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Opchat Magazine Industry NewsIndustry News, January to March 2021

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Receives European Commission Approval for Glaucoma Treatment Roclanda
Heidelberg Engineering Emphasizes Anterior Segment Focus under New Clinical Director
Haag-Streit UK Announces the Launch of the iVue80 in the UK
Safilens blows out its first 20 birthday candles.
Tim Baker Joins Snowbird Finance
Read the archived Industry News from October to December 2020

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Receives European Commission Approval for Glaucoma Treatment Roclanda


Aerie Pharmaceuticals announced the European Commission (EC) has granted a marketing authorization for Roclanda (netarsudil and latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005% for the reduction of elevated IOP in adult patients with primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension for whom monotherapy with a prostaglandin or netarsudil provides insufficient IOP reduction.

The marketing authorization application (MAA) for Roclanda was accepted for review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in January 2020. Aerie received a positive scientific opinion recommending approval of the Roclanda MAA from the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) in November 2020.

“The receipt of the EC marketing authorization for Roclanda, which is the only fixed-dose combination IOP-lowering therapy with a prostaglandin analogue that does not include a beta blocker, is an important regulatory milestone for Aerie on the heels of the recently reported successful interim topline data from our Mercury 3 clinical trial which demonstrated efficacy that was noninferior to Ganfort,” Vicente Anido, Jr., PhD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Aerie, said in a company news release. “We are preparing for pricing discussions in Germany while continuing our evaluation of collaboration opportunities for Europe, and the receipt of this marketing authorization represents an important step in furthering all of those discussions.”

Roclanda was approved by the FDA in March 2019 under the trade name Rocklatan for the reduction of elevated IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Rhokiinsa was granted a marketing authorization by the EC in November 2019 for the reduction of elevated IOP in adult patients with primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Rhokiinsa was approved by the FDA in December 2017 under the trade name Rhopressa for the reduction of elevated IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

The marketing authorization is valid in all 27 countries of the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. As the EC decision was received after the end of the Brexit transition period, Aerie will complete a further administrative step in order to obtain a license in the United Kingdom. No reexamination of clinical data by the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is expected.

Heidelberg Engineering Emphasizes Anterior Segment Focus under New Clinical Director

January 2021

Steve Thomson Newly appointed Clinical Director at Heidelberg
Steve Thomson
joins Heidelberg Engineering as Clinical Director to further strengthen the Anterior Segment product development team. He will concentrate on the integration of data and images into increasingly efficient and effective anterior segment workflows for clinical practice.

Steve Thomson assumes his new role as Clinical Director – Anterior Segment effective January 1, 2021.

He has a background in ophthalmic imaging followed by more than 30 years’ professional experience in the ophthalmic industry. Steve is a knowledgeable and respected anterior segment expert with an in-depth comprehension of clinical ophthalmology, as well as all the diagnostic and surgical technologies involved.

Steve’s focus will be on the dynamic visualization of anterior segment diagnostic information, both in terms of imaging and data, to empower clinicians, scientists and administrators, as well as inform AI solutions to improve patient outcomes. For that purpose, he will work in particularly close cooperation with the new Scientific Director, Charles Reisman, as well as the newly promoted Medical Scientific Liaison – Anterior Segment, Richard Cornwell who now takes on a global role.

“Heidelberg Engineering has set extremely high standards for ophthalmic imaging to the benefit of so many patients across the world. I am excited to be part of this talented team and contribute to the development of ANTERION and other complementary anterior segment solutions with the potential to enhance the biometric and imaging data that is so vitally important to clinicians and surgeons” said Steve Thomson, newly appointed Clinical Director – Anterior Segment at Heidelberg Engineering.

“As a company, we have ambitious plans to shape the anterior segment aspect of clinical routines in a similar way to what we have achieved in the posterior segment. Thanks to his anterior segment expertise, strong relationships with clinicians and researchers and decades of experience, we are convinced that Steve is ideally placed to demonstrate how high-quality imaging combined with comprehensive data can foster confident treatment decisions and transform clinical workflows,” said Arianna Schoess Vargas, Managing Director of Heidelberg Engineering.

