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Opchat Magazine Industry NewsIndustry News, January to March 2021






MONDOTTICA INTERNATIONAL and VIVIENNE WESTWOOD announce New Eyewear Licence Agreement
iCare launch new digitally-driven tonometer for patient home use
Contract signed on ‘game-changing’ ocular cleanser
EMNUK Ltd proposes plans to restructure
Iridex Announces Strategic Collaboration With Topcon
Allergan Submits New Drug Application for Investigational Eye Drop for the Treatment of Presbyopia
New Editor for OLA Online
Transitions Optical Shared “The Pulse” of the Optical Industry During Virtual Event
KOMONO introduces eco-acetate and recycled acetate to work on a better future
Essilor report strong product satisfaction results
In with the New ……FMO Changes its name to "OPTICAL SUPPLIERS ASSOCIATION" (OSA)
Johnson & Johnson Vision Names New Worldwide President for Vision Care
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


MONDOTTICA INTERNATIONAL and VIVIENNE WESTWOOD announce New Eyewear Licence Agreement

March 2021


The Pulse Transitions Congress
Mondottica International and Vivienne Westwood proudly announce the signing of a licence agreement for the design, production and distribution of the Vivienne Westwood eyewear collections.

As one of the architects of street culture and the punk fashion phenomenon on the London scene, Vivienne Westwood began designing along with Malcolm McLaren in their boutique on the King’s Road in 1971. From the debut catwalk show in 1981 to the latest collections, Westwood’s often provoking style has become a symbol of British avant-garde – whilst always advocating positive cultural changes and raising awareness around environmental and human rights issues.

Commenting on the new licence agreement, Mondottica’s CEO Tony Pessok states: “We are delighted to announce the partnership between Mondottica and Vivienne Westwood – both of our companies hold similar values in terms of moving towards a sustainable future, and this will form the ethos of the collection that we will be producing. Vivienne Westwood is an iconic brand and individual, and the eyewear range will be respectful and aligned with their collections.


The orb logo is a work of art, and I look forward to being able to interpret this with the teams into our product category. Moreover, even during these challenging times we are constantly looking at opportunities that align with our core values, to which Vivienne Westwood fits.”



Vivienne Westwood’s CEO, Carlo D’Amario says about the partnership: “We are delighted to be partnering with Mondottica for this eyewear collaboration and look forward to working together. Developing design with a sustainable approach is paramount to us. Mondottica are not only a brand that share our core values, but by looking to our brand heritage and traditional design principles, and through their innovation in recycled materials, are part of our move to a more sustainable future.”

The agreement, for both men’s and women’s sunglasses and ophthalmic eyewear, will start in March 2021 and run through the end of 2025. The distribution will be global, with the sunglass range also available through Vivienne Westwood’s own retail network, website and selected global stockists.

iCare launch new digitally-driven tonometer for patient home use

March 2021

iCare HOME2 features a fully integrated app for IOS and android and utilises the cloud for data security and storage.

iCare New Model from Mainline Instruments 
Finnish ophthalmological medical device manufacturer - iCare - have launched their newest product in their tonometry range – the “iCare HOME2”, which will be available to order from 16th March 2021 in the UK.

iCare are the original developers of rebound technology for handheld tonometers. Their newest version of rebound tonometer is the next generation of the iCare HOME, which allows patients to self-measure their IOP (intraocular pressure) without the need to come to a clinic or hospital.

The iCare HOME2 has digitised the experience further, and increased ease of use so that anyone can use the device to take multiple readings of their eyes with no need for anaesthetic, eye drops, air or discomfort. Using cloud technology, the app connected to the state-of-the-art device can log all readings and measurements, so that the patient can see the results and any changes in their pressure, as well as share the results with their doctor remotely and safely through the cloud.

The updated model has a smart light guide built into the device so that the user can always get a correct reading, as the device will only take a measurement when the smart light is green, which is visible when taking the reading. The iCare HOME2 can now be used when lying down and has a scope of 200 degrees of use. A new display screen has been added to show readings immediately to users and also display any error messages. For those that are visually impaired it uses sounds to let them know if there is an error or if the positioning of the device needs to be adjusted. A magnet has been placed inside the probe applicator, meaning probes can’t move or fall out of the device even when turned off or not in use.

