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Optical Distributor Acquired

Hilco is the second investment in Windjammer’s $870 million Senior Equity Fund V, L.P.

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Windjammer Capital Investors has announced the acquisition of Hilco Vision in partnership with management.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. As a result of the transaction, Blue Point Capital Partners has exited Hilco Vision, PE Hub Network noted.

Based in Plainville, MA, Hilco is a distributor of optical products and accessories to opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists.

“Windjammer is an ideal partner for Hilco,” said Hilco CEO Ross Brownlee. “The combination of their successful track record investing in specialty distribution businesses like ours, the value-added resources they bring, and our shared objective to deliver even greater value to our customers and investors makes us confident that we will be able to execute our growth plan during this next stage of the Company’s development.”

Matt Anderson, managing director at Windjammer, said, “The breadth of Hilco’s product offerings and value-added services represent a differentiated value proposition for its customers, which is clearly reflected in the Company’s leading market position and its long-tenured customer relationships.”

Hilco is the second investment in Windjammer’s $870 million Senior Equity Fund V, L.P.

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Several Eyecare Drugs in Short Supply, FDA Says

They include staple items.

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Thirteen ophthalmic drugs or products are currently in a state of shortage, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

They include solutions, ointments, emulsions, suspensions and injections, the American Optometric Association reports. Another four ophthalmic products were recently discontinued altogether.

The FDA claims in a new report that older, lower-cost drugs face supply troubles far more often than brand-name options, AOA reports. Among the ophthalmic drugs or products in shortage are staple items such as fluorescein strips and solutionsdilation dropsglaucoma medicationsantibiotics and antivirals.

According to AOA:

Published Oct. 29 by an FDA-convened inter-agency Drug Shortages Task Force, the report, “Drug Shortages: Root Causes and Potential Solutions,” analyzed 163 drugs that went into shortage from 2013 to 2017 and found the majority were “financially unattractive drugs” for manufacturers. Of the 163 drugs, 109 (67%) had generic versions on the market and had a median time since first approval of nearly 35 years. So many years off patent, these drugs sold for a median per unit price of only $8.73, the FDA notes.

AOA Chief Public Health Officer Michael Duenas, OD, said, “A doctor of optometry, in their public health role, should monitor services and needed supplies to determine that they are useful and accessible to all individuals within their community who may need that particular service or supply. Doctors of optometry are encouraged to report deficiencies to the AOA and agencies overseeing shortages, such as FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Drug Shortage Program at drugshortages@fda.hhs.gov.”

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Japanese Women Seek Right to Wear Eyeglasses at Work

Some companies require female workers to wear contacts instead.

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Women in Japan are calling for an end to company policies that forbid them from wearing eyeglasses, Fortune reports.

The issue appeared in the news recently, with Nippon TV reporting on companies that have such a ban in place, requiring female employees who need vision correction to wear contact lenses instead. That report sparked the hashtag “glasses ban” on Twitter.

Fortune quoted Banri Yanagi, a 40-year-old sales associate in Tokyo, saying, “The emphasis on appearance is often on young women and wanting them to look feminine.”

Yanagi added that it’s “strange” to prohibit eyeglasses for women but allow them for men.

Employees have also rallied against requirements at some companies for women to wear makeup and/or high heels.

Read more at the Fortune

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Eye Health Firm Plans Job Cuts

It will focus resources on Dextenza.

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BEDFORD, MA — Ocular Therapeutix Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapies for eye conditions and diseases, announced an operational restructuring plan.

The plan is expected to result in about $11 million in annualized savings through personnel reductions and $14 million in “one-time program deferrals,” according to a press release. The company did not say how many jobs would be cut.

With the restructuring, the company is looking to focus resources on Dextenza, an FDA-approved corticosteroid indicated for the treatment of ocular inflammation and pain following ophthalmic surgery.

“We have elected to restructure Ocular in order to maximize the opportunity we have with DEXTENZA and our pipeline,” said Antony Mattessich, president and CEO. “We will use a portion of the savings generated to increase the size of our commercial field force to broaden our national reach and increase DEXTENZA promotional capabilities. Additionally, the savings are anticipated to extend our cash runway through the end of 2020 and provide an improved financial position as we build the Company for the long term.”

According to the press release:

The restructuring represents a strategic realignment and commitment by the Company to allocate capital and resources to maximize the commercial opportunity of DEXTENZA® and focus resources on progressing key pipeline assets, including completion of its DEXTENZA Phase 3 trial in allergic conjunctivitis and completion of Phase 1 trials of OTX-TIC for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension and OTX-TKI for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. The Company believes the savings, combined with projected sales of DEXTENZA and cash and cash equivalents, will result in an extension of the Company’s current cash runway through the fourth quarter of 2020.

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