In cooperation with the entire product development team, Steve Thomson will pursue Heidelberg Engineering’s ethos of collaboration with scientists, clinicians and industry to develop innovative products that deliver clinically relevant benefits.

Image: Steve Thomson, newly appointed Clinical Director for the Anterior Segment at Heidelberg Engineering.

Heidelberg are long time supporters of PHN assisting us in providing free news and knowledge to the Optical Sector on Opchat News.

Haag-Streit UK Announces the Launch of the iVue80 in the UK

January 2021

Haag-Streit UK has announced the launch of the new iVue80 OCT in the UK. The iVue80 SD-OCT system offers 80,000 A-scans per second—three times faster than the original iVue model—and offers improved efficiency and enhanced image quality.

The system also features new scan options and functions, along with a wider field-of-view, according to Haag-Streit UK.

The iVue80 is the next phase in advanced OCT product design, offering retina, glaucoma and anterior segment scanning, as standard.

The system quantifies the thickness of the retina, nerve fibre layer, ganglion cell complex, and the cornea.

It also tracks change and predicts trends in RNFL and GCC thickness and precisely measures angles to aid in disease diagnosis.

The iVue80 is suitable for every clinical practice, featuring a streamlined interface and familiar slit lamp-style design. Real-time en face imaging displays a 12mm x 9mm view of the retina during acquisition, to assist the operator in scanning the desired location.

The optional addition of the iCam12, allows the user to upgrade to the iFusion80, combining the advanced capabilities of iVue80 with the high-quality imaging from iCam12 on a single, integrated, versatile platform.

The ability to simultaneously perform high-resolution fundus and external photography, enables the OCT image to be overlaid with the fundus photo. This aids in the diagnosis of the patient, by enhancing any suspected abnormalities.

Safilens blows out its first 20 birthday candles.

December 2020

Twenty years of research, development and sales vitality have positioned the Italian company among the top players in the contact lens arena in Italy and ensure it an ever-increasing share of the international market.

Safilens celebrating 20 years
Established in early 2001, in partnership with the Safilo Group, in the spring of 2012 the company was acquired by Bruno Farmaceutici S.p.A., a merger designed to offer patients unique lens solutions that combined performance and comfort. Based on research, technology and the development of contact lenses, the merger leveraged innovation as the means of acquiring visibility in domestic and international markets.

A first 20 years made up of milestones. In 2005, Safilens patented the first contact lenses with hyaluronic acid release, the Safe-Gel line of contacts, and then solutions, which – thanks to the burgeoning interest elicited – paved the way to international markets, and to FDA approval in the United States.

In 2011, the highly advanced fusion technology™ was introduced that incorporates a co-polymer made of Tamarind-Seed Polysaccharides (TSP) and hyaluronic acid (HA) – the two natural polymers most used in the treatment of dry eye – into the contacts, thus ensuring optimal eye hydration and lubrication during their use.

The essence of this corporate blending of pharmaceuticals and contact lens technology was expressed in the Open 30 Project, the first Safilens silicone lens based on the patented fusion technology™.

These contact lenses offer one of the most advanced monthly contact lens management systems currently available in the marketplace. And, they were developed along with the company’s Open Reload solution and patented Sonic Wave Generator that ensures a thoroughly clean, disinfected and regenerated lens every day for the utmost in hygiene and wearer safety.

In 2015, Safilens developed and introduced the EDOF afocal lens design – initially in the daily fusion 1day presbyo version, and then in the weekly and monthly products – an easy, effective and immediate boon for presbyopes. The same concept was then employed in the less-stress-accommodation version for the use of video terminals and excessive proximal activity, making Safilens the first company in the world to introduce a fourth segment in the daily contact lens market.

