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Presbyopia
Refractive Surgery/Vision Correction

Johnson & Johnson announces investment in TECLens for refractive vision correction initiatives

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Johnson & Johnson Innovation has invested in Series A funding for the start-up TECLens, which is developing a novel, nonincisional refractive correction procedure that uses a corneal cross-linking (CXL) technology. The “investment demonstrates the company commitment to early-stage innovation, refractive technologies, and ultimately addressing patient unmet needs in eye health,” according to a statement by Johnson & Johnson.

Peter Menziuso, Company Group Chairman of Johnson & Johnson, Vision, spoke with Ophthalmology 360 about the company’s investment and the importance of addressing unmet needs in vision care.

Ophthalmology 360:

Can you talk about the recent announcement surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s investment in TECLens?

Peter Menziuso:

Our business is looking at the earliest needs in eye health, all the way to late-stage where we’re leading in the space of contact lenses with our ACUVUE® family of brands, as well as the work that we do inside intraocular lenses for cataract patients with TECNIS®. On behalf of almost 10,000 employees around the world, we’re able to serve more than 40 million people in the space of eye health.

We are really excited about this investment in TECLens, but if I step back for a moment, Johnson & Johnson as a global leader in healthcare is absolutely committed to the space of eye health. We have a deep focus on making sure we’re solving some of the biggest challenges from the earliest needs in the pediatric eye through to the mature eye, and an area that we currently are very focused on is presbyopia.

When you look at unmet needs, there are more than 128 million people in the United States suffering with presbyopia. This is where you’re in dim light and you’re looking at a menu and it starts to get harder to see, and it’s just part of the aging process of your natural eye. There’s a big unmet need—128 million people in the United States and that’s on the rise. We are currently already serving solutions in presbyopia, both in contact lenses as well as intraocular lenses.

With our contact lenses, we’ve recently launched ACUVUE OASYS MAX 1-Day, which is also available in Multifocal. This is from a space of presbyopia, delivering on differentiated comfort and visual acuity versus our competition. We’re very pleased with the growth we’ve seen with ACUVUE OASYS MAX 1-Day.

We’ve also continued to build our portfolio in intraocular lenses that are also addressing the needs of presbyopia while also addressing cataracts. We are in a limited market release right now in the United States with our latest technology, TECNIS Odyssey™, which delivers full range of vision for people who are looking to address cataracts as well.

Innovation is who we are, and we’re always going to continue to be in spaces where there is high unmet need and where technology can be differentiated. This is where the co-leading of funds in a Series A investment with TECLens comes into place. TECLens is a solution that is going to build on our expertise in contact lenses and refractive and cataract surgery so we can potentially bring more options to people living with presbyopia.

Ophthalmology 360:

What makes TECLens different and/or unique from other options in this space?

Peter Menziuso:

When we look to serve unmet needs in the marketplace, we’re always keeping the patient at the center of what we’re doing. We’re working with healthcare professionals fundamentally to improve outcomes. What is really interesting about what TECLens is doing is they’re moving into a space of high unmet need in the area of presbyopia but managing surgery in a noninvasive way.

That is really attractive, that for us there is the potential for TECLens to become a noninvasive option to correct presbyopia for patients who currently aren’t candidates for presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses. It’s really early days, but there is a strong potential, which is important to the needs of the market.

Ophthalmology 360:

Can you talk more about the unmet needs in the vision correction space that TECLens may address?

Peter Menziuso:

It gets back to this point that there is a large population in need, and we’re always looking for ways to improve visual acuity, minimize visual disturbances, and get people back to being spectacle-free.

TECLens aims to deliver a more comfortable, noninvasive, office-based treatment that is repeatable and that has potential to give a wider range of benefits to patients who may not be a good candidate for current refractive surgeries. It’s a good alternative in a space that has a great need.

Ophthalmology 360:

What excites you about the partnership working on TECLens?

Peter Menziuso:

Sight is one of our most precious senses, and it’s the sense that people fear losing more than any other sense. While we’re serving more than 40 million people around the world today in this important space, there is still so much unmet need to address. We have an opportunity to continue to innovate as a leader, and there’s more to do. We have an opportunity to make vision possible for more people around the world, and we want to support the ophthalmology community, as well as the optometry community with new and evolving technology. That’s what is motivating all of us around Vision at Johnson & Johnson.

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