J&J Vision Sets Collaboration to Address Myopia Epidemic With Two Singapore Organizations

By Staff
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:24 AM SINGAPORE—The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and Johnson & Johnson Vision have announced a $26 million research collaboration to tackle myopia, the largest threat to eye health this century, according to an announcement on Monday. By 2050, half of the world's population is projected to be myopic, with 1 billion expected to have high myopia, a severe state of the condition that can lead to retinal disease with an increased risk of blindness, the announcement noted.

Clearside Biomedical Reports Loss for Third Quarter and Provides Pipeline Update

By Staff
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:21 AM ALPHARETTA, Ga.—Clearside Biomedical Inc. (NASDAQ: CLSD), a biopharmaceutical company that develops treatments that restore and preserve vision, reported a net loss for the third quarter of $23.9 million. This compared with a net loss of $18.3 million for the third quarter of 2017. The increase in net loss was “primarily attributable to higher R&D expenses in the third quarter of 2018,” the company said in an announcement last week. The company reported no revenue for its third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

CooperVision Recommits to Philanthropic Support for Optometry Initiatives During AAO Meeting

By Staff
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:18 AM SAN ANTONIO—CooperVision, one of the world’s leading contact lens providers, reaffirmed its extensive philanthropic support for domestic and international optometry initiatives during this year’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). Held here Nov. 7 to 10 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, the meeting drew thousands of eyecare professionals, researchers, educators and students every year. “CooperVision has always been dedicated to strengthening optometry through industry partnerships. Making meaningful contributions to a range of like-minded organizations that support the optometric profession is one component of that effort,” said Simon Seshadri, vice president of Marketing, North America.

Ennio De Rigo Bestowed Title of Cavaliere Del Lavoro During Ceremony in Rome

By Staff
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:15 AM LONGARONE, Italy—Ennio De Rigo, chairman of De Rigo, was bestowed with the honorary title of “Cavalieri del Lavoro” or “Knight of the Order of Merit for Labour” during a ceremony held on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy. De Rigo was appointed the title in June 2018 as Vision Monday previously reported. The title was bestowed by the president of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella together with the minister of economic development, labour and social policies, Luigi Di Maio, and president of the National Federation of the Cavalieri del Lavoro, Antonio D'Amato.

Brien Holden Vision Institute Launches Online Global Myopia Centre

By Staff
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:24 AM SAN ANTONIO, Texas—The Brien Holden Vision Institute, has launched the new online myopia resource platform Global Myopia Centre, according to an announcement from the organization. The Institute said the Centre will bring its resources in myopia research, practitioner training, and global advocacy to educate and equip eyecare professionals in managing myopia. The Institute has developed a number of online tools specifically to help practitioners including the Myopia Calculator and Guidelines for Myopia Management, which will be available free from the Centre.

Women In Optometry Recognizes Seven Women ODs for Excellence With 2018 Theia Awards

By Staff
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:21 AM NEW YORK—Women In Optometry’s 2018 Theia Awards of Excellence were presented at the annual American Academy of Optometry Meeting in San Antonio, Texas on Nov. 8, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Seven women ODs were honored for their contributions to the profession. The Theia Awards of Excellence are named for Theia, the Greek goddess of vision or sight. This year, Women In Optometry expanded the categories included under the Theia Awards of Excellence to honor women ODs in five categories. The honorees included:

Versant Health Expands National Sales Team With Two New Regional Executives

By Staff
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:18 AM LINTHICUM, Md.—Versant Health, a national managed eye health and vision plan company, has added to its national sales team with the addition of two regional executives, Kristen Gutierrez and Brett Cavallaro, according to an announcement late last week. Gutierrez will serve as the regional sales executive for the Northern California territory, while Cavallaro will be responsible for the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana territories. “We are delighted to welcome these experienced sales professionals to Versant Health,” Tom Luchetta, senior vice president of sales at Versant Health, said in the announcement. “They will work to further support the company’s mission to help members enjoy the wonders of sight through healthy eyes and vision.”

Kadesh Issues Recall of Puriton Brand Eye Relief Drops

By Staff
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:15 AM GARDEN GROVE, Calif.—Kadesh Inc. announced last week that it is voluntarily recalling all lots of Puriton Eye Relief Drops, 0.5 oz. (15ml) bottle. (The code is UPC 7 36972 1679 0.) During a recent FDA inspection, investigators observed that ophthalmic drugs, which are required to be sterile, are manufactured without necessary production controls and conditions to assure sterility, the company said in its announcement. This product is an over-the-counter homeopathic eye drop that is used for the temporary relief of burning and irritation due to dryness of the eye and discomfort due to minor irritations of the eye or to exposure to wind or sun, the company said.

