Colour Blindness In Cricket Can Be Managed, Study Shows, Australia

Cricketers batting without a sight screen or fielding in the out-field are likely to be most disadvantaged by their colour blindness, a new study has found.

Previous studies had already shown that cricketers with a red/green colour deficiency can have trouble seeing the red ball against the green grass of the playing field and surrounds.

The most recent study into colour blindness in Australian cricket tested 293 Premier cricketers from nine clubs throughout Melbourne.

Nearly one out of ten (26 players) were found to have abnormal colour vision with nine players suffering from severe colour blindness.

While the rate of colour blindness was on par with the general population, the study found significantly lower than average rates of colour blindness at higher grades – suggesting that self-selection based on colour deficiency may be happening at elite levels of the game.

Players in the study who suffered from colour blindness reported losing sight of the ball when it was running on the grass or seeing the ball against trees and bushes. Ninety-six per cent opted to field in the mid or in-field to help compensate for the condition.

“If you suffer from a red/green colour deficiency you will have trouble seeing the ball against the grass, so place yourself in a position where you are able to field the ball before it hits the ground,” said Shirley Loh, professional services manager for the Optometrists Association Australia .

Ms Loh suggests that players who suffer from colour blindness ask their club to use sightscreens behind the bowler to change the contrast – a tool that is said to have helped batting legend Bill Ponsford deal with his severe form of the condition.

“Records into Ponsford’s career show a stark contrast between his batting average while playing with St Kilda, where sight screens were not used, to his batting average while playing for Melbourne and Victoria where sight screens were in use.

“His batting average while playing with Victoria was 86.3 as compared to 46.4 while at St Kilda.”

The study also suggested that colour blindness does not impede bowlers providing a real alternative for cricketers suffering from severe colour blindness.

Ms Loh said that many players who suffer from colour blindness don’t even know they suffer from the condition.

“Nearly half (42%) of the 26 players did not know that they suffered from abnormal colour vision, and may not have been aware of adjustments they could make to their game to suit the condition,” she said.

“The first step for cricketers is to get their eyes tested by an optometrist. Have your eyes examined regularly and ask your optometrist to test your colour vision.”

Optometrists Association Australia

Leading Optometrists’ Network Chooses Medwave Sensor Technology

Medwave, Inc.
(Nasdaq: MDWV), the innovator in sensor-based, non-invasive blood-pressure
measuring solutions, announced today that Vision Source, the nation’s
premier network of independent doctors of optometry, has entered into a
purchasing agreement for Medwave’s Primo(TM) spot blood pressure monitoring

Representing the first major innovation to cuff- and mercury-based
blood pressure measurement in more than 100 years, Primo has gained rapid
acceptance among medical professionals and their patients due to its unique
combination of speed, accuracy, flexibility and comfort.

With more than 1,450 eye care centers (more than 2,700 doctors) in all
50 states, Vision Source facilities are known for their personal attention,
quality care and breakthrough technology. After evaluating Primo as a way
to obtain effective, accurate and comfortable blood pressure readings for
its patients, Vision Source observed that Primo accurately monitored even
some of the most challenging patient types — both large and small. Vision
Source patients also appreciated the fact that Primo obtained an accurate
blood pressure reading in only 12 seconds — and without the discomfort of
cuff-based devices.

“Vision Source is an innovative organization, and earning their trust
and faith in Primo is a great compliment,” said Tim O’Malley, Medwave, Inc.
President and CEO. “Primo offers many advantages over conventional,
cuff-based blood pressure products, and we’re thrilled that Vision Source
patients can now experience the difference. We are honored to add Vision
Source to our growing list of Primo users, and we look forward to
introducing all 1,450+ facilities to Primo.”

