Project: Presbyopic Bifocal Progressive Translating Contact Lenses using Lathe-machined and Moulded Soft Silicone Hydrogel

The PresbyLens project addresses the issue of presbyopia - the loss of the eye’s power to enable clear near vision, which occurs in everyone from about the age of 45. There are currently 180 million presbyopes in Europe and 105 million in the USA; by 2020 they will be 200 million and 120 million, respectively. The current state of the art in presbyopic contact lenses offers only limited optical and mechanical performances for enabling both near and far vision, as one of these performances improves only to the detriment of the other one._x000D_Wearing eyeglasses is still the most common solution for presbyopia (90% of presbyopes in Europe). By contrast, the current technology in contact lenses still presents a number of inconveniences that hamper their popularity. Multifocal contact lenses currently dominate the market with two designs: monovision or progressive (albeit monovision lenses are becoming obsolete). Multifocal lenses can offer excellent mechanical comfort but may have fundamental limitations on optical comfort: when based on the principle of simultaneous vision, they enable both near and far vision focus at the same time, at the cost of heavily relying on the brain to filter the different images._x000D_By contrast, a bifocal translating contact lens neatly separates near and far vision: the lens’ lower hemisphere for near vision and its upper hemisphere for far vision (like a bifocal eyeglass). A bifocal progressive translating contact lens has an intermediate area for far/near transition and computer vision – these are the only contact lenses that can offer both excellent optical and mechanical comfort. However, on Soft materials (representing 95% of the market) there are only a few commercial options (presenting several inconveniences) for Bifocal Translating lenses, and NONE for Bifocal Progressive Translating lenses._x000D__x000D_Market opportunity: despite that 40% of the population in the UE and in the USA need a correction for presbyopia ; multifocal lenses are used by about only 1% of the presbyopic population, whereas the rate is 10% for other lenses. In Japan, 70% of short-sighted people wear contact lenses, but they stop at 45. This comes from a lack of performing products as well as a lack of education of prescribers and wearers. A bifocal progressive contact lens able to compete with the best existing lenses on the market offers a huge opportunity to expand the market and will enable the contact lens wearers to keep wearing them after the age of 45._x000D__x000D_The objective of the PresbyLens project is the development of lathe-cut AND moulded Soft Bifocal Progressive Translating contact lenses. PresbyLens takes inspiration from Precilens’ Bi-Expert (Bifocal Translating, launched in 2009-10, greeted by the optometric community as offering excellent optical and comfort performances) and Bi-Expert Progress (Bifocal Progressive Translating, trials started in 2011). The Bi-Expert Progress design is the base for the new PresbyLens lenses made with Soft Silicon Hydrogel. PresbyLens also comes as a logical innovation step following the successful Precilens' Eurostars 5614 MonthlyC2 project, funded in 2010._x000D__x000D_The PresbyLens project proposes a logical methodology where the current Bi-Expert Progress design for rigid lenses will be used for creating both lathe-cut soft contact lenses for speciality use, and mass-production moulded soft contact lenses. As cutting is a simpler option for prototyping (and more similar to the Bi-Expert/Progress manufacturing) than moulding, the first step in our project relates to the design, manufacturing and internal validation of speciality soft contact lenses. The validation of these lenses will open the way for the design transfer, production and internal validation of moulded soft contact lenses. The project concludes with an international clinical trial opening the door to market and product dissemination._x000D__x000D_Three R&D performing SMEs and an internationally recognised university compose the PresbyLens consortium. The project is organised around European SMEs beyond the official Ps: software subcontracting in Italy, clinical studies in Portugal, manufacturing and distribution in the UK and the Netherlands. _x000D_A Large Enterprise, referred as our LE P, will join the project at a later stage without requesting a Eurostars budget. Three World Leaders in presbyopic lenses have expressed their interest in joining the consortium and supporting the participant SMEs in both R&D and commercialisation activities; the companies' respective description, letters of interest and potential participation are presented in the Annex._x000D_ _x000D_Creating a lens with excellent optical and mechanical characteristics undoubtedly represents today the most attractive development in the field of presbyopic contact lenses. With a strategic Pship and crucial background IP, the PresbyLens project will develop a new generation of bifocal translating contact lenses, addressing both speciality and mass markets.

Acronym PresbyLens (Reference Number: 7260)
Duration 01/09/2012 - 28/02/2015
Project Topic PresbyLens' goal is the creation of bifocal progressive translating contact lenses on both machined and moulded silicone hydrogel. It is based on the Precilens Bi-Expert rigid contact lens and on a soft silicone hydrogel from our LE P; an innovative optical simulation supports the lens design.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 8

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
4 Centro de Terapia Visual Marsden SL Partner Spain
4 Laboratoires Precilens SAS Coordinator France
4 Imagine Eyes SA Partner France
4 University of Applied Sciences of Jena Partner Germany