Directors and senior executives bailing out of George & Matilda director’s company

The chairman, three directors and the chief executive are bailing out of a company that was floated in December 2015 by Mr John McGrath, who is also a director of optical retail group George & Matilda Eyecare.

Mr McGrath floated Australian Sock Exchange-listed real-estate company McGrath Limited for $2.10 a share, enabling him to pocket $37million. He is now executive chairman.

However, since floating the company’s share price has fallen steadily to 51c as of 23 January.

Documents leaked to The Australian Financial Review show earnings for the five months to November were only $1.8 million rather than the $7.8 million the market is said to have been expecting.

George & Matilda Eyecare is owned by Sydney-based IPIC Holdings Limited, which , for its first 16 months trading, reported a $7.6m loss on revenue of $15.9m including $7m borrowings.

IPIC’s auditor expressed concern about its ability to continue as a growing concern, however said its directors were confident of it being able to do so.

Since then, the company has refinanced.

The chairman of IPIC is Mr Andrew Reitzer,

By | January 24th, 2018|Business|

Transplanted retinal cells cause swelling to retina; not likely to affect future clinical studies

A patient who underwent transplant surgery using retinal cells derived from artificially derived induced pluripotent stem cells has suffered a swollen retina, according to researchers from Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital and the Japan-government-backed Riken Institute.

The research team said it is the first time a patient has developed a serious adverse reaction during the clinical research to assess the feasibility of using iPSCs.

Surgeons operated on the patient, who is in his 70s, to remove pre-retinal membrane, deemed to be the cause of the retinal oedema. The team was unable to improve the symptoms despite the administration of steroid and anti-VEGF medication.

Causal correlation

Dr Masayo Takahashi, MD, a researcher at Riken who heads the team, said, “We cannot deny the causal correlation with iPS cells.”

She said the symptom falls into the category of serious cases, as it requires hospital admission for treatment, but stressed that it is “neither a matter of great urgency nor life-threatening.”

The incident most likely will not affect future clinical studies on the transplantation of iPS-derived retinal cells in patients with severe eye diseases, Dr Takahashi said. \The patient’s condition improved after the removal of pre-retinal membrane.

Reverse in flow of liquid

The team believes the oedema was caused by a reverse in the flow of a liquid solution containing

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By | January 24th, 2018|Surgery|

Ulysses comments


‘Medical’ twaddle

Recently, I came across an overblown 2,000-plus-words interview with a senior executive of a major optical company in Australia, in a management-nonsense magazine, complete with images.

Putting aside the effusiveness, I couldn’t help but notice two references to the interviewees’s “medical” work – one being “closer collaboration with the medical industry” and the other “a very medical role”.

All misleading twaddle of course; the person concerned is an optometrist, nothing to do with “medical”.

By | January 24th, 2018|Comment|

Freckles on iris indicate high risk of melanoma: QUT research

University of Queensland researchers have found that freckles and moles appearing on the iris indicate a high risk of melanoma, particularly in people under 40 years of age.

Dermatology Research Centre’s Associate Professor Rick Sturm said the presence of pigmented lesions was an effective predictor of the risk of melanoma that complemented traditional factors.

“We found the presence of three or more iris pigmented lesions was associated with a 45 percent increased risk of melanoma,” Dr Sturm said.

“This association was particularly strong in people under 40.

“The presence of iris freckling and naevi (moles), provides additional information about an individual’s melanoma risk over and above factors like blue eyes, red hair, fair skin and the number of moles on the skin.”

The study, involving Professor Peter Soyer and Dr Antonia Laino, involved 1117 participants of European background living in South-East Queensland.

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By | January 21st, 2018|Research|

Health-insurance premiums set to rise 4%

Private health-insurance premiums are set to rise by an average of 4 per cent on 1 April, judging from comments made yesterday by the federal health minister, Mr Greg Hunt.

Such an increase would be the lowest in percentage terms since 2001, but would still be nearly twice the rate of general inflation and would add about $200 a year to the average policy.

Above-inflation premium increases

It means that the government’s much vaunted sweeping changes and cuts to the medical devices sector, which is usually blamed for above-inflation premium increases, have so far (since October) only delivered a 1-per-cent reduction in premiums compared with 2017, which had an average 5 per cent rise.

Mr Hunt last year said the government wanted this year’s increases yto be “as close as possible” to the inflation rate of 2 per cent.

Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King said the premium rise was more disappointing news for people struggling with cost-of-living pressures and stagnant wages.

“The government will now have presided over a 25-per-cent increase in private health insurance premiums [since it won office in 2013].

By | January 21st, 2018|Health insurance|

Canadian judge rules against online retailer

A Canadian judge has ruled in favor of two Ontario regulatory colleges that filed lawsuit seeking to prevent Essilor’s Canadian online retail company, Clearly, from dispensing prescription eyewear over the internet.

The College of Optometrists and the College of Opticians, both located in Toronto, jointly filed the application in December 2016. A hearing was held on 11 October 2017 and Justice Thomas Lederer delivered his decision on 11 January.

In a message to its members, The College of Optometrists said, “Although we are still reviewing the decision in detail, we are pleased that the court has agreed with the position of the colleges on the questions we brought forward.

Internet can be effective however …

“The colleges believe that the internet can be an effective tool for the provision of vision care, however the dispensing of corrective lenses is a controlled act, subject to Ontario legislation, that definitively requires a regulated health professional’s involvement. Mail order over the internet without the involvement of an optometrist or optician is inconsistent with legislation.”

Clearly is appealing Justice Lederer’s decision and while the appeal process is underway, the company plans to continue servicing customers in Ontario.

“Clearly is committed to making vision care accessible worldwide and believes that the internet is complementary to other distribution channels,”

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By | January 21st, 2018|Business|