About Vision Source

Vision Source is the nation’s number one network of independent
optometrists with more than 2,700 doctors in over 1,450 practices across
the United States. With the combined buying power of a nationwide network,
Vision Source doctors are better able to control their materials costs and
offer their patients excellent value. Above all, each Vision Source
practice is dedicated to maintaining the special relationship between a
patient and his or her family eye doctor to ensure the best possible
vision- and eye-health care. For more information, visit

About Medwave

Medwave, Inc. develops, manufactures and distributes sensor-based
non-invasive blood pressure solutions. Medwave’s suite of products is
designed for use in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices and almost
anywhere blood pressure monitoring occurs. Medwave has the required
technology clearances to market its technology in the United States, Europe
and Asia. Medwave’s technology is installed in more than 500 hospitals and
clinics worldwide. Medwave trades on the NASDAQ small cap market under the
symbol MDWV. For more information, visit medwave.

Statements made in this release that are stated as expectations, plans,
anticipations, prospects or future estimates or which otherwise look
forward in time are considered “forward-looking statements” and involve a
variety of risks and uncertainties, known and unknown, which are likely to
affect the actual results. The following factors, among others, as well as
factors discussed in Medwave’s filings with the SEC, have affected and, in
the future, could affect Medwave’s actual results: resistance to the
acceptance of new medical products, the market acceptance of the Primo(TM)
system, the Vasotrac(R) system and other products of Medwave, hospital
budgeting cycles, the possibility of adverse or negative results or
commentary from clinical researchers or other users or evaluators of
Medwave’s products, Medwave’s success in creating effective distribution
channels for its products, Medwave’s ability to scale up its manufacturing
process, and delays in product development or enhancement or regulatory
approval. Consequently, no forward- looking statement can be guaranteed and
actual results may vary materially. Medwave(R), Vasotrac(R), Legato(TM),
Primo(TM), and Fusion(TM) are trademarks of Medwave, Inc.

Medwave, Inc.

Topical ESBA105 Demonstrates Efficacy In The Back Of The Eye To Inhibit Neovascularization

ESBATech AG, a leading developer of antibody fragment therapeutics, today announced preclinical results, which demonstrate efficacy of topical ESBA105, an anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) single-chain antibody fragment, in a model for choroidal neovascularization (CNV). In wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), CNV causes the formation of new blood vessels growing behind the retina, which can lead to bleeding, scarring and sight loss in patients. Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) therapies are successfully used in AMD; however, only 30-40% of patients benefit from an anti-VEGF therapy with improvement in visual acuity.

ESBATech’s results confirm that CNV is not exclusively driven by VEGF, but also by inflammatory mediators such as TNF alpha. Findings from this study show that ESBA105, when applied as eye drops, can significantly reduce CNV. The preclinical study was designed to evaluate the pathophysiological relevance of TNF, and the effect of topical ESBA105 in a primate model for CNV and compare its efficacy against an intravitreal injection of the marketed TNF antagonist, Humira® and VEGF antagonist, Avastin®, which have both shown efficacy in this model. The model selected for this study measures severity of lesions in the macula, which are generated by photocoagulation using a laser. The surrogate injury model for AMD has been proven successful in predicting therapies that are efficacious like Lucentis® in the treatment of AMD.

David Urech, Ph.D., Head of Research and Development of ESBATech commented on the preclinical results, “These results confirm our previous pharmacokinetic studies, showing that topical ESBA105 efficiently migrates to the posterior or the back segments of the eye, and leads to therapeutically effective concentrations even in the retina. In addition, our results suggest that TNF alpha plays an important role in a variety of ocular neovascular disorders.”

Dominik Escher, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of ESBATech, added, “These exciting results show a role and potential for ESBA105 in wet AMD. A combination therapy with an injectable VEGF inhibitor, plus our topical TNF inhibitor might lead to better efficacy and visual improvements than a single therapy. We have started several clinical trials with ESBA105 including acute anterior uveitis, and we will expand the development of ESBA105 into several attractive indications with a high unmet medical need.”

ESBATech continues to progress clinical candidates in ophthalmology with a series of studies relating to the treatment of inflammatory ocular diseases. In February 2009, ESBATech initiated a Phase Ia/IIb study for cataract surgery and a Phase IIa trial for acute anterior uveitis. Earlier this year, ESBATech initiated a Phase I/IIa study to explore clinical activity of ESBA105 in osteoarthritis of the knee.

