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Scientists Develop Eye Drops to Treat Molecular Basis of Glaucoma PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Monday, 15 September 2014

Northwestern University scientists in the U.S. have discovered a novel cause of glaucoma in an animal model, and related to their findings, are now developing an eye drop aimed at curing the disease. They believe their findings will be important to human glaucoma.

A cure for glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, has been elusive because the basis of the disease is poorly understood. In glaucoma, pressure builds from poor drainage of fluid from the anterior chamber of the eye, destroying retinal ganglion cells and eventually the optic nerve. The eye becomes like a bathtub that can’t drain because the pipe is clogged. The clogged or defective vessel, known as Schlemm’s canal, is part of the lymphatic system that is essential for drainage in the eye.

The new study for the first time identifies the molecular building blocks needed to make the 'drainage' vessels, providing the necessary chemical tools to repair the eye's plumbing and restore normal drainage. Up until now, the molecular basis of the disease caused by an absent or defective canal was unknown.

The study was published Sept. 9 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Safilo To Launch Product School in 2015 PDF
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Friday, 12 September 2014

Safilo Product SchoolSafilo is set to launch its Product School offering 3 year Apprenticeships to up to 10 young professionals every year, starting from 2015.

On the occasion of its institutional 80th anniversary, Safilo recalls the importance of its product creation, design, development, and manufacturing capabilities, and its historical reputation of offering the very best of Italian tradition through eyewear apprenticeships dating back as far as 1878. High quality eyewear craftsmanship at the heart of modern globally integrated quality business management is core to Safilo's strategy aimed at long term sustainable profitable growth. Safilo announces, therefore, the establishment of the "Safilo Product School" to give young apprentices starting their professional lives the opportunity to build foundational mastery across all Product functions, and then begin Safilo's career path to form the new generations of Eyewear Product Directors.

Entry into the program based on selection is open to talents coming from technical institutes or universities, and builds on international apprenticeship best practice combining on-the-job learning and job rotation including an international assignment in Safilo's worldwide operations, coaching by experienced Safilo managers and experts, and regular classroom training.

The focus is on Product Creation, i.e. from design to product development, from prototyping to manufacturing, materials, quality, pricing, and product concept selling. Safilo's values – quality, durability, and timeless design – together with its unique technological innovation, that changed the history of the eyewear industry and that have been present from the very beginning in the collection of glasses bearing the company's name, will be the basis on which the courses will be built.

Additionally, the program also covers the development of managerial skills and behavioral competencies, inspired by the company's way of doing business guided by the its Values and Principles, as just renewed for its 80th Anniversary.

The formal training will be administered in collaboration with national and international partners, i.e. Universities, Technical and Optical Product Certification Institutes, and Safilo's customer and supplier network, supplemented by its own global management team. The School will enhance the legacy of Safilo's Calalzo di Cadore site, the company's first establishment that today hosts more than three thousand pieces of eyewear belonging to the company's museum, and a unique worldwide archive of over 250,000 pairs of eyewear from the late 19th century to today. Safilo's heritage in product creation and development dates back to 1878, when the very first production site was established, and afterwards was acquired (in 1934) to become the modern Safilo in today's incorporation.

The Safilo Product School counts on the support of its prestigious License partners, who will play an active role in qualifying the apprentices at the end of the program. One special award has already been confirmed, sponsored by Dior, the prestigious French Maison of highest selective standards, and long standing partner of Safilo.

New Mille Eyewear Models Launched by theo PDF
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Product News
Thursday, 11 September 2014

New Mille Model - theoFor the upcoming SILMO exhibition, theo has introduced the new Mille models which are bigger and bolder. These glasses are a perfect addition to the Mille range. Mille is especially designed for the Millennium generation, young people born between 1980 and 1996. The shapes are simple, the acetate is thick and monochrome. In order to create sharp edges, a lot of polishing by hand had to be done. In short, beautiful glasses without frills.

A picture of the theo model Mille+13 in colour 24 red is depicted here. If you take a closer look you’ll see that the front has 2 different finishes. The upper part is shiny, while the bottom has a wooden look

NSW Spectacles Program Successfully Relaunched PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Over 4,500 applications for spectacles have been received following Vision Australia’s relaunch of the NSW Spectacles Program in July 2014.

Vision Australia’s new delivery approach streamlines the application process, provides greater information and resources to optometrists/dispensers and improves delivery times to recipients of glasses.

Kyriacos Mavrolefteros a Maroubra based optometrist who also delivers services in remote NSW, identifies two big advantages to the new approach.

“After trialling the new system, the biggest benefit is being able get an immediate response on a patient’s eligibility. The online form only takes around three to four minutes to complete and the response comes through straight away,” says Mr Mavrolefteros.