The data storage technology can be integrated with hospitals servers, meaning the data can be kept securely within the hospital. Or alternatively, practices can be set up with a separate cloud database that is encrypted and safe for both clinic and patients to use. Data from the app is not kept on the patients' phone but on the secure cloud.
iCare provide ophthalmologists with the latest solutions for comprehensive screening, diagnostics and monitoring of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration (AMD). Their product line includes automated TrueColor imaging devices, perimeters and handheld rebound tonometers.

As an exclusive supplier of iCare products for the UK, Mainline Instruments Managing Director, Simon Hawkins commented on the new product release;

“The new iteration of the iCare HOME will bring peace of mind to glaucoma sufferers across the country, who will now be able to monitor their IOP without troublesome and inconvenient visits to a clinic, while still being able to share with their eyecare professional their accurate and current pressures.“

Contract signed on ‘game-changing’ ocular cleanser

March 2021

Positive Impact has signed an agreement with Clinical Health Technologies (CHT) to be its exclusive distributor in the independent optometry sector for Purifeyes spray, which is seen as the next generation ocular and periocular cleanser.

Purifeyes was co-developed by consultant ophthalmologists, Dr Jonathan Roos, a Cambridge PhD and former Harvard biology research fellow, and Dr Rachna Murthy, a consultant eye and plastic surgeon. It provides professional levels of eyelid and periocular hygiene, reducing microbial overgrowth, inflammation and long-term dry eye symptoms.

The solution cleanses, refreshes, soothes and hydrates, providing antimicrobial protection without the risk of microbial resistance. It cares for the delicate periocular skin, eyelids, eyelashes and eyebrows for normal and sensitive eyes and is suitable for all ages.

Purifeyes can be used before contact lens insertion and removal, before and after sports, before lash and brow treatments and for daily hygiene. It can also be used for public transport/in-flight hydration and antimicrobial protection, as well as post periocular surgery aftercare.

The solution is easy to apply and can be sprayed directly onto the eye and surrounding area, or onto a cotton pad or gauze.

Purifeyes is recommended for the treatment, prevention and protection of eyelid margin inflammation which affects nearly all glaucoma patients on long term topical prostaglandin analogues, 60% of contact lens wearers and 85% of long-term VDU and digital device users.

Eyelid margin inflammation is also common in people who wear false eyelashes or have eyelash extensions and with the long-term use of oil-based eye makeup.

Purifeyes has the same PH as the ocular surface and is safe and well tolerated by the mucous membranes of the conjunctiva. It is clinically formulated, reviewed and endorsed by leading ophthalmologists and oculoplastic surgeons.

Positive Impact’s Marketing and Professional Services Director, Nick Atkins, said: “I have long been aware of the antimicrobial benefits of hypochlorous acid for ocular and periocular hygiene. The challenge was finding the right product with the specific attributes of safety and efficacy we wanted.
With its low concentration and high purity formulation, Purifeyes is that product. It fills a gap in our Dry Eye Zone and dovetails perfectly with our range of lid cleaning products.”

Clinical Health Technologies’ Director, Ross Walker, said: “With its proven track record of sourcing and marketing a ‘Best in Class’ dry eye portfolio, Positive Impact ideally fitted CHT’s profile for a new partner in the optometric space.

“As importantly, the Positive Impact business is serviced by a team of experienced ophthalmic sales consultants covering much of the UK. I am delighted with this agreement and strongly believe it will benefit the business of all parties.”

EMNUK Ltd proposes plans to restructure

March 2021

EMNUK Ltd (“EMNUK”), an Essilor Group company, has today proposed plans to restructure its site in Quedgeley, Gloucester, and withdraw the Kodak brand from its lens offer to independent ECPs within the UK and Ireland, by the end of Q3 2021. The company has entered a period of consultation with the staff at the site that may be impacted.

Brian Deegan, Managing Director of EMNUK, said: “We are proposing a significant change to our operations, in what are challenging times.

“Full support will be given to staff throughout the consultation period, including the application process for a number of jobs that may be available at other Essilor Group locations, as a result of these proposed changes which place around 40 staff at risk.

“Our Group’s commitment to Independent high street ECPs remains as strong as ever with continued investment in brands which offer differentiation, in addition to continuing investment at our larger sites.