About Choroidal Neovascularization (CNV)

CNV is the formation of new blood vessels in the choroid layer of the eye. CNV can occur rapidly in individuals with defects in Bruch’s membrane, the innermost layer of the choroid. It is also associated with excessive amounts of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). CNV is a common symptom of the degenerative maculopathy wet AMD. Wet AMD results in new blood vessels growing behind the retina, which can cause bleeding, scarring and sight loss. Currently, the most efficient treatment for wet AMD is inhibition of VEGF as achieved through intravitreal injections of Lucentis® every four weeks. Anti-VEGF treatments are designed to stop new blood vessels from growing by acting on a protein which is released as these vessels develop.

About ESBATech’s Antibody Fragment Platform Technology

ESBATech develops highly-stable, single-chain antibody fragment (scFv) derived from proprietary fully human antibody fragment scaffolds. ESBATech has developed Immuna®, a novel, proprietary, repeatable antigen-independent platform to screen, select and optimize highly-stable, single-chain antibody fragments. Immuna® does not exhibit any phage display. The single-chain antibody fragment can be applied for novel therapeutic interventions, which require a high affinity and high specificity of the drug, but not an immune effector response. In this novel approach, ESBATech has elucidated unique features of its proprietary fully human, drug-like, single-chain antibody fragments. The company is advancing a pipeline of novel antibody fragment therapeutics for topical and/or local delivery, to ensure safe and convenient patient therapy. ESBATech is the first and only company to date that has successfully screened and characterized the entire human pool (1.5 million) of naturally occurring variable immunoglobulin (VH and VL) domains. Through this process, the company has identified a number of next generation scFv development candidates. These novel product candidates can be modified to generate virtually limitless products directed against numerous targets.

About ESBATech AG

ESBATech is a Zurich, Switzerland-based, privately held, clinical stage biotechnology company concentrating in research, development and commercializing of its antibody fragments for therapeutic applications via local and topical administration. ESBATech applies its proprietary screening platform, Immuna® and its fully human single-chain antibody frameworks to generate product candidates against targets of clinical relevance. The company focuses on three franchises: ophthalmology, rheumatology and respiratory. In ophthalmology, ESBATech represents the most advanced company in clinical development with topical delivery of an antibody fragment via eye drops.


View drug information on Avastin; Humira; Lucentis.

Nonsurgical Technique Can Take Years Off The Appearance Of Aging Eyes

As one ages, the characteristics of the eyes change in generally predictable ways: the skin thins and becomes less elastic, brows may descend, the upper lid may recede or enlarge, and the bones around the eyes appear more prominent. While surgery has long been the accepted standard and offers significant benefits to many patients, injectable treatments are proving to be a viable option for taking years off the appearance of aging eyes. An article appearing in the current issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, a publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), details the use of hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers as a reliable and long-lasting method for improving the eye area.

“In some cases, the addition of volume may provide a better-looking result than traditional surgical procedures,” says Val Lambros, MD, author of the article and a plastic surgeon practicing in Newport Beach, California. “Although the upper lid can be improved with injections, the area we treat is the brow. In some cases, filling in the brow expands the lid skin sufficiently to smooth wrinkles.”

According to Dr. Lambros, adding volume in the brow area can make the eye appear longer and fuller with less upper lid showing, all characteristics of a youthful eye. However, as in all cosmetic procedures, there is no “one size fits all” approach. “These are true aesthetic choices that must be decided through the patient’s consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon,” advises Dr. Lambros.

Since the 1980s, the standard method for volumizing the brow line has been by fat injection. Excellent results can be achieved using this method. The risk with fat injections, however, is that over time some of the fat may not survive. In some cases, the injected fat may actually grow as the patient ages or gains weight, resulting in unevenness in the brow area.

