10 ophthalmic news stories you might have missed this week

March 4, 2016

A roundup of the week's news stories affecting the ophthalmic community (3/4/16).

Here's a roundup of the latest news stories relating to ophthalmology from the week.

1. Abbott announced as 'most admired company'

Abbott was ranked the No. 1 Most Admired Company in the medical products industry by Fortune Magazine, making this the third consecutive year the company has been on the top of the list.

 

Video courtesy of National Eye Institute

 

2. Aflibercept outperforms bevacizumab for DME with moderate or worse vision loss in NIH-funded trial; drugs perform similarly when vision loss mild

Earlier this week, aflibercept (Eylea, Regeneron) was announced to provide greater gains in vision than for those receiving bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech) with starting vision of 20/50 or worse in a 2-year clinical trial. The trial also tested results of ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech), which yielded similar gains as the other drugs in patients with 20/32 or 20/40 vision.

 

3. Clearside Biomedical appoints Richard J. Croarkin to the Board of Directors

Before joining the developer of first-in-class drug therapies to treat blinding diseases of the eye, Croarkin was previously the chief financial officer (CFO) of Nestlé Health Science SA, a division of Nestlé that aims to find medical nutrition solutions to chronic medical conditions. He is a director on the Board of Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc., and is a panelist on the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Panel.

 

4.  D-EYE raises 1.5 million euros for smartphone-based retinal imaging system

The Italy-based startup that designs and manufactures mobile sensing and examination devices announced it raised 1.5 million euros for a smartphone attachment that takes images and videos of the posterior of the eye. As of now, it can attach to Apple’s iPhone 5 and 6, as well as the Samsung S4 and S5, and uses a HIPPA transmission system called D-EYE ImageVault.

 

5. Envision CEO Michael J. Monteferrante elected to the board of National Industries for the Blind (NIB)

An advocate for people who are blind and visually impaired, Monteferrante’s main assignments will be on the Legislative and Regulatory Policy Committee, and the Budget and Finance Committee. The board is made up of 20 members, 10 of which are chief administrators at nonprofit agencies associated with NIB, and 10 of which are leaders from the private sector.

 

6. Senate confirms Robert M. Califf, MD, as FDA Commissioner

After months of debate, Robert M. Califf, MD, was officially confirmed as the next FDA Commissioner by a vote of 89-4. Before joining the FDA, Dr. Califf was a professor of medicine and vice chancellor for clinical and translational research at Duke University.

 

7. Shire expands Ophthalmics team and appoints Kathy Kobe as Head of U.S. Sales 

Kobe has more than 24 years of pharmaceutical experience with 10 years in the ophthalmic sector. She will be responsible for building the sales team and implementing marketing strategies to grow the Ophthalmics Business Unit. Shire also announced this week that Chief Executive Officer Flemming Ornskov, MD, will present at the Cowen 36th Annual Healthcare Conference in Boston on Tuesday, March 8 at 8:00 a.m. ET.

 

8. Valeant CEO is back from medical leave

After more than two months on medical leave for pneumonia, Valeant’s CEO Michael Pearson has returned to the company. 

 

9. Welcome to World Glaucoma Week 2016!

The World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association collaborate to sponsor World Glaucoma Week March 6 to 12.

This year, the theme revolves around publicizing the topic of First Degree Relatives (FDRs) seeing that an individual with an FDR may have a ten-fold increase in glaucoma risk compared with the average person.

 

10. Wills Eye Hospital appoints Leslie G. Hyman, MD to Vice Chair for Research

Dr. Hyman, a recognized leader in vision research and public health, will lead the hospital’s research expansion program.

“I am honored to join this internationally-respected and world-renowned institution,” said Dr. Hyman in a prepared statement. “So many people around the country speak about the outstanding reputation, consistently impressive work, and commitment to excellence of Wills Eye Hospital. I just knew I wanted to be a part of it.”