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A new era in the contact lens category

Johnson & Johnson Vision's Zohra Fadli speaks about the behind the scenes work that has culminated in the launch of Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology

14 Mar 2019 by John White

Zohra Fadli (pictured), director of sphere, light management and lens care platform, R&D J&J Vision at Johnson & Johnson, presented the launch of Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology at SECO 2019 in New Orleans (21 February). The research professional spoke to OT during the conference about the conclusion of the 10-year project, and what comes next

Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology is the result of 10 years of hard work. That’s a long time – how does it feel to complete it?

The project was totally worth it. What matters most is what benefit you are providing to the patient. We were building a foundation for something that did not exist before. Over 10 years we have learned a lot about the technology to come up with this breakthrough innovation. I would have carried on for another 10 years to provide this benefit to the patient.

How was the product developed?

We started the journey with an unmet need – we don’t develop technology for the sake of it. In this case we identified bothersome natural and artificial light – something we face every day. As a research and development professional, I asked myself: ‘What tech are we going to use, and who can help me with the tech?’

I needed a dynamic solution. I realised that I could start from zero, or I could work with and collaborate with the best. That was the lightbulb moment.

Transitions is the best at what it does in photochromics, and has been a leader in the market for many years. The relationship has been phenomenal. We work, we fail and we succeed as a team. And after 10 years, we have the product – and we know its performance is fantastic.

What is the power range of the product?

Transitions Light Intelligent Technology offers the same powers as Oasys Hydraclear: -12 to +8 diopters.

The product offers one shade? Will you be exploring different options?

For now this is the technology we are launching. We will continue to collaborate with Transitions, and we will continue to bring innovation. But for this product, it is a very specific photochromic contact lens.

“Over 10 years we have learned a lot about the technology to come up with this breakthrough innovation”

The research on the impact of the lens for patients revealed interesting results. Were you surprised?

We did anticipate that there would be a range of benefits, and the benefits of outdoor and indoor use makes sense. The uniqueness of the technology is that the lens is always ‘on’ and always working. The creates the benefits for wearers who experience starbursts, halos, and for those who drive at night, for example.

Who is the target audience for the product? 

For me, it is a premium performance lens, but the technology is for the mass market. All of us struggle with bothersome light, indoors and outdoors. The cost of the lens is going to be very similar to the cost of a specialty lens, and has been managed to enable access for all patients.

Will existing lens wearers use this as a top up product or is the aim to try to move them into the product as their first choice?

This is a first-of-its-kind contact lens. The goal is enabling people who struggle with bothersome light to access this technology. For people who are wearing Oasys today, I would say that if you are one of those people who struggle with bothersome light, of course, then consider the new lens. But it is not just about Oasys wearers. The product targets every patient who has an unmet need in relation to bothersome light. Eye care practitioners should think about non-contact lens wearers too: we believe they will be excited about this technology.

What’s your next project?

We are moving into era where it is about vision health comfort. After 10 years, it is about building the foundation of light management. It started with Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, but it does not stop with that product. We have ideas and we will look at the unmet needs. This is just the beginning. It marks a new era in the contact lens category. 

Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent is launching in the US and Canada on 1 April. The UK launch date in 2019 is yet to be confirmed.

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