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Luxottica Reports Strong Last Quarter and Solid Growth for OPSM PDF
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Friday, 31 January 2014

Luxottica set a new net sales record for the full year 2013 more than Euro 7.3 billion, an increase of +7.5% at constant exchange rates and +3.2% at current exchange rates compared to 2012. This result is attributable to the solid organic growth which has been pursued with determination since the beginning of 2013 and throughout the entire year. In particular, Luxottica achieved excellent results for the third consecutive year in emerging markets with an increase of over +20% at constant exchange rates, with peaks of excellence in China, Brazil and Turkey.

"We have closed another record year, achieving solid performances in 2013 across all of the geographic areas in which we operate, with peaks of excellence in emerging markets and Europe. Growth also continued in North America, where the Wholesale Division and Sunglass Hut achieved particularly positive results", commented Andrea Guerra, Chief Executive Officer of Luxottica.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, net sales amounted to Euro 1.6 billion up +7.6% at constant exchange rates and +0.8% at current exchange rates compared to the results recorded in the same period of 2012. Luxottica’s quarterly results reported at current exchange rates continued to be affected by the ongoing weakening of several currencies against the Euro.

Sunglass Hut celebrated another year of extraordinary growth, reporting total net sales which were up by +11.2% at constant exchange rates. Excellent trends in comparable store sales were achieved in the United States, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Brazil during 2013.

Strong performance was also reported by OPSM in Australia where comparable store sales were up +4.9%

VSP Global To Provide Prescription For Google Glass PDF
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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Google Glass - VSPVSP Global, the biggest optical health insurance provider in US, and Google have partnered to offer subsidised frames and prescription lenses for Google Glass smart eyewear. The partnership will eventually enable to tap into a network of 30,000 VSP providers throughout the US who will be trained and certified to fit Glass.

Jim McGrann, president of VSP VisionCare, said that the eye care insurer has been talking to Google specifically about Glass for "a little more" than year. VSP won't only help cover the cost of the frames and lenses, but it's currently training doctors to help ensure that people who own Google Glass have it properly fitted for their eyes and frames.

For patients insured by VSP, it will be that they get the "proper information" and "proper care" about Glass, "making sure that they're working closely with their doctor." On the doctor side, he said it's about getting them trained and comfortable with making Glass adjustments to accommodate prescription lenses.

Dr. Matthew Alpert, Chairman of Optometric Innovation for VSP Global and a VSP Glass Preferred Provider, works as a liaison between Google and VSP. "We need to make sure that Glass is fitted properly, and that the lenses are fabricated properly," he said. "A home run for me would be a positive patient experience." "In the certification process, we've shown doctors the evolution of the device, what it's intended to do," Alpert said, noting adjustments such as the placement of Google Glass' prism in relationship to the prescription lens.

What Glass won't be able to accommodate, however, is everybody's prescription. "Extreme prescriptions outside of +4 or -4 won't work, but most people should be covered," he said. Bifocals and trifocals, he said, will depend on the optometrists' recommendation.

Regeneron and Bayer to Develop New Treatment Option for Wet AMD PDF
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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Bayer HealthCare have announced an agreement to jointly develop an innovative antibody to the Platelet Derived Growth Factor Receptor Beta (PDGFR-beta) as a potential combination therapy with EYLEA® (aflibercept) for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). Preclinical data suggests that combining PDGFR-beta blockade with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) blockade by EYLEA can provide advantages over inhibiting VEGF alone in the treatment of this devastating eye disease. First in human clinical studies are currently planned to begin in early 2014.

"Bayer has been a great collaborator in the development and commercialization of EYLEA outside the U.S.," said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph. D., Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron and President of Regeneron Laboratories. "We look forward to building on our relationship in ophthalmology with this potential next generation product candidate which will combine Regeneron's PDGFR-beta antibody and EYLEA in a single intravitreal injection."

"Given the multi-factorial nature of wet AMD, there is a potential for additional benefits to patients by addressing different pathways responsible for this devastating condition," said Kemal Malik, M.B., B.S., Member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and Head of Global Development. "Inhibition of PDGF is one such pathway and we are looking forward to developing a potential combination therapy together with Regeneron. Bayer is strongly committed to expanding its ophthalmology research and development efforts with innovative treatment options and this new development candidate complements our own pipeline perfectly."

Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer HealthCare will make an upfront payment of US$25.5 million to Regeneron and will share global development costs for the program. Bayer HealthCare will have exclusive commercialization rights to the combination product outside the United States where they will share profits from ex-U.S. sales equally with Regeneron. Within the U.S., Regeneron has exclusive commercialization rights and will retain 100 percent of the profits from sales. Under the agreement, Regeneron is eligible to receive up to US$40 million in option and milestone payments through regulatory approval from Bayer HealthCare, and Bayer HealthCare is responsible for certain payments due a third party, including royalties on ex-U.S. sales and a share of development milestones.

Impatient People Have Fast Eye Movements PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Fast Eye MovementUsing a simple study of eye movements, Johns Hopkins scientists report evidence that people who are less patient tend to move their eyes with greater speed. The findings, the researchers say, suggest that the weight people give to the passage of time may be a trait consistently used throughout their brains, affecting the speed with which they make movements, as well as the way they make certain decisions.

In a summary of the research published Jan. 21 in The Journal of Neuroscience, the investigators note that a better understanding of how the human brain evaluates time when making decisions might also shed light on why malfunctions in certain areas of the brain make decision-making harder for those with neurological disorders like schizophrenia, or for those who have experienced brain injuries.

Principal investigator Reza Shadmehr, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering and neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University, and his team set out to understand why some people are willing to wait and others aren’t. "When I go to the pharmacy and see a long line, how do I decide how long I'm willing to stand there?" he asks. "Are those who walk away and never enter the line also the ones who tend to talk fast and walk fast, perhaps because of the way they value time in relation to rewards?"

To address the question, the Shadmehr team used very simple eye movements, known as saccades, to stand in for other bodily movements. Saccades are the motions that our eyes make as we focus on one thing and then another. "They are probably the fastest movements of the body," says Shadmehr. "They occur in just milliseconds." Human saccades are fastest when we are teenagers and slow down as we age, he adds.

In earlier work, using a mathematical theory, Shadmehr and colleagues had shown that, in principle, the speed at which people move could be a reflection of the way the brain calculates the passage of time to reduce the value of a reward. In the current study, the team wanted to test the idea that differences in how subjects moved were a reflection of differences in how they evaluated time and reward.

Essilor Introduces Optifog Smart Textile PDF
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Product News
Friday, 24 January 2014

Optifog SystemEssilor has announced the launch of its latest innovation, the Optifog® Smart Textile. This new technology allows the Optifog lenses' anti-fog properties to be activated by a microfiber dry cloth that the consumer uses to wipe his lenses.

Covered by an international patent application, the exclusive Optifog System technology, combining the Optifog lenses with the Optifog Smart Textile, has the power to activate the lenses' properties using microfiber dry cloth with specific molecules. To invent and industrialize this new textile, Essilor research teams have consulted various textile research institutes as well as specialized industrials partners all over the world before selecting a leading niche textile provider. Two years ago, when Essilor had created a new category of lenses with Optifog lenses, the anti-fogging properties were activated with a liquid to apply on lenses.

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