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Novel therapeutic reduces sterile inflammation within the cornea PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Monday, 14 July 2008
Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Penn State-Hershey College of Medicine have identified a novel therapeutic that reduces sterile inflammation within the cornea.

The study, published in the June issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, identifies a novel ceramide, a natural compound that, when delivered in nano-sized packages, reduces corneal haze, corneal thickening and inflammation. These packages permit the use of ceramide as an eyedrop. The investigators are working toward human trials with this reagent.
 
Bushnell purchases Simmons brand PDF
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Companies
Friday, 11 July 2008
MidOcean Partners, the leading investment company in the Private Equity Midmarket, and Bushnell Outdoor Products, the 60-year world leader of sports optics, quality eyewear and outdoor accessories, recently announced that Bushnell has purchased the Simmons® brand and a certain number of shares in the Simmons Outdoor Corporation from Meade Instruments Corp, a public company in California.
 
The New Silmo: new dates, new website,... PDF
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International News
Friday, 11 July 2008
Silmo, The World Optics Show, is getting ready to receive eye care professionals from all countries at the Paris-Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center, from October 30th to November 2nd, 2008.

Taking advantage of the newly formed group Viparis Venues in Paris, Silmo offers an array of exclusive services, aiming for maximum comfort and satisfaction of all participants before, during and after the show. This first-class program of premium services is fully supported by a newly-revamped website.

Source: Silmo
 
Novartis Completes Purchase of Minority Interest in Alcon PDF
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Companies
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Novartis AG and Nestle S.A. recently announced that they have completed the first step purchase and sale of 74 million shares of Alcon, Inc. (NYSE: ACL) common stock currently owned by Nestle pursuant to the agreement dated April 6, 2008 between Novartis and Nestle. With the completion of the first step transaction, Nestle remains Alcon's majority shareholder with approximately 52% of Alcon's issued capital and Novartis now owns a minority stake in Alcon equal to approximately 24.85% of Alcon's issued capital.

As a result of Novartis' minority investment in Alcon, the Alcon board of directors expands from eight to ten directors. James Singh, Nestle's executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Daniel Vasella, M.D., Novartis' chairman and chief executive officer, are the new Alcon directors. The expansion of the board and the election of Singh and Vasella were approved by shareholders at Alcon's 2008 annual general meeting.

In addition to this minority investment, the April 6, 2008 agreement provides Novartis with a call option to purchase Nestle's remaining Alcon common shares. The agreement also provides Nestle with a put option to sell its remaining Alcon common shares to Novartis. These options commence on January 1, 2010 and expire on July 31, 2011. If either of these options are exercised, and subject to the agreement's closing conditions (including regulatory approval), Novartis would become the majority shareholder of Alcon with approximately 77% of its issued shares.

Source: Alcon
 
Hope for patients with end-stage glaucoma PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Wednesday, 09 July 2008
Ophthalmologists can honestly give their end-stage glaucoma patients hope, says a study led by Jason W. Much, M.D. The findings break new ground in an under-researched area and will help ophthalmologists evaluate, counsel and care for patients with visual field loss due to end-stage glaucoma."Relentless progression to (complete) blindness is not the norm in treated patients," says Dr. Much. "Patients should be encouraged that treatment is not futile. They may retain their visual acuity for many years and be able to perform simple tasks of daily living and enjoy reading and hobbies."

The researchers reviewed charts of 64 patients (84 eyes) with end-stage glaucoma cared for by ophthalmologists at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center from 1992 to 2004. All subjects were U.S. residents; most were black and had POAG. At the study baseline, the majority of patients had 20/50 visual acuity or better along with loss of most of their visual field, defined as being able to see less than a 10 degree radius from the center of the eye's focus. Because of the decreased field of vision, these patients were all considered legally blind at the onset of the study. Fifty-six percent of eyes had had trabeculectomy and 71 percent had had laser trabeculoplasty (removal of part of the trabecular meshwork via laser). The average IOP,controlled by treatment , was 15.36 mmHg throughout the study period. At the study conclusion point, only eight in 84 eyes had 20/200 visual acuity---meaning the ability to see objects clearly and in detail was severely compromised--and in some of these eyes the loss may have resulted from progressive cataract. Few eyes suffered complete blackout of their central visual field because of glaucoma. These findings on maintenance of visual acuity were particularly encouraging in a study population that was predominantly African-American and therefore at higher risk for glaucoma progression.
 
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