecting clinical information and sending it electronically to another site for evaluation, and the then new technology of visual acuity testing via computer or smartphone.

SightMD, 24-Location Ophthalmology Group, and Chicago Pacific Founders Set Partnership

By Staff

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 12:30 AM HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. and CHICAGO—SightMD and Chicago Pacific Founders Fund LP (CPF) said they are entering into a partnership to expand SightMD’s patient-centric care model.

Eyevance Pharmaceuticals Acquires Freshkote Eye Drop Line from Focus Laboratories

By Staff

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 12:24 AM FORT WORTH, Texas—Eyevance Pharmaceuticals, a Fort Worth-based pharmaceutical company, has acquired the Freshkote family of lubricant eye drops from Focus Laboratories. Under the terms of the agreement, Eyevance acquired Freshkote and all its formulations, including the preservative-free, multi-dose bottle and single-unit vials, to market and commercialize worldwide. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “The acquisition of the Freshkote franchise represents an important business milestone for Eyevance, which is actively building a portfolio of impactful and innovative eyecare products, focused on the anterior segment of the eye,” said Jerry St. Peter, CEO and director, Eyevance.

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals Secures Pass-Through Payment Status for Dexycu

By Staff
Thursday, September 6, 2018 12:21 AM WATERTOWN, Mass.—EyePoint Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:EYPT), a specialty biopharmaceutical company working to develop innovative ophthalmic products, reported Wednesday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved transitional pass-through status and reimbursement through a C-code for Dexycu (dexamethasone intraocular suspension) 9%. Dexycu is an FDA-approved product for treating postoperative inflammation. It is administered as a single intraocular dose at the end of ocular surgery, according to EyePoint’s announcement. The code, C9034, will become effective Oct. 1, 2018, the company said.

UF Health Researcher, Collaborators Share $1.2 Million Award For Vision Treatment

By Staff
Thursday, September 6, 2018 12:15 AM GAINESVILLE, Fla.—University of Florida Health announced that ophthalmology researcher William Hauswirth, PhD and his collaborators are sharing in a $1.2 million international award for developing a sight-restoring treatment for people who have a genetic form of vision loss. The 2018 Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award recognizes Hauswirth and his colleagues for developing the first successful gene therapy to cure an inherited human disease. The disease, Leber congenital amaurosis Type 2, or LCA 2, is caused by a genetic defect.

Alcon Announces Voluntary Withdrawal of CyPass Micro-Stent for Surgical Glaucoma

By Staff
Thursday, August 30, 2018 12:18 AM BASEL, Switzerland—Alcon on Wednesday announced an “immediate, voluntary market withdrawal” of the CyPass Micro-Stent from the global market. The company said the decision is based, in part, on its “uncompromising commitment to patient safety.” In addition, Alcon advised surgeons to immediately cease further implantation with the CyPass Micro-Stent and to return any unused devices to Alcon. “This decision and corresponding recommendation is based on an analysis of five-year post-surgery data from the COMPASS-XT long-term safety study,” the announcement noted. Alcon, the eyecare unit of Novartis, is expected to become an independent publicly traded company after a spinoff by its corporate parent in early 2019, as VMAIL has reported.

OcuBlink Wins Seed Funding From Two Business Accelerators

By Staff
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 12:15 AM WATERLOO, Ontario—OcuBlink, Inc., which is developing sophisticated in vitro eye models for ophthalmic testing, has received funding from two business accelerators. The company will use the funds and associated entrepreneurial coaching to scale its business, which focuses on assisting research centers, pharmaceutical and medical device companies validate ocular products more rapidly and cost effectively, according to an announcement earlier this month. AC JumpStart, funded by FedDev Ontario, awarded OcuBlink $30,000 (Canadian dollars) in seed capital and $10,000 of in-kind mentorship. The accelerator helps technology start-ups establish and grow their business in Southern Ontario.

Nation’s First Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System Developed by CDC

By Staff
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 12:18 AM ATLANTA—The nation’s first Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System  (VEHSS) has been developed by The Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Launched in collaboration with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the VEHSS is designed to help health care professionals, researchers, policymakers and state health departments better understand the scope of vision loss, eye disorders and eyecare services in the U.S. The data surveillance system integrates data from a number of sources across multiple years. Included are national survey data, longitudinal population-based studies, registry data, electronic health records and administrative claims records that estimate eye condition prevalence.

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals Appoints John Weet to SVP, Regulatory Affairs Post

By Staff
Thursday, August 16, 2018 12:18 AM WATERTOWN, Mass.—EyePoint Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:EYPT), a specialty biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic products, has appointed John Weet, PhD, as senior vice president, regulatory affairs and quality. Weet has more than 40 years of experience in regulatory affairs and he has extensive expertise in the oversight of Food and Drug Administration relations and negotiations across multiple therapeutic areas, including ocular disease, according to an announcement this week. “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Weet, a proven regulatory affairs executive, to the growing EyePoint team,” Nancy Lurker, president and chief executive officer of EyePoint, said in the announcement.

Sussex Vision Center Joins Blue Sky Vision

By Staff
Friday, August 10, 2018 12:24 AM GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Blue Sky Vision this week announced a new partnership with Sussex Vision Center, a multi-site optometry practice in southwest Michigan.

STAAR Surgical Announces Pricing of Public Offering of Common Stock

By Staff
Thursday, August 9, 2018 12:27 AM MONROVIA, Calif.—STAAR Surgical Co. (NASDAQ: STAA), which develops, manufactures and markets implantable lenses,  announced the pricing of a previously announced public offering of 1.74 million shares of its common stock.

Eye Health America Acquires Montgomery & Riddle Eyecare in South Carolina

By Staff
Friday, August 3, 2018 12:27 AM ATLANTA—Eye Health America (EHA), a leader in eyecare practice management, is announcing today that it has acquired Montgomery & Riddle Eyecare and The Surgery & Laser Center at Professional Park, a leading eyecare provider in South Carolina. According to the announcement, the acquisition will strengthen Eye Health America’s presence in the region and establishes a strategic partnership between Montgomery & Riddle Eyecare and EHA’s additional member practices in South Carolina, including Clemson Eye and Piedmont Surgery Center, which were acquired in March, as VMAIL reported.