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Avedro Names VP of Sales

He brings more than 20 years of sales and leadership experience.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WALTHAM, MA — Avedro Inc., a commercial-stage ophthalmic medical technology company focused on treating corneal ecstatic disorders and improving vision to reduce dependency on eyeglasses or contact lenses, announced the appointment of Patrick B. Jacques as vice president of sales, effective immediately.

Reporting to James Schuermann, Avedro’s chief business officer, Jacques will be responsible for directing Avedro’s U.S. sales strategy, building relationships with clinicians and other key partners, and contributing to Avedro’s marketing programs.

Jacques brings more than 20 years of sales and leadership experience across various segments in ophthalmology and optometry to Avedro. Jacques began his career with SPS Medical Supply and held roles of increasing responsibility with Briot/Buchman and Advanced Medical Optics. At Abbott Medical Optics, he managed the sales organization for their refractive laser business in the Western United States. Most recently at AcuFocus, which transacted the KAMRA inlay business to CorneaGen in 2018, he was responsible for the domestic launch of the corneal inlay product for presbyopia and for building the company’s field commercial organization.

“We are pleased to welcome Patrick to Avedro to lead our sales efforts in the United States,” said Reza Zadno, PhD, president and CEO of Avedro. “Patrick is a seasoned sales leader with a track record of successfully driving adoption of new ophthalmic technologies. We are confident that our Avedro Corneal Remodeling Platform coupled with our talented and experienced team will grow our leadership position in the treatment of progressive keratoconus and expand treatment capabilities to address additional conditions, such as refractive disorders.”

“I am very excited to be joining Avedro at such a pivotal time in the company’s history. Avedro has made significant progress with reimbursement, earning a unique J code from CMS and securing positive coverage from America’s largest national commercial payers, facilitating access to approximately 95 percent of our estimated total U.S. addressable market. I am looking forward to working with my network of refractive ophthalmic customers to accelerate adoption of FDA approved cross-linking in the United States and help more patients with this sight-threatening disease,” said Jacques.

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Scientists Study Whether ‘Vision Training’ Improves Baseball Players’ Performance

IU optometry researchers are partnering with the IU baseball team on the project.

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(PRESS RELEASE) A great baseball team requires a coach with the vision to win. It also requires players with the vision to literally see the ball as it flies over the plate at speeds that regularly reach up to 90 mph.

This simple fact has spawned a small industry over the past several decades that purports to improve batting performance by teaching players to see more clearly, track the ball more accurately and improve their hand-eye coordination. Yet the effectiveness of these methods has remained largely untested by rigorous scientific methods.

In response, Indiana University researchers at the IU School of Optometry, in collaboration with the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, launched a collaboration last year to study vision training in baseball.

The players in the study are members of the IU baseball team under head coach Jeff Mercer. The lead researcher on the project at IU is Nicholas Port, an associate professor at the IU School of Optometry.

“You’re trying hit a round ball with a round stick — when that ball is traveling at 70 to 90 miles per hour at a distance of 60 feet — so, presumably, vision is important in baseball,” Port said. “What we decided to do was design a study to see whether, in a systematic and scientific way, we could measure the effects of vision training on baseball performance.”

To conduct the study, Port recruited players from the IU baseball team to participate in 30-minute exercises at least three times per week for nine weeks. Lyndsey Ferris, a Ph.D. student at the IU School of Optometry, also joined the project to lead data collection.

“We really tried to tailor our tests to the players’ strengths and weaknesses, so they were constantly challenged to get to that next level of improvement,” said Ferris, who is also a member of the Air Force. “The general feedback from the players has been very positive; they oftentimes ask to get another round of a particular activity.”

Nicholas Port, left, and Lyndsey Ferris review information on a player’s swing. Photo by Kevin Fryling, Indiana University

These tests include three main exercises:

  • The use of a “light rail,” in which players are asked to press a button at a specific moment as a small LED light travels down a long track. This test is designed to simulate the eye movement required to trace a baseball in flight.
  • A tablet-based test to gauge players’ ability to quickly discriminate between different targets and act in a specific way upon certain targets.
  • “Strobe glasses,” in which players’ vision is completely blocked 10 to 90 percent of time as they swing a bat at a ball in flight.

The players also participated in a week of baseline tests before the main study. They took up to 500 swings to gauge their starting batting consistency and performance. For the parts of the study involving swinging a bat, the players’ form was recorded by cameras that captured the physics of each motion.

