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Volume 8, Number 45
November 25, 2003
Pfizer introduces Pfizer Ophthalmics group
Allergan completes acquisition of Oculex
Alcon completes enrollment for lens trial
Phase I results show promise for presbyopia correction
Bausch & Lomb, Oasis settle patent infringement lawsuit
Nidek receives FDA approval for photocoagulator
DGH Technology releases new pachymeter
Poll: Public not informed about LASIK

Pfizer introduces Pfizer Ophthalmics group

Pfizer announced the launch of Pfizer Ophthalmics, the new business group that combines the products from Pharmacia and Pfizer. The company is based in New York. On April 16, Pfizer Inc. acquired Pharmacia Corp. Pfizer expects to donate about 135 million treatments of Zithromax ‚_" a well-known antibiotic that is highly effective against trachoma, the world‚_Ts leading cause of preventable blindness ‚_" to the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI). This donation is made in addition to the 8 million treatments administered over the last five years ‚_" a 15-fold expansion. In other news, Pfizer received Food and Drug Administration approval for Xal-Ease, a handheld eye drop delivery aid designed for use with Xalatan.

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Allergan completes acquisition of Oculex

Allergan completed its acquisition of Oculex Pharmaceuticals, a developer of treatments for sight-threatening diseases of the eye. The merger was subject to certain conditions, including Federal Trade Commission and Oculex shareholder approval. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission notified Allergan that it had granted early termination of the required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 with respect to the acquisition. Oculex‚_Ts shareholders approved the acquisition last week. Allergan will pay approximately $230 million for the Oculex business in an all-cash transaction. It is estimated that as much as 75% to 90% of the purchase price will be expensed by Allergan as in-process research and development in the fourth quarter of 2003, with the balance being allocated to other tangible net assets, core technology and goodwill.

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Alcon completes enrollment for lens trial

Alcon has completed enrollment for its first pseudoaccommodative lens, and the company plans to file for Food and Drug Administration approval by summer 2004. The Restore lens, approved in Europe in the summer of 2003, could provide up to 4 D of accommodation, according to company officials. Robert J. Stevens, Alcon vice president, surgical products and research and development, said that up to 30% of cataract patients could qualify for the lens.

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Phase I results show promise for presbyopia correction

Results from a Food and Drug Administration Phase I clinical study indicate that PresView Scleral Implants (Refocus Group Inc., Dallas) show promise for the correction of presbyopia, said Barrie Soloway, M.D., director of vision correction, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York. Six centers and 29 eyes of 29 patients were involved in the study. An increase in the accommodative amplitude of the experimental eyes of 1.7 D + 1.5 D was obtained with a starting point of 70 cm, he said. It cannot yet be determined how the PresView Scleral Implants work, but clinically, they do work, he said. However, Adrian Glasser, Ph.D., associate professor, College of Optometry, University of Houston, said scleral expansion does not restore accommodation and urged other practitioners that perform the procedure to learn more about its mechanism of action.

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Bausch & Lomb, Oasis settle patent infringement lawsuit

Bausch & Lomb (Rochester, N.Y.) and Oasis Medical (Glendora, Calif.) have agreed to settle a lawsuit involving a patent that relates to blades used in pivoting microkeratomes. The settlement agreement resolves the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Bausch & Lomb against Oasis in October 2000 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The settlement terms, in acknowledging the validity and infringement of the Bausch & Lomb patent, include an agreement by Oasis to stop manufacturing and selling blades for the Bausch & Lomb Hansatome microkeratome, and an agreement by Bausch & Lomb to license its patented technology to Oasis to manufacture pivoting microkeratome blade assemblies for non-Bausch & Lomb microkeratomes. In exchange for other financial consideration, Bausch & Lomb will acquire the Oasis microkeratome blade patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 1, 2003, and licenses the Oasis proprietary manufacturing technology for microkeratome blades. Under the settlement agreement, both parties have agreed that no further details will be provided.

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Nidek receives FDA approval for photocoagulator

Nidek (Fremont, Calif.) has received Food and Drug Administration approval for its GYC-1000 Green Laser Photocoagulator, The company also announced that several of its diagnostic products and solutions would have added features and capabilities introduced in the coming weeks. Because of the compact design and portability, the unit can be integrated with various laser delivery systems. The NIDEK GYC-1000 delivers a solid-state green laser with 1.7 watts of energy and plugs into standard wall outlets. The unit also offers many delivery options for slit lamps, indirects, and endophotocoagulation.

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DGH Technology releases new pachymeter

DGH Technology (Exton, Pa.) has released a new ‚__one-handed‚__ pachymeter, the Pachmate model DGH-55, designed specifically to assist in glaucoma screenings. An IOP correction calculation can also be displayed and the procedure can take less than two seconds. The unit automatically switches from OD to OS so the fellow eye can also be measured.

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Poll: Public not informed about LASIK

Current misperceptions about LASIK surgery demonstrate that the public‚_Ts understanding of laser vision correction is not keeping pace with technological advances in the field, according to results of a new Gallup poll. This survey, which involved 1,000 men and women that wear eyeglasses or contact lenses and that have never had laser eye surgery, shows that the majority (85%) of all survey respondents that have considered LASIK said that it is somewhat important or very important to alleviate their dependency on eyeglasses or contact lenses. The majority (86%) of all survey respondents that have considered LASIK appear to be waiting for a safer laser eye surgery procedure, and roughly one in five are actually fearful of the potential side effects or pain that they believe can be associated with laser vision correction.

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EYEWORLD WEEK Online is edited by Stacy Majewicz and Michelle Dalton.

EyeWorld Week Online (ISSN 1089-0319), a digital publication of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators, is published every Friday, distributed by email, and posted live on Friday.

Medical Editors: David F. Chang, M.D., chief medical editor; Bonnie An Henderson, M.D., cataract editor; Edward J. Holland, M.D., cornea editor; Reay H. Brown, M.D., glaucoma editor; Kerry D. Solomon, M.D., refractive editor; and John A. Vukich, M.D., international editor

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ASCRS•ASOA • 4000 Legato Rd. • Suite 700 • Fairfax, VA 22033 • Phone: 703-591-2220 • Fax: 703-591-0614 • Email: ASCRS

Opinions expressed in EyeWorld Week do not necessarily reflect those of ASCRS•ASOA. Mention of products or services does not constitute an endorsement by ASCRS•ASOA.

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