“We are communicating our proposals to restructure with the Independent Kodak Lens Vision Centres (KLVC) partners we supply in the UK, and likewise will support them through any changes that may affect them.”

Iridex Announces Strategic Collaboration With Topcon

March 2021

Iridex announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Topcon.

The collaboration between Iridex and Topcon includes three main agreements: an Exclusive Distribution Agreement, an Asset Purchase Agreement, and an Equity Funding Agreement. Under the terms of these agreements, Topcon will acquire exclusive distribution of Iridex laser systems, delivery devices and disposable probes to be sold through its networks in Asia Pacific and key EMEA regions. Concurrently, Iridex will add Topcon’s PASCAL systems to its U.S. direct sales, and rest-of-world distribution network. Iridex will also acquire the design and manufacturing operation of Topcon’s PASCAL product line. Finally, Topcon will purchase $10 million of Iridex common shares at a price of $6.18 per share, and will acquire a common equity stake of approximately 10.4% in Iridex.

The net cash proceeds to Iridex of these transactions are expected to be approximately $19.5 million before offering expenses. Iridex said the $19.5 million will provide multiyear funding for strategic growth initiatives, particularly those designed to drive expanded market penetration of Iridex’s unique non-incisional glaucoma therapy products.

“We feel energized entering into this important alliance with Topcon that advances the strategic positions of both companies on multiple fronts,” David Bruce, CEO of Iridex, said in a company news release. “Joining Topcon’s comprehensive distribution network throughout Asia Pacific and key EMEA regions will help Iridex to significantly expand the market penetration of our marquee non-incisional glaucoma therapy. Topcon can further capitalize on its already-strong distribution network by adding our leading retina product portfolio to enhance the breadth of its ophthalmic system offerings. This alliance will enable both companies to benefit from the enhanced scale achieved by consolidating the design, manufacturing and distribution of two leaders in scanning laser retinal treatment. Finally, with $19 million in additional capital, Iridex has the resources to drive its multiyear growth programs.”

“We sought this alliance with Iridex to achieve significant benefits to our operating and distribution efforts. As leaders and innovators in advancing the treatment options for eyesight threatening diseases, we recognize a great opportunity to bring our strengths together,” Fumio Ohue, Managing Executive Officer of Topcon’s Eye Care Business, said in the news release. “We are excited to bring Iridex’s retina and glaucoma therapy products to our expansive customer base throughout Asia Pacific and key Europe, Middle East and Africa markets. This alliance with Iridex is one of the major initiatives which Topcon will offer with our ‘Shared Care’ program. We are confident that combining our new product design and development efforts will enhance our existing and future products in both retina and glaucoma.”

Allergan Submits New Drug Application for Investigational Eye Drop for the Treatment of Presbyopia

March 2021

Allergan announced that it has submitted a new drug application to the FDA for investigational AGN-190584 (pilocarpine 1.25%) ophthalmic solution for the treatment of presbyopia. The FDA is expected to act on the NDA by the end of 2021.

The NDA is based primarily on data from two phase 3 GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2 clinical studies, which evaluated the efficacy, safety and tolerability of AGN-190584 (pilocarpine 1.25%).

“If approved, this is expected to be the first eye drop for the treatment of presbyopia by the FDA. It’s a huge opportunity with over 128 Americans suffering from presbyopia,” George O. Waring IV, MD, FACS, lead investigator for the GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2 studies, said in an interview with Eyewire News. “This could serve to be a gateway therapy and as an alternative or complement to glasses and contact lenses for loss of reading vision in a non-surgical way.”

In the GEMINI studies, a total of 750 patients were randomized in a one-to-one ratio of vehicle (placebo) to AGN-190584. In both studies, AGN-190584 met the primary endpoint reaching statistical significance in improvement in near vision in mesopic (in low light) conditions without a loss of distance vision vs. the vehicle. There were no treatment emergent serious adverse events observed in any AGN190584 treated participants. The most common treatment emergent non-serious adverse events occurring at a frequency of ≥5% in AGN-190584 treated participants were headache and conjunctival hyperemia.

The phase 3 GEMINI 1 and GEMINI 2 topline results were previously announced in October 2020, and additional details of these studies will be presented at upcoming medical meetings this year.