“Research and development of Safilens products originates, as always, with close observation of lifestyles, continuous feedback from opticians, constant updating on materials, design and active ingredients, and with the desire to provide medical devices that improve the wearer’s experience and quality of life,” explained Safilens General Manager, Daniele Bazzocchi.

2020 was a noteworthy year, rife with challenges that – due to the global Coronavirus public health crisis – necessitated that Safilens management rise to the call to swiftly adapt its production and sales to support optical shops.

Enter the Len$Coin: a reloadable prepaid card that allows the purchase of a number of Safilens products at advantageous terms and conditions without quantity limitations on individual products, and can be used several times with transactions deducted from the total available.

In a year that had devastating effects on the world’s social, economic and healthcare systems, Safilens also engaged in solidarity activities for the common good. From March 22nd to April 15th, it promoted an initiative to benefit law enforcement, healthcare workers and emergency responders.

Participating optical shops distributed two-month’s-worth of daily contact lenses gratis to members of these groups engaged on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 300 partner shops across Italy provided over 10,000 packages of contact lenses for myopathy/hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia valued at nearly €280,000.

In early 2020, Safilens further expanded its internationalization efforts by partnering with the Dutch company, Oté. As the result of a mutually advantageous working relationship begun 10 years ago between their respective R&D departments for the development of innovative products, the partnership aims to combine the two companies’ manufacturing experience and sales structures through the formulation of new contact lens solutions and ensures the distribution of Oté products in Italy by Safilens and the inclusion of Oté’s solution portfolio in the product line of every company.

Thus, Safilens strengthens its position in international markets, where its products are distributed in 35 countries, thanks in part to the Safilens UK subsidiaries and Safilens Adria for the Balkans.

What does 2021 have in store for us?

The launch of a groundbreaking new product that goes well beyond the simply corrective function of the lens; it embodies the Safilens mission and its dynamic, independent and innovative DNA.

Tim Baker Joins Snowbird Finance

December 2020

Tim Baker newly appointed at Snowbird Finance
Tim Baker Joins Snowbird Finance from Shawbrook Bank to drive Treatment Finance into Optical Markets.

Snowbird Finance is delighted to announce that Tim Baker has joined the team as National Sales Manager to grow and increase Snowbird Finance’s patient finance offering under the brand of “Treatment Finance”.

Treatment Finance is a simple and affordable way for patients to spread the cost of their spectacle purchase and optical procedures or treatments including dry eye or Lasik, whilst ensuring your business experiences an uplift in revenue and profit. Flexible monthly payment options give patients the opportunity to proceed immediately with the treatment or purchase they want or need, without any delay.

Tim brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in retail and consumer finance spanning over 20 years. Tim will be driving the growth of the Treatment Finance programme for Snowbird across multiple medical verticals including optical dental, aesthetic, cosmetic, and veterinary, as well as strategically growing other markets out of the medical space.

In his previous role as National Sales Manager at Shawbrook Bank Tim was responsible, for developing the dental sector, as well as growing general retail finance in areas such as furniture, hi-fi and home improvements. Tim has also worked with many of the key players within the retail finance arena including Omni Capital, V12 Retail Finance and Black Horse Finance.

Tim Baker Commenting on the appointment “Joining Snowbird Finance was a natural decision for me when Shawbrook Bank withdrew from the medical finance sector, as I had always recognised Snowbird Finance’s commitment to dentistry. The company is also the fastest growing firm in the sector and has been building very rapidly on its well-known equipment finance and loan facilities available to the dental profession.”

Managing Director, Simon Freeman commented “We are delighted to welcome Tim to the company and utilising his extensive skills, knowledge and experience to drive demand. In addition, he has a deep insight into the FCA regulation and regulatory requirements available to dental practices. We are extremely confident that Tim will enhance the strategic vision of the business and will effectively deliver our finance solutions and products to practices and businesses across the UK.
To reach Tim directly, please call 07500 191912.

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