Hyaluronic acid has been used to treat the brow and upper lid since its introduction in 2005, using a technique similar to that of fat injections. Dr. Lambros prefers HA to fat for brow volumizing because he says contouring is easier, and HA is less subject to variability than biologic fillers. In the brow area, HA has been shown to produce long-lasting results, extending beyond two years. In addition, the effects of HA can be reversed immediately, using hyaluronidase (an enzyme that degrades hyaluronic acid), should the patient be displeased with the volumization effect.

When it comes to the eyes, a little can go a long way. “Brow volume procedures should not be overdone; more is not always better,” adds Dr. Lambros. “Most candidates for brow improvement with HA elect to begin treatment with small amounts of product, and are very satisfied with the results.”

Dr. Lambros gives patients the opportunity to preview their final look, a benefit not available to patients undergoing surgery. He creates temporary volume by injecting diluted local anesthetic which is threaded into the brow and molded into shape. If desired, the patient can choose to undergo the procedure immediately following the preview, since the brow is already anesthetized.

The use of injectable fillers in the brow is a complicated process and requires great skill and experience. “Because of its dependency on technique, only qualified injectors and board-certified plastic surgeons should be performing this procedure,” states Renato Saltz, MD, president of the Aesthetic Society. “When performed properly and by appropriate medical professionals, the use of HA fillers is safe, effective, and produces long-lasting results.”

About ASJ

The Aesthetic Surgery Journal is the peer-reviewed publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and is the most widely read clinical journal in the field of cosmetic surgery, with subscribers in more than 60 countries.

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Boys With Intermittent Eye Deviation Appear More Likely To Develop Mental Illness

Children and especially boys diagnosed with intermittent exotropia, a condition in which the eye turns outward (away from the nose) only some of the time, appear more likely to develop mental illness by young adulthood than children without strabismus (when the eyes deviate or are misaligned when looking at an object), according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

“Intermittent exotropia occurs in approximately 1 percent of developmentally healthy children in the United States and, given its predominance over esodeviations [when the eye turns in] among Asian populations, it may be the most prevalent form of strabismus worldwide,” the authors write as background information in the article.

Jeff A. McKenzie, B.A., and colleagues at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., analyzed the medical records of 183 children younger than 19 in Olmsted County, Minn., who were diagnosed with intermittent exotropia between 1975 and 1994. For each patient, the researchers identified one control child who was the same age but did not have a diagnosis of any type of strabismus. Both groups were followed to an average age of 22.

During the 20-year study period, 97 of the children with intermittent exotropia (53 percent) were diagnosed with a mental health disorder, compared with 55 controls (30.1 percent)-meaning that patients with the condition had an increased risk of developing a psychiatric illness. Mental health disorders were diagnosed in 63 percent of boys (41 of 65) and 47 percent of girls (56 of 118) with intermittent exotropia, compared with 33 percent of boys (22 of 66) and 28 percent of girls (33 of 117) in the control group.

“Additionally, males with intermittent exotropia had a greater use of psychotropic medication, psychiatric emergency department visits, psychiatric hospital admissions, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation than controls, and females with intermittent exotropia had more suicidal ideation than controls,” the authors write.

The reasons underlying these associations remain unclear, the authors note. “Studies regarding the psychosocial impact of strabismus have reported that individuals with intermittent exotropia are not judged more poorly than individuals with orthotropia [the absence of strabismus] by adult observers. However, a negative bias toward people with strabismus has been demonstrated in children,” the authors write. “Although this study focused on mental illness that was diagnosed by early adulthood, there is also evidence to suggest that the social problems associated with strabismus persist and even intensify into adult life.”

“Further study is needed to determine whether interventions for intermittent exotropia can decrease or otherwise alter the future development of mental illness,” they conclude.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127[6]:743-747.

Archives of Opthalmology

Populations Of Nerve Cells Adapt To Changing Images Demonstrated By First Empirical Study

Neuroscientists studying the mind’s ability to process images have completed the first empirical study to demonstrate, using animal models, how populations of nerve cells in visual cortex adapt to changing images. Their findings could lead to sight-improving therapies for people following trauma or stroke. The study at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston appears in the March 13 issue of the journal Nature.