“A lot of people don’t understand what’s going on when they start to lose their reading vision and they don’t know the term ‘presbyopia.’ They don’t know this is a natural aging process of lens dysfunction,” said Dr. Waring, who is also founder and Medical Director, Waring Vision Institute, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. “Not only is it a wonderful opportunity to educate the community, but eye care providers are going to now have a non-surgical alternative and complement to glasses and contact lenses to help with reading vision and the treatment of presbyopia.”

New Editor for OLA Online

March 2021

Kevin Gutsell FBDO (Hons) SLD will become the new editor of Ophthalmic Lens Availability Online (OLA Online) for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), taking over from retiring editor Phil Gilbert.

OLA Online brings together data found in manufacturers’ catalogues. The site contains an interactive search function enabling users to view lenses available from all contributing manufacturers in one place, along with extensive further information on lenses.

Kevin Gutsell has been appointed to take over as editor of Ophthalmic Lens Availability Online. Kevin says, “I am both delighted and excited to take on the position.

Tremendous work has already been completed by Phil Gilbert, the previous editor, and Antonia Chitty of ABDO in order to take the printed information, and more, and place this on a modern platform.

“My previous knowledge of ophthalmic lenses in practice, my role in representing ABDO on the British Standards Institute standards for lenses committee, and being responsible for analysing the market and marketing lenses for a manufacturer has given me experiences which will assist in taking OLA Online forward.

“My objectives are to make OLA more interactive and relevant as new products and concepts are launched. I will do my upmost to make this a living Wikipedia for ophthalmic lenses used in the UK. I look forward to engaging members and suppliers in taking OLA forward in the coming months and years.”

Antonia Chitty says, “It is exciting to have Kevin on board. He has a great range of relevant expertise and I’m looking forward to working with him to continue to develop Ophthalmic Lens Availability Online.”
Dispensing optician Phil Gilbert steps down as editor of OLA Online after 10 years in the role and around 30 years in optics.

The original Ophthalmic Lenses Availability book was conceived by Dr Alan Tunnacliffe and Phil took over updating it on behalf of ABDO in 2011 with his first issue published in 2012. As a qualified DO working within the lens industry Phil was well placed to enhance the book content during the most expansive period in optics where free form lens production took over conventional production for almost every manufacturer.

Phil came up with the idea of moving OLA to a website, but it was not until Antonia Chitty took over the role of Head of Communications that this was developed. After a year of complex population of the site it is now firmly a part of ABDO member resources.

Phil says, “I have thoroughly enjoyed the editorship over the past 10 years but I have now fully retired from optics and am enjoying living in the sun in Spain”.

Antonia Chitty, Head of Communications at ABDO says, “I have been continually impressed by Phil’s vision, dedication and lens knowledge. In moving OLA to become a searchable online directory he successfully completed a mammoth task, and it has been a pleasure working with him. ABDO members will benefit from the legacy of OLA Online for years to come.”

Associate membership of ABDO includes access to OLA Online, along with a range of other benefits, and costs from just Ł19.50 per month.

Transitions Optical Shared “The Pulse” of the Optical Industry During Virtual Event

March 2021

The Pulse Transitions Congress

 

Transitions Optical gathered over 10,000 industry professionals from 98 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia online for a first of its kind, global virtual event—Transitions® The Pulse.

The Pulse Transitions Congress

The event was broadcasted three times over two days and was translated into 13 different languages for eyecare professionals around the world to join together and feel the love for eye care.


During the virtual summit attendees connected live on screen for the general sessions with Transitions Optical leadership and industry experts, and listened to a keynote presentation on the latest retail strategies.

Attendees could also engage and network with each other through the live chat feature and social wall.


The Pulse Transitions Congress
To open the event, Chrystel Barranger, president Transitions Optical & Essilor Europe, welcomed attendees for a global overview of the state of the industry in the Transitions Studio, a modern loft where she and others connected in-person and virtually with expert speakers from the optical industry.

Transitions Optical speakers Elise Bioche, vice president, Global Marketing; Charlotte Hamel, director Global Internal Communications, PR and Events; Brian O’Neill, vice president, Global Innovation, Technology and Operations; and others presented in dynamic environments that uniquely displayed related content around them for viewers.

The speakers educated attendees on how eye protection has never been more at the center of patients’ needs and requests with more time spent at home and on digital devices, how eye style is getting even more crucial as a key territory for self-expression, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has modified the shopping behavior of consumers in many ways.

