Goodbye, Reading Glasses!

To get further insight on our newest addition to the Biofinity® family, Biofinity® toric multifocal we’re joined by Dr. Lee Hall, Manager of Clinical Operations at CooperVision Research and Development. With over 20 years of experience in optometry and vision science, he has now been part of the CooperVision clinical research group for over four years.

Lee recently attended SECO 20/20 to talk with practitioners and media partners about our latest product innovation for monthly contact lens wearers.

Thanks for joining us Lee. It is certainly an exciting time for CooperVision with the launch of another innovative product.

Can you share with our readers why the launch of Biofinity® toric multifocal is also a tremendous opportunity for practitioners?

Lee Hall:  Absolutely.  First, we know there’s an ever ageing population and, with increasing longevity, most people in the Western World will spend almost half their lives as presbyopes.[1]  The percentage of people wearing contact lenses though decreases significantly after the age of 40.[2]  Biofinity® toric multifocal gives eye care practitioners additional ammunition to slow down a potential source of drop out as existing toric lens wearers age into presbyopia. Perhaps more importantly, it also gives practitioners a chance to grow their current contact lens wearing patient base and increase revenue by offering astigmatic presbyopes, who perhaps didn’t think they could wear contact lenses, an opportunity to be glasses-free.

Secondly, practitioners need not only an extensive range of parameters to adequately correct the refractive needs of their astigmatic patients, but also a comprehensive wide range of adds that will satisfy the needs of those same patients throughout their presbyopic contact lens wearing lives too. Biofinity® toric multifocal does exactly that, extending the reliable performance of Biofinity® toric lenses, the #1 most prescribed toric lens in the marketplace,[3] to presbyopic patients and in an absolutely vast number of parameters!

Finally, a commonly held perception is that multifocal lens designs are expensive and complex to fit – and that latter point might be considered to be even more so the case when you add the toric element of the lens into the mix!  Biofinity® toric multifocal however gives practitioners an easy-to-fit lens based on the familiar and proven designs of both Biofinity® toric and Biofinity® multifocal that they can count on, and all in an affordable monthly replacement modality for their patients too. It really is a win-win situation for both practitioners and their astigmatic presbyopic patients alike!

Can you tell us a bit more about the product development journey of Biofinity toric multifocal?

Lee Hall:  After more than four years of product development, we’re excited about the launch of this product into the US marketplace following recent FDA approval. The development journey was an extremely thorough one as we needed to maintain the comfort, vision, handling and ocular health characteristics that practitioners have grown to