“Our perception of the environment relies on the capacity of neural networks to adapt rapidly to changes in incoming stimuli,” wrote senior author Valentin Dragoi, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. “It is increasingly being realized that the neural code is adaptive, that is, sensory neurons change their responses and selectivity in a dynamic manner to match the changes in input stimuli.” The neural code is the set of rules that transforms electrical impulses in the brain into thoughts, memories and decisions.

In the study, Dragoi and co-author Diego Gutnisky, a graduate research assistant at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, measured the effects of visual stimulation on the responses of multiple neurons whose electrical activity was measured simultaneously in animals. They carefully examined the responses of a population of cells in visual cortex to dynamic stimuli, which consisted of movie sequences displayed on a video monitor.

“We provide empirical evidence that brief exposure, or adaptation, to a fixed stimulus causes pronounced changes in the degree of cooperation between individual neurons and an improvement in the efficiency with which the population of cells encodes information,” Dragoi and Gutnisky report. “These results are consistent with the ‘efficient coding hypothesis’ – that is, sensory neurons are adapted to the statistical properties of the stimuli that they are exposed to and with changes in human discrimination performance after adaptation.”

This information may be helpful in the fight against brain illness. “Right now, we don’t know the causes of brain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease or disorders caused by trauma,” Dragoi said. “However, it is our belief that understanding not only how individual neurons work, but how they cooperate with their neighbors to impact the functions of the brain involved in diseases may help develop better diagnostic tools and therapies to improve visual function following trauma, stroke or disease, or even prevent brain disorder.”

While their study focused on how neuronal populations adapt to visual stimulation, the same could hold true for other senses – hearing, smell, taste and touch, Dragoi said. “We’re trying to understand how a network of sensory neurons changes its encoding properties to properly represent the environment,” he said. “Our results may have general implications for sensory and motor coding in a variety of brain areas.”

The brain is the control center of the central nervous system and is responsible for behavior. It contains more than 100 billion neurons or nerve cells, each linked to as many as 10,000 other neurons or nerve cells. “One dream of neuroscientists is to crack the neural code and through our study we have made steps in understanding how populations of neurons encode information,” Dragoi said.

Dragoi heads the five-person Cortical Mechanisms of Visual Behavior Laboratory at the UT Medical School at Houston. Its research goal is to understand how individual neurons and populations encode and process information in real time.

The study in Nature is titled “Adaptive coding of visual information in neural populations” and was supported by the Pew Scholars Program, the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the National Eye Institute.

Source: Robert Cahill

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

ARVO presents Ocular Cell and Molecular Biology Conference

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has extended the deadline for abstract submissions to
June 16, 2005 for its Ocular Cell and Molecular Biology (OCMB) Conference to be held September 8-10, 2005 at the Colony Beach
and Tennis Resort in Sarasota, Fla.

The OCMB Conference is designed to be highly interactive, focusing on studies of the retina, lens, cornea, and other ocular
tissues. The three-day format will include in-depth presentations by invited speakers and researchers selected from submitted
abstracts, and poster session presentations. Attendance is limited to 150 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and students.
Keynote speakers will be David Beebe, PhD, Elizabeth Fini, PhD, William Hauswirth, PhD, Leonard A. Levin, MD, PhD, Kris
Palczewski, PhD, and Mansoor Sarfarazi, PhD. Steven E. Wilson, MD, and Joe G. Hollyfield, PhD, of the Cleveland Clinic
Foundation are the meeting’s organizers.

First held in Dallas, Texas in 1992, the OCMB Conference is designed to provide close interaction between scientists in
different areas of cell and molecular eye research. Past meetings have also been held in San Diego, Calif. (1995), Tammaron,
Colo. (1997), and Keystone, Colo. (1999).

To submit an abstract or register to attend the conference, logon to arvo/ocmb or contact Rhonda Williams at 240-221-2908 or rwilliamsarvo.

Established in 1928, The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc. (ARVO) is a membership organization of
more than 11,300 eye and vision researchers from over 70 countries. The Association encourages and assists its members and
others in research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. ARVO’s headquarters are
located in Rockville, Maryland. The Association’s Web site is arvo.