Additional expert speakers included:

The Pulse Transitions Congress


• Matteo Battiston, global head of Design and Consumer Insights, Luxottica Group
• Professor Francine Behar-Cohen, ophthalmologist, Université Paris Descartes
• Stephane Cairole, managing director and senior partner, BCG
• Patience Cook, director, North America Marketing, Transitions Optical
• Jacob Mann, associate director, Retail, Transitions Optical
• Sheena Taff, optician and owner, Roberts & Brown Opticians



Dr. Darryl Glover, optometrist, MyEyeDr. and Vincent Biessy, general manager, Atol also made an appearance during the general session with contributions and questions for the presenters.

Within the general session Transitions Optical also shared new details on several launches and programs for the upcoming year. For eye protection, Transitions Optical shared more details on the upcoming launch of Transitions® XTRActive® Polarized™, the only and best ever photochromic polarized lens , and announced the launch of a new generation of Transitions XTRActive lenses that are even darker and faster than the previous generation.

The Pulse Transitions Congress
To help eyecare professionals style Transitions lenses, Transitions Optical created Transitions collections in collaboration with frame design partners that show the best combinations of frames and Transitions lenses based on the eyewear trends for Spring/Summer 2021.

Transitions Optical is also launching tools to help eyecare professionals simplify the increasingly digital consumer journey. In
2021 an updated version of the virtual try-on at Transitions.com will be available


Following the General Session, internationally renowned author and keynote speaker Doug Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet, shared his unique perspective on retailing, business and consumer behavior.

“We always strive to be a light for the optical industry and a community builder,” said Patience Cook, director North America Marketing, Transitions Optical. “And that was our motivation for hosting Transitions The Pulse. We’re in a unique position to partner with professionals in many industry verticals across the globe and we wanted to share the knowledge we gathered over the last year, the behavior changes we have seen happening, and the best practices we curated so we can all start the new year together strong.”

KOMONO introduces eco-acetate and recycled acetate to work on a better future

February 2021


ECO friendly materails form Komono
KOMONO is taking a pioneering role in rendering innovative design not only accessible but also viable on the long term and it is proud to introduce two new ecologically responsible materials in the optical collection, eco-acetate and recycled acetate.

These represent a continued step in the commitment to work with materials that have the lowest environmental impact possible.

Eco-acetate is made with a very high percentage of natural components. It is recyclable and partially biodegradable.

Recycled acetate on the other hand is made out of acetate leftovers from the current production.

These leftovers are melted and dyed with pigment to create a perfect black acetate. This way we can limit the resources we need and do something useful with materials that would otherwise turn to waste.

Essilor report strong product satisfaction results

February 2021

Essilor Ltd announce solid product satisfaction survey results for the latest generation of its adaptive lens, Transitions Signature Gen 8.

Transitions sell in Essilor Report
The survey questioned 117 ECPs to gauge feedback on the newest photochromic lens and when compared to previous models, nine in ten respondents (92%) thought that Transitions Signature Gen 8 ‘brought something new to their patients’.

Overall, three quarters of those questioned (74%) believed the Gen 8 wearer experience to be superior to other photochromic lenses on the market, while nine in ten independents (91%) referred to the new lens as being much or slightly better than previous models in the range.

Out of the 29 ECPs who had personally worn the lens, 24 of them (83%) said they were completely or very satisfied.

In response to whether they would recommend the lens to a friend or a colleague on a scale of 0 to ten, it received a promising net promoter score (NPS) of 41.9.

The majority were pleased with improvements with one independent explaining “I wear Transitions Signature Gen 8 myself and am happy with them” and another recounting how they had “sold these lenses in great numbers and customers love them”.



In terms of stats, 94 per cent were happy with the activation time, 93 per cent liked the tint when darkened and two thirds said they were completely or very satisfied with the speed to clear.

An ECP highlighted they believed “the best improvement is the speed that it goes back to clear indoors”, while another noted the “the convenience of an all-in-one product with faster reaction times”.

Tim Precious, managing director at Essilor Ltd said: “We’re pleased to see the results of the survey and gain insightful feedback from our customers.