“I also like being able to process orders directly with my suppliers,” says Mr Mavrolefteros. “Instead of waiting up to four weeks, patients receive their spectacles within a week. It is much more efficient.”

Mr Mavrolefteros, who has been involved with the NSW Spectacles Program for around 20 years, processes around 400 applications for spectacles annually, 200 of which are for patients living in regional and remote areas.

“Susie, from Vision Australia came out to my clinic to train two of my staff on how to use the new online system. She also assisted us to process a backlog of applications,” he said. “Vision Australia has been very helpful throughout the transition,” he added.

Michael Christensen from The Optical shop in Campbelltown says it gives him a new avenue for sale stock.

“For the first time, there is another option to turn over last season’s premium stock. Instead of having a sale, I can use older frames for the program,” he said.

Like Mr Mavrolefteros, Mr Christensen also felt that he was able to offer a faster service to his patients.

“Because I fit the lenses to the fames on site, patients receive their glasses in a matter of days not months. The remuneration is far better and the online form is quick and easy to use,” he said.

“I understand that the administration of the scheme is an evolutionary process, and I have been impressed with Vision Australia’s ability to resolve issues quickly,” said Mr Christensen.

The NSW Spectacles Program provides Government funded glasses and vision aids to eligible people including the elderly, children, people experiencing homelessness, those living in rural and remote areas, people with disability and Aboriginal and multicultural communities

New Target Identified For Treatment of Abnormal Blood Vessels and Leakage in Eyes PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Tuesday, 09 September 2014

Working with mice, a multicenter team of researchers has found a new way to reduce the abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the eye that accompany some eye diseases. The finding could lead to the development of new drugs for wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.

The current standard of clinical care for wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema is repeated injections into the eye of antibodies against a protein called VEGF. Each injection costs thousands of dollars. This study revealed a way to indirectly mitigate the bad effects of VEGF by activating a biochemical chain of events, or pathway, that suppresses the protein.

This indirect way of reducing VEGF's effects is not as dangerous as directly blocking the protein. Antibodies that block VEGF must be injected into the eye to minimize side effects to the rest of the body, such as stroke. But a drug with the indirect action identified in this study could potentially be injected under the skin with relative safety, the researchers say. Patients could thus give themselves the drug, potentially reducing the need for frequent clinic visits and injections in the eye. The study also indicates that people with particularly severe disease may have a much better outcome if the current eye injections are combined with type of skin injections reported on in this study, the researchers say.

"We've known for several years that activating the Tie2 pathway that indirectly suppresses the effects of VEGF had great potential, and the new approach we tested in this study provides a great way to take advantage of that," says Peter Campochiaro, M.D., the George S. and Dolores D. Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a faculty member at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. "This new agent not only makes blood vessels in the eye less responsive to VEGF, but it also reduces leakage caused by other proteins that are active in eye diseases."

Working with mice genetically engineered to have vascular eye diseases, the team treated some with injections into the eye of an antibody that blocks an enzyme called VE-PTP. VE-PTP normally suppresses the pathway that reduces blood vessel growth and leakage, so the net effect was to activate the pathway.

The second method involved the use of a small molecule, AKB-9778, developed by Aerpio Therapeutics, which also blocks VE-PTP. Because of its size, AKB-9778 can easily enter the eye from the bloodstream, and the indirect action appears not to carry the same risks to the body as directly blocking VEGF, Campochiaro says. "If further studies show that the small molecule is safe and effective for people, patients could give themselves an injection under the skin every day," he says. "Our studies in animals so far suggest it doesn't have major side effects." If confirmed in clinical studies, this could reduce the need for patients to come in frequently to get injections in the eye. He says AKB-9778 may have the additional benefits of stabilizing blood vessels in other parts of the body and lowering blood pressure.

An estimated 2 million people in the United States suffer from age-related macular degeneration, with the incidence expected to rise to 3.5 million by 2030 and to 5.5 million by 2050. Roughly 20 percent of patients with age-related macular degeneration suffer from abnormal blood vessel growth and vascular leakage, says Campochiaro, and so may be helped by this new therapy, if it proves to work in clinical trials. An equally large number of patients have diabetic macular edema and could also potentially benefit from the treatment. The incidence of these diseases is increasing very quickly, because our population is aging and the number of patients with diabetes is increasing so rapidly, he says.

The finding could also have implications for other diseases, Campochiaro notes, because VE-PTP is a phosphatase, a type of enzyme that had never before been blocked with therapeutic effect. Targeting other members of this common family of enzymes might also prove beneficial, he says.

The findings have been reported in the Sept. 2 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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