Johnson & Johnson Vision has announced that it has secured CE mark approval for a photochromic contact lens, designed to offer vision correction and reduce exposure to bright light both indoors and outdoors.
Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology has been developed in partnership between Johnson & Johnson Vision and Transitions Optical.
The two-weekly reusable contact lens adjusts from clear to dark in response to changing light conditions, balancing the amount of light entering the eye while blocking UV rays. The product was named one of Time’s ‘best Inventions of 2018.’
Area vice president in Europe, Middle East and Africa for Vision Care, Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH, Sandra Rasche, said: “After more than a decade of in-depth research and development, including clinical trials of more than 1000 patients, Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology is an exciting and entirely new category of contact lenses. This product will give contact lens wearers a seamless way to help manage changing light conditions in their everyday lives and activities.”
Research presented at the 2018 American Academy of Optometry annual meeting found that there were improvements in visual function for wearers of photochromic contact lenses in comparison to those wearing transparent lenses. These included up to 43% faster photostress recovery, 38% less squinting on average, and improved ability to read road signs at night when driving.
Phased roll-out throughout European markets
Giovanni Abruzzini, director Northern Europe and general manager of UK/Ireland, Johnson & Johnson Vision, told OT that “receiving the CE mark for Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology is very exciting for us, because it means that we can now make an entirely new type of contact lens available in Europe.”
He added: “We are delighted to let eye care professionals know that we will begin launching the lens across EMEA starting this year. The lenses are indicated for the attenuation of bright light, reducing the impact of the eye’s exposure to light both indoors and outdoors. Because this is an entirely new type of contact lens, we are hoping it will help increase the wearer base. We know one of the key barriers to entry is that people don’t talk enough about contact lenses. There isn’t enough communication, excitement and awareness for it. This product indicates that there is a benefit to wearing contact lenses beyond vision, which we believe will generate buzz and interest. At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we want to focus on driving market growth through transformational innovation – we believe this is a prime example of that.”
Mr Abruzzini confirmed to OT that the US and Canada are the only other markets where the lens is currently available, adding: “Now that we have CE mark in Europe, we will begin rolling out the product across EMEA.”
Mr Abruzzini said that Johnson & Johnson is currently working on a phased roll-out throughout European markets and it expects to have the contact lens available to eye care professionals halfway through this year in some countries.
Mr Abruzzini told OT that Johnson & Johnson has set-up a phased education and awareness campaign for the product. “We are focusing on getting eye care professionals and their staff familiar with the technology, so that they are able to fit the lens effectively. We will do this through direct outreach to eye care professionals, demonstrating and educating them on the product. We do feel there is a lot of anticipation and excitement around this already. When it was approved by the FDA in the US, we had hundreds of calls from customers in the UK asking when it would be available here. It is exciting and we look forward to starting the campaign,” he explained.
“After it has been introduced, we will engage customers who are interested in the product and start creating buzz with consumers through broader advertising and communications. A key part of our activation will be to give eye care practitioners, and eventually consumers, the ability to try out the technology themselves. We want to show everyone how cool this technology really is,” Mr Abruzzini said.