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Optical Display Firm ‘Moving Forward’ After HQ Is Damaged by Wildfire

‘Down but not out,’ CEO says.

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PARADISE, CA — Though it lost over 75 percent of its facility in one of California’s worst natural disasters, Fashion Optical Displays has announced that it is moving forward and working with a certified manufacturer to fulfill current and new orders.

“We may be down, as the saying goes, but we’re not out,” Matthew Kiraly, president of Fashion Optical, said in a press release. “Though the worst of the fire has passed, there is still much to be done — not only at our company but for the entire area.”

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The company, which designs, manufactures and installs custom dispensary environments, sustained substantial losses in the November 2018 Camp Fire, the worst wildfire in California’s history, according to the release. The blaze devastated the company’s home town of Paradise and was responsible for the loss of over 86 lives and 18,000 homes and other buildings.

Kiraly said Fashion Optical has opened a temporary office in nearby Chico, CA.

“Though the company isn’t looking to expand operations at the present time, it is fulfilling orders with the expectation of moving forward,” according to the release.

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“All of our employees are safe, which is the most important thing,” Kiraly said.

“Though we’ve all lost so much, the spirit and resilience of our employees and neighbors allows us to look to the future with some degree of hope.”

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Eyewear Chain Launches Drive-Through Pickup Service

The company says the offering is ‘the first of its kind.’

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My Eyelab, a chain of retail optical centers, has launched a drive-through service at one of its stores.

Customers of the store at 3170 Gulf Fwy S in League City, TX, will have “the option to pick up their eyewear purchases without getting out of their car,” according to a press release from the company.
My Eyelab states that the service is “the first of its kind.”

Customers will still be required to come into the store for their initial eye exam appointment, but will have this option when their order is ready for pickup, the company notes. Hours for the drive-through pickup lane are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:30 pm.

“The days of searching for parking or getting out of your car in extreme weather conditions in order to receive and fully enjoy your new eyewear are over!” said Daniel Stanton, CEO and founder of Stanton Optical and My Eyelab. “We are continuously looking for new ways to build on and improve the overall guest experience as well as increase the enjoyment of buying eyewear, so we are really excited to introduce this innovative concept.”

My Eyelab plans to launch an additional four locations throughout Texas with the drive-through pick-up service opportunity this summer.

Vision Precision Holdings, now known as Now Optics, whose retail divisions include Stanton Optical and My Eyelab, has a combined 140 corporate and franchise locations across the country.

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EssilorLuxottica Begins CEO Search

The goal is to fill the job by the end of 2020.

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The EssilorLuxottica nomination and compensation committee has retained two recruitment agencies to assist in finding candidates for the CEO role.

The mandate was given to Russell Reynolds Associates and Eric Salmon & Partners and includes evaluations of both internal and external candidates. Russell Reynolds Associates will coordinate the process.

The goal is to appoint a chief executive by the end of 2020, according to a press release from the company.

The future CEO will be agreed upon and proposed to the board of directors for joint appointment by both the executive chairman and the executive vice chairman and recommended by the nomination and compensation committee.

The selected candidate will initially be appointed as “directeur général délégué.”

The executive “shall be in charge of coordinating the activities of EssilorLuxottica as a pure holding and assisting the Executive Chairman and the Executive Vice-Chairman in their efforts to facilitate the integration of Essilor and Luxottica,” according to the release.

Essilor and Luxottica completed their merger in October. The organization has since been plagued by infighting among its leadership.

Media reports last month stated that the top shareholder of EssilorLuxottica had, through his holding company Delfin, asked for arbitration to address alleged violations of the merger agreement.

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Vision Biotech Firm Changes Name

The company focuses on gene therapy.

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Ophthotech Corp., a biotech company focused on diseases of the eye, announced that it is changing its name to IVERIC bio Inc.

The change is part of a “transition strategy to focus on discovering and developing novel gene therapy solutions to treat orphan inherited retinal diseases with unmet medical needs,” the company said in a press release.

The firm will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the new ticker symbol “ISEE.” Its new corporate website at www.ivericbio.com.

“We are excited about our re-branding and corporate name change reflecting our transition to a gene therapy focused company developing treatments for patients with orphan inherited retinal diseases,” stated Glenn P. Sblendorio, CEO and president of IVERIC bio. “We are executing a strategy that leverages our retinal expertise and provides a clear path forward with multiple orphan IRD gene therapy programs.

“We believe this is an important time for the Company as we advance our diversified pipeline of scientifically compelling gene therapy programs and explore new gene therapy opportunities for the treatment of orphan IRDs and generate value for our shareholders.”

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Dr. Kourous A. Rezaei, chief medical officer of IVERIC bio,  said: “We believe that gene therapy is the ideal solution to treat patients with orphan inherited retinal diseases for which there are no treatment options available.

“Our goal is to partner with physicians to address this significant unmet medical need, prevent vision loss and transform the lives of our patients. We look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. Our clinical therapeutic programs continue to remain on track, with clinical data expected by the end of 2019 and 2020 for these programs. If data are positive for these programs, we may seek partnership opportunities for future clincal development.”

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