Contact: Elinore Tibbetts
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF) Awards $8 Million In New Grants To Cure Age-Related Diseases

The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF) has awarded 52 grants totaling more than $8 million dollars to scientists worldwide who are on the cutting edge of promising discoveries in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma. “Innovative research is the only way to find treatments and cures for these devastating age-related diseases. AHAF has the courage to support bold ideas and high risk/high reward research which has included funding the early work of two Nobel Prize winners,” said Stacy Pagos Haller, President & CEO of the American Health Assistance Foundation.

“AHAF takes a broad and global perspective on research, pushing the limits of what is scientifically possible in an effort to find treatments and cures for these incapacitating and life altering age-related diseases,” said Guy Eakin, Ph.D., Vice President Scientific Affairs, for the American Health Assistance Foundation.

“Though AHAF has committed itself to tackling three important age-related diseases, the impact of these discoveries will be felt much further. Nearly $1.5 million of these grants will go to explore the relationship between these diseases and other conditions that threaten the health of the elderly,” explained Dr. Eakin.

AHAF researchers will be conducting studies to find the links between diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and the over five million American’s who have Alzheimer’s disease. As the American population ages and the average person’s lifestyle has become more sedentary, the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease has risen. Therefore, looking for connections between these diseases is prudent as findings in one disease area may further discoveries in other diseases.

Researchers will also examine the important roles smoking and aging play in macular degeneration. Previous studies have shown smoking to be a high risk factor for age-related macular degeneration. This study will provide an understanding of the effect of smoking on the blood supply to the cells of vision in the retina. Studies will also look at the impact of cholesterol on aging eyes. Based on recent data it is estimated that as many as 11 million people in the United States will have some form of age-related macular degeneration in 2010, and this number is expected to increase to more than 22 million by 2050.

AHAF has also awarded funds for studies on blood pressure and the role of the body’s natural antioxidant defenses in controlling glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Nearly three million Americans have glaucoma. Vision experts estimate that half of those affected by glaucoma may not know they have the disease because symptoms may not appear until permanent visual damage has occurred. For this reason glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight.”

In addition, these grants are exploring diagnostic and drug therapies in all three disease areas. “Our researchers are the pioneers of game-changing discoveries. Their experiments, supported by donations from caring Americans, represent where science is headed and could be the next new treatment or cure, or an important step toward that end,” said Dr. Eakin.

To date the American Health Assistance Foundation has awarded more than $110 million to further research in an effort to find cures for Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma.

To learn more about age-related disease research visit ahaf. The American Health Assistance Foundation also offers helpful resources to the public.
Stay connected to ground breaking news and discoveries by following AHAF on Twitter and Facebook. Go to www2.ahaf/socialnetworking to sign up.

American Health Assistance Foundation

Disguising Your Eyes This Halloween?

With Halloween drawing near, wearing decorative contact lenses to accent a great vampire or Catwoman costume may seem like harmless fun, but the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds consumers that serious eye disorders can be caused by over-the-counter lenses. Those most likely to buy decorative contacts-teens and young adults- are also most likely to be unaware of the risks these devices can pose to their eyes and life-long visual health.

“Some Internet sites market decorative contacts as if they were cosmetics, advertising ‘One size fits all,’ and ‘No need to see an eye specialist.’ Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Thomas Steinemann, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a clinical correspondent for the Academy. “Many ophthalmologists have probably seen the damage these over-the-counter lenses can cause. Inflammation and pain are common; serious problems such as corneal abrasions and even blinding infections also occur.”

Although over-the-counter sales of nonprescription “plano” cosmetic lenses have been illega in the United States since 2005, decorative contacts are still widely available in retail stores and on the Internet. They are especially popular at Halloween as accessories to costumes. In 2005, an Academy-backed federal law classified all contact lenses as medical devices and restricted their distribution to licensed eye care professionals.

To protect your eyes, contact lenses must be fitted by an eye care professional who will instruct you on correct use. Corneal shapes vary even among people with normal vision, so if only one size is sold, some people may end up with lenses that do not fit properly.

