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This State’s Optometrists Want the Right to Perform Certain Surgeries

Ophthalmologists oppose the idea.

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Optometrists in Arkansas hope to expand their scope of practice by gaining the right to perform certain surgeries.

Ophthalmologists oppose the idea. The issue is likely to be one of the most contentious in the upcoming state legislative session, Talk Business & Politics reports.

Dr. Belinda Starkey, president of the Arkansas Optometric Association, was quoted saying the proposed legislation “would make narrow changes to the law, allowing doctors of optometry to provide a few additional minor in-office procedures.”

But Dr. Scott Lowery, president of the Arkansas Ophthalmological Society, said optometrists being allowed to perform surgeries “is a bad idea because they are simply not trained to do them.”

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Optometrists in Arkansas want to be allowed to perform “procedures that could include injections, cutting, burning, freezing, sutures, vaporizing, coagulating or photodisrupting,” according to Talk Business & Politics.

Some other states, such as Tennessee, Louisiana and Oklahoma, allow optometrists to perform procedures that were previously limited to MDs.

Read more at the Talk Business & Politics

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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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