Opternative Secures $9 Million in Series A3 Round of Funding

By Staff
Friday, November 9, 2018 12:24 AM CHICAGO—The eye health care technology company Opternative announced Thursday that is has secured $9 million in an “A3” round of funding, bringing to $18.5 million the total investment the company has raised to date, a spokeswoman told VMAIL. Trust Ventures and Pritzker Group Venture Capital led the funding round, with an additional investment from existing investor Jump Capital, according to the announcement. Opternative said it will use the funding to double its engineering, product, sales and marketing teams. The funding also will be used “to grow awareness and adoption of [the company’s] online vision test with consumers, employers and eyecare providers,” the announcement noted.

Mutual of Omaha Launches New Vision Insurance in Strategic Partnership With EyeMed

By Staff
Friday, November 9, 2018 12:21 AM OMAHA, Neb.—Mutual of Omaha has launched a new vision insurance product as well as enhancements to its existing dental insurance available to the employee benefits market. Through a new strategic partnership with EyeMed, the company now offers a vision product with a choice of plan designs and access to advanced vision care technologies and services. The product offers a mix of independent and retail providers, including popular national chains, regional favorites and online options. Customers will also have easy access to online tools and resources, including benefit information, through a convenient mobile app, the company said.

Childhood Myopia Experts Gather at CooperVision Forum to Discuss Myopia Management and Advancements

By Staff
Friday, November 9, 2018 12:18 AM SAN ANTONIO—This week, childhood myopia experts from across the world gathered in Texas for the CooperVision Forum. Meeting on the eve of the American Academy of Optometry (AAOptom) Annual Meeting, the panel of experts sat down with the goal of seeking ways to help ECPs better manage childhood myopia, a growing epidemic. Because myopia is projected to increase from approximately two billion people worldwide in 2010 to almost five billion people in 2050, managing the epidemic is becoming a vital conversation among ECPs. At CooperVision’s Myopia Management Expert Forum, experts deliberated on the best ways to do just that.

Pair Eyewear, Direct-to-Consumer Kids Eyeglasses Start-Up, Raises $1 Million in Seed Funding Round

By Staff
Friday, November 9, 2018 12:15 AM NEW YORK—Pair Eyewear, a customizable eyeglasses brand for kids established upon a direct-to-consumer model late last year, has closed a $1 million seed round of funding, a spokeswoman confirmed to VMAIL. The investors included Bolt, Corigin Ventures, Outbound Ventures, Precursor Ventures.  Pair calls itself a “new children’s eyewear brand” that intends to offer “the high quality, affordable, and fun glasses your kids deserve,” according to the company’s website. In its “launch” announcement in August, Pair said it offers five base frame shapes for children ages six to 14 and a choice of up to 10 colored interchangeable top frames per style.

Oklahoma Voters Reject Proposal That Would Have Allowed ODs to Practice in Retail Locations

By Staff
Thursday, November 8, 2018 12:27 AM NEW YORK—A controversial proposal to amend the Oklahoma state constitution and thereby pave the way for some retailers to operate optometry practices within their buildings was defeated by a narrow margin in Tuesday’s election. The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians (OAOP) resolutely opposed the proposal, which was listed on the ballot as State Question 793. The proposal, however, had received support from some big retailers, including Walmart. According to the “News OK” website,  the ballot proposal received 585,355 votes of “no” (or 50.2 percent of the votes cast) and 579,741 votes of “yes” (49.8 percent).

PECAA Hosts Inaugural Strategic Partner Summit in Austin, Texas

By Staff
Thursday, November 8, 2018 12:24 AM AUSTIN, Texas—PECAA, a nationwide doctor alliance group for independent eyecare professionals, hosted its inaugural Strategic Partner Summit here in mid-October. The invitation-only event brought together senior leadership from integral industry vendor partners to discuss the inevitable changes impacting the industry and to explore solutions on how the group, collectively, could best serve their mutual customers and help support the future of independent optometry, according to an announcement.  Jamie Hughes, PECAA’s general manager, led the summit meeting, and Bart Foster, managing director of Sanitas Advisors, acted as the facilitator.

iChek Names David Klonoff and Joe Rappon to New Medical Advisory Board

By Staff
Thursday, November 8, 2018 12:21 AM ATLANTA— iChek, a developer of contact lens technology for glucose and hydration monitoring, announced the formation of its new Medical Advisory Board (MAB) with two key appointments: David Klonoff, MD, FACP, FRCPE, and AIMBE fellow Joe Rappon, OD, MS, FAAO. Both are accomplished and well credentialed industry thought leaders. Dr. Klonoff, founder and editor-and chief of Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, is serving as chairman of the Diabetes Technology meeting being held in Bethesda, Maryland this week. Dr. Rappon recently received the AAO Julius F. Neumueller Award in Optics.