“Previous research has shown that users are most concerned about the speed it takes for adaptive lenses to return to clear so it’s really positive to hear that two thirds of ECPs are happy with this function. This will be a strong selling point for conversations between optical staff and their patients about comfortable vision in the future.”

In terms of training and support, 89 per cent were satisfied with the customer service provided and three quarters (74%) said that the brand consultants had a positive impact on their image of Transitions.

“We’re always striving to improve support for our ECP business partners, and we’ll use these insights to enhance and develop products, training and marketing support further,” Tim Precious added.

In with the New ……FMO Changes its name to "OPTICAL SUPPLIERS ASSOCIATION" (OSA)

February 2021


Optical Suppliers Association


The FMO are delighted to make a positive start to 2021 and celebrate the New Year with its relaunch as the new Optical Suppliers Association (OSA).

There is a new website (www.osa-uk.co.uk), exciting new benefits, which in conjunction with ABDO will soon provide great benefits for employees of members for the first time and a new fee structure from March 2021.

More information can be found on the website and members are welcome to contact the OSA office on info@osa-uk.co.uk or mmacritchie@osa-uk.co.uk.

While 2020 had proved a challenging year, the OSA Board has taken positive steps to ensure that we help and support our members and the wider optical industry.

The sale of Optrafair and backing a single exhibition with 100% Optical has proved very popular with members and non-members alike.

In addition, the joint decision with ABDO & FODO to realise the value of our headquarters and release ourselves from the upkeep of a central London location will enable the OSA develop further support strategies for our membership and allow us to enter a new era as the Optical Suppliers Association.

OSA Chair Stuart Burn explains ‘the reason for name change is to better convey exactly who we are and what we stand for, our revised Mission Statement reinforces our message and our financial restructure gives us the platform to re-energise the association and provide the financial muscle to deliver lasting tangible support to optical suppliers and their staff’.

Optical Suppliers Association

Stuart added ‘the OSA will also redouble its efforts to work more closely and collaboratively with other optical associations, particularly in this post Brexit landscape.

The OSA Vice Chair Andy Hepworth adds ‘Echoing Stuarts comments, it was clear we needed to reset what the OSA will deliver onto the membership. There is clear strength in unity within the Optical bodies & I am certain the OSA will offer significant support.

Stuart concludes ‘We are keen to encourage new members to join our Association and become part of our optical family. There can be no advantage for ‘going it alone’ so please join us and gain strength from our relationships and alliances ’

Johnson & Johnson Vision Names New Worldwide President for Vision Care

February 2021

Johnson & Johnson Vision announced that Peter Menziuso will assume the role of Worldwide President, Vision Care, for Johnson & Johnson Vision immediately. Mr. Menziuso replaces Swami Raote, who retired at the end of 2020, after a 29-year tenure with Johnson & Johnson.

New J & J President of Vision Care Menziuso Mr. Menziuso comes to the role with over 25 years of experience across Johnson & Johnson, most recently acting as President, Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Janssen. In his role he led the organization in its mission to advance cardiovascular and metabolic care. Additionally, Mr. Menziuso provided strategic oversight for Xarelto and Invokana in the U.S. as well as the full pharmaceutical portfolio of Janssen products in Puerto Rico and Canada. He was a member of the Janssen Americas Leadership Team, which guides the pharmaceutical sector strategy for the Americas.

Peter is returning to Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, formerly serving as President, North America. Under Mr. Menziuso, North America delivered the highest revenue growth in the last decade and strengthened brand equity for the world’s best-selling brand of contact lens, Acuvue, in the U.S. and Canada.

“It’s an honor to be back ‘home’ at J&J Vision Care and my priorities remain focused on strengthening our commitment to the eye care professional community, advancing the trajectory of eye health, and delivering leading innovation to serve the needs of patients around the world,” Mr. Menziuso said in a company news release. “It all starts with our people—creating a strong culture of inclusion and developing highly engaged, diverse teams, while keeping the Credo at the forefront in all that we do.”

Mr. Menziuso joined Johnson & Johnson in 1992 holding a series of roles of increasing responsibility including Regional Controller, Pharmaceuticals, Asia Pacific; Manager of Licensing and Acquisitions for Janssen Pharmaceuticals; and Plant Controller for Janssen Ortho LLC in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Mr. Menziuso holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from the University of Scranton.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Receives European Commission Approval for Glaucoma Treatment Roclanda

January2021

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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