Omega-3s Aid Dry Eye
Omega-3s taken for a 30-day period significantly reduced dry eye symptoms in a new study.1 Researchers also found a decrease in tear evaporation rate and an increase in tear secretion.

Sixty-four dry eye patients were randomized into two groups. The treatment group received two capsules of omega-3 (each containing 180mg eicosapentaenoic acid and 120mg docosahexaenoic acid) daily, and the placebo group received two medium-chain triglyceride oil capsules daily, for one month.

At day 30, mean tear break-up time increased from 3.9 to 5.67 seconds in treated patients and 4.5 to 4.7 in controls—a 71% improvement for patients taking omega-3s.

Scores on the Ocular Surface Disease Index improved by 26% in the treatment group, and worsened by 4% in the control group. Schirmer’s score improved by 22.3% in the omega-3 group and 5.1% in the placebo group.

“The study is valuable on two fronts,” says Paul Karpecki, OD, corneal services and ocular disease research director at Koffler Vision Group in Lexington, Ky. First, he says, it confirms essential fatty acids are beneficial in the treatment of dry eye symptoms.

“But perhaps more impressive is that Schirmer’s scores, TFBUT and patient symptoms all improved rather quickly,” with statistical significance achieved at 30 days, he says. “This is valuable in terms of clinical application and setting expectations on when nutritional efforts such as this could start showing statistical improvement in dry eye patients.”

1. Kangari H, Eftekhari MH, Sardari S, et al. Short-term Consumption of Oral Omega-3 and Dry Eye Syndrome. Ophthalmology. May 1, 2013. (E-pub ahead of print).

Valeant to Buy B+L
The company that first introduced the soft contact lens is changing hands. Canada’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals will acquire Bausch + Lomb for $8.7 billion.

Just what does this mean for the contact lens arm of B+L’s business? According to a company spokesman, it’s too soon to tell.

“Until the companies receive regulatory approval and consummate the transaction, there will be no immediate changes to day-to-day operations,” says Adam Grossberg, B+L’s vice president of global communications and branding. He expects the deal to close sometime during the third quarter of this year.

Bausch + Lomb will retain its name and become a division of Valeant, whose existing ophthalmology businesses will be integrated into the Bausch + Lomb division, creating a global eye health platform with estimated pro forma 2013 net revenue of more than $3.5 billion. The combined business will also benefit from access to a strong product portfolio and a late-stage pipeline of innovative new products, the company says.

“It is too early to share any specific details about Valeant’s integration plan but our goal is to retain the best talent from both companies,” says a Valeant spokesman.

In The News
• Menicon’s subsidiary Lagado has received FDA clearance for Lagado LSH (mangofilcon A), a new silicone hydrogel lens material. Formulated to meet the growing demand for made-to-order SiHy lenses, this mid-range water content (49%) material can be used in a wide variety of designs.

Lagado LSH lenses will be plasma oxidized to produce a low wetting angle and improved wettability—helping to promote lens comfort, improve visual performance and reduce the potential for deposits, the company says. Additionally, the LSH material’s physical properties help make it stable, durable and easy to handle.

• CooperVision recently kicked off an awards program that will bring recipients and company scientists together to explore new areas of technology advancement. The effort will address ocular surface health and anterior segment symptomology through advancement of technologies including but not limited to materials, devices and compounds.

“Our goal is to support science and encourage a focus on unmet needs that can be translated back to our community,” says chief technology officer Arthur Back. The awards “will provide scientists in academia and research institutes a substantive opportunity to pursue emerging ideas and concepts in a meaningful and focused way,” he says.

Two awards will be given, one for research spanning a one-year period (the Seedling Award) and another for multi-year efforts (the Translational Research Award).