These tests were conducted at the Dr. Lawrence D. Rink Center for Sports Medicine and Technology, which is the recently constructed facility at the south end zone of IU’s Memorial Stadium, and the batting cages in the baseball complex at Bart Kaufman Field.

As a first baseman at Wright State University, where he also served as head coach before joining IU in 2018, Mercer is familiar with the challenge of striking a moving object in flight. He said the ability to make out the smallest details, such as the placement of the hand on the ball as it leaves the pitcher’s grip or the spin of the ball as it proceeds over the plate, can provide players with critical information in the heat of the moment.

“Being an offensive player myself in my career, I understand the importance of vision,” he added. “So, when someone came up to me to talk about potentially helping improve (our players’) vision and their ability to recognize moving objects more quickly, and hopefully increase their hand-eye-coordination … it was a no-brainer. Being at a university with the capabilities and the research opportunities (of IU), it’s a tremendous advantage.”

Port and Ferris plan to conduct a second round of data collection in the fall, after the whirlwind of the college baseball season is over. They also plan to enroll women from the IU softball team in the study’s second phase.

Port’s collaborator and the lead researcher on this study is Greg Appelbaum, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine. The research is supported by a grant from the U.S. Army Research Office.

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Etnia Barcelona Foundation Partners with Von Miller’s Vision Foundation

Von Miller is linebacker for the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

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(PRESS RELEASE) – In continuation of expanding its growth and outreach efforts in the U.S. market, Etnia Barcelona has announced a partnership with linebacker Von Miller of the NFL’s Denver Broncos and his charitable foundation, Von’s Vision. With support from its own foundation, Etnia Barcelona is set to become the exclusive provider of fashionable frames for Von’s Vision Centers.

The newest program of Miller’s foundation, Von’s Vision Centers allow in-need students to receive vision care on an ongoing basis without the burden of transportation. These new centers are a customized optical center kiosk, located at select Boys & Girls Club facilities in Metro Denver and soon-to-be Texas A&M University, that hold fashionable eyewear and accessories, creating a unique and exciting optical center on wheels.

Volunteer medical providers, provided through Hero Practice Services, will use portable equipment to conduct onsite eye exams and the children and young adults will “shop” for fashionable eyewear, provided by Etnia Barcelona Foundation. Once ready, their fulfilled glasses with lenses will be delivered back to the participating Von’s Vision Center location for a reveal day.

As a part of their contribution the Etnia Barcelona Foundation has recently donated over 3,000 frames with its anticipation for the Von’s Vision Center to serve a minimum of 600 children this year alone. The first Vision Day will commence on May 14, 2019, with a combination of several other charitable events throughout the year.

Together, Etnia Barcelona hopes to continue the partnership in the years to come and expand the outreach of both programs across the U.S.

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L’Amy America Launches Tri-Flex Performance Series

It offers a 3-point, self-adjusting temple tip system.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NORWALK, CT – America’s athletic wear originator, Champion brings a new 3-tiered sub collection of performance-based eyewear, to a market thirsting for heritage sport brands offering value-added features and true performance.

Perfectly suited for active lifestyles, Champion’s new Tri-Flex collection offers a 3-point, self-adjusting temple tip system which provides custom fit, secure grip, and on face stability. The tip, which adjusts from 1 to 90 degrees downward, gently but securely fits over the mastoidal bend, allowing the frame to fit snuggly and comfortably over the ear. An easy click and the system is engaged-the wearer can perform any task from basketball and golf to yard work and boating without worry of frames slipping, bouncing, or moving around during wear. Offering the same security as other eyewear retaining devices, the Tri-Flex tip is built-in to the frame. No extra “cord” required to insure frame security.

The Tri-Flex collection is comprised of 5 ophthalmic models for adults (2 in Extended Size), 4 ophthalmic models for tweens, and 4 sunglasses also for adults. With features such as handmade acetate and stainless steel fronts, optical quality polarized lenses and custom-crafted color selections, the new Tri-Flex series offers the same fine quality construction and powerful consumer brand recognition as its core eyewear collection.

L’Amy America Lifestyle Brands Director, Connie Reiss reminds “Champion was Lyst.com’s #2 most-searched brand of 2018. We are fueling this explosive brand-trajectory with the Tri-Flex series of eyewear, while ultimately drawing upon Champion roots of athletic functionality.”

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