“If you wear a tight pair of shoes you may end up with a blister, but if you wear tight pair of lenses you could end up with a blinding eye infection,” added Dr. Steinemann.

Because consumers buying over-the-counter are not educated on proper use and care of decorative contacts, they do not realize the harm that can result from improper use.

For more information about cosmetic lenses, go to geteyesmart, the Academy’s public Web site.

American Academy of Ophthalmology

Acucela And Otsuka Pharmaceutical Enter Co-Development Agreement For Rebamipide Ophthalmic Suspension For Dry Eye

Acucela Inc. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to co-develop Rebamipide ophthalmic suspension (hereinafter, Rebamipide), Otsuka’s proprietary compound for the treatment of dry eye which is currently in Phase III clinical development in the United States.

Under the agreement, the parties will collaborate in the clinical development efforts for Rebamipide in the United States, with Acucela spearheading the regulatory strategy to gain approval for the product in the United States. Upon regulatory approval of Rebamipide, the parties may negotiate the terms under which Acucela may co-promote Rebamipide with Otsuka in the United States.

Otsuka shall pay Acucela a cash upfront payment as well as clinical development milestones and a royalty on sales of the product. Otsuka shall be responsible for all clinical development and commercialization expenses.

“We are delighted to enter into co-development of Rebamipide ophthalmic suspension with Acucela. Acucela is widely known for its expertise and innovation in the field of ophthalmology,” commented Taro Iwamoto, Ph.D., president and representative director of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. “With this strategic collaboration, Otsuka and Acucela will further expand their commitment to improve the treatment for the millions of patients that suffer from dry eye symptoms,” added Dr. Iwamoto.

“We are excited to broaden our strategic relationship with Otsuka through our work on this promising Phase III product,” commented Ryo Kubota, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of Acucela. “Rebamipide has shown promising clinical activity in clinical trials to date and we believe the product has exceptional potential as a new therapy for the treatment of dry eye, one of the most common problems treated by optometrists,” added Dr. Kubota.

Acucela was advised in the transaction by Posada & Associates, Inc, with Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati providing legal counsel to the company.

About Rebamipide Ophthalmic Suspension

Rebamipide is a novel compound synthesized by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Rebamipide ophthalmic suspension has a new mechanism of action, which is to increase the level of mucin in the tear covering the conjunctiva and cornea. It is expected to be effective in dry eye treatment by stabilizing the tear film and leading to improvement of the corneal-conjunctival damage associated with dry eye.

About Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common problems treated by eye physicians. Over ten million Americans suffer from dry eyes. It is usually caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes. Dry eye syndrome has many causes. One of the most common reasons for dryness is simply the normal aging process. As we grow older, our bodies produce less oil – 60 percent less at age 65 than at age 18. The oil deficiency also affects the tear film. Without as much oil to seal the watery layer, the tear film evaporates much faster, leaving dry areas on the cornea.

About Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Founded in 1964, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: ‘Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide.’ Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and consumer products for the maintenance of everyday health. Otsuka is committed to being a corporation that creates global value, adhering to the high ethical standards required of a company involved in human health and life, maintaining a dynamic corporate culture, and working in harmony with local communities and the natural environment. The Otsuka Pharmaceutical Group comprises 106 companies and employs approximately 33,000 people in 18 countries and regions worldwide. Otsuka and its consolidated subsidiaries earned ??928.4 billion (approx. US $9.2 billion(a)) in annual revenue in fiscal year ended in March 2008.

For more information on Otsuka please visit the company’s web site at otsuka-global.

(a)Exchange rate as of the end of March 2008.

About Acucela

Acucela is a private biotechnology company focused on discovering treatments for blinding eye diseases. Acucela has developed proprietary screens for discovering small molecules which have potential applications in several different ophthalmologic disorders such as dry AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and Stargardt disease. Through its proprietary approach and medicinal chemistry team Acucela has discovered a portfolio of small molecules which are orally available and show promise in various preclinical models of major blinding eye diseases.