I recently stumbled across an article about Safilo’s premium sun lenses made out of a new sustainable material (40% biomass, with a 50% lower carbon footprint) and it got me thinking about the environmental impact of the eyewear industry.
I did some research and found out there’s a growing market for sustainable glasses frames – from bamboo, to recycled plastic – made by companies like Sea2see Eyewear, Pala Eyewear and SKRAP Skateboard Inc. Clearly consumers are caring more and more about the impact of their purchases and as such, many industries are under a lot of pressure to become more sustainable.
Judging by the amount of environmentally friendly eyewear options on the market, it seems that our industry is slow to catch up. It looks as though the eyewear sector needs to become more sustainable, so I created a poll on LinkedIn to see what you think: Who has the most influence to create change and help the sector become more sustainable?
The improvement of a patient, who's had retinitis pigmentosa (RP) for 40 years, has been reported in a phase 1/2 clinical trial of GenSight Biologics' mutation-agnostic gene therapy. The treatment introduces genetic instructions from algae to the surviving layer of retina at the back of the eye. At first, the patient only responded to amber light, but recently identified white lines on crosswalks and identified items when wearing goggles which detect changes in light intensity.
RP causes vision loss through the death of light sensing cells and affects more than 2 million people worldwide. Optogenetics therapy uses light to control the activity of brain cells to restore vision. “The findings provide proof-of-concept that using optogenetic therapy to partially restore vision is possible" Prof Botond Roska, University of Basel.
There are several promising approaches aimed at restoring light for RP patients. In 2017, Spark Therapeutics, Inc., now part of Roche, won FDA approval for their mutation-specific RP gene therapy, Luxturna. It is uncertain whether a mutation-specific approach can be used for all patients, as the disease can be caused by changes in over 70 genes.
Following on from the myopia news on ACUVUE Abiliti™ Overnight Therapeutic Lenses, the FDA have given Breakthrough Device designation to Essilor Group’s Stellest spectacle lens. This lens aims to correct myopia and slow down its development in children. Myopia found in children is at the most risk of developing into a more serious condition.
The first-year trial results showed that 9 out of 10 children who wore the Essilor Stellest lens had similar or slower eye growth than children without myopia. “The “Breakthrough Device” designation for our Essilor Stellest lens is a great achievement and an illustration of its potential in slowing down the progression of myopia in children. This designation represents an important milestone in our fight against the myopia pandemic,” Norbert Gorny, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Research & Development Officer of Essilor International
Johnson & Johnson have announced FDA approval of ACUVUE Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses for managing myopia.
Myopia, also known as near-sightedness, is a common vision condition, but it is a chronic and progressive disease. In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people are affected by the condition. In childhood, myopia can occur between the ages of 6 – 13 and worsen in teenage years.
Experts suggest that children under 12 years old, with myopia, are most at risk of developing high myopia. The overnight lenses aim to temporarily reshape the cornea to help manage the disease, particularly in children. “We look forward to supporting parents and eye care professionals in their care of children with comprehensive resources, starting with Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses, and continuing with additional products and services to address the progression of myopia.” Xiao-Yu Song, MD, PhD, Global Head of Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson Vision
J&J join mark'ennovy and CooperVision who also offer contact lenses for treating Myopia.
Novartis have announced the positive 1-year results from their Phase 3 studies, which are evaluating the efficacy and safety of Beovu in diabetic macular edema (DME). This is following possible safety concerns over the risk of side effects including retinal vasculitis, retinal vascular occlusion, blurred vision and cataracts.
Experts estimate that approximately 7.7 million Americans have diabetic retinopathy and of those, about 750,000 also have DME. The studies are a clear step forward “with the data demonstrating vision gains, fluid resolution and the potential for less frequent injections for eligible patients, we are one step closer to providing DME patients with a potential new treatment option.” J. Jill Hopkins Global Development Unit Head, Ophthalmology, Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
Katena Products, Inc. have acquired fellow #surgical instrument manufacturer ASICO LLC. According to Katena's CEO Steve Blazejewski the deal 'provides Katena increased reach globally, capitalising on Asico's network of renowned KOLs'.
ProQR Therapeutics have published clinical trial data describing durable vision improvement after treatment with sepofarsen for Mediated Leber Congenital Amaurosis. LCA is the most common cause of blindness due to genetic disease in children. The #RNA therapy is applied via intravitreal injection into the retina and the results “indicate that RNA therapy could potentially be used to treat early stage disease” according to CMO Aniz Girach, MD.
Johnson & Johnson Vision & Menicon have announced a collaboration to develop contact lenses to manage #myopia in children. The deal means Menicon will manufacture the lenses and J&J will distribute them. Together they aim to increase the global availability of their myopia products.
Sticking with the theme of myopia in children, Essilor Group have released pivotal 2-year clinical trial results of its Stellest lens for myopia. The results reveal that the lenses slow down myopia progression by 67% on average, when compared to single vision lenses.
James Pickering is our Managing Director and an eye care recruitment expert who has developed an extensive client base and candidate network. He regularly writes articles about industry developments and has received numerous recommendations from industry leaders. You can also connect with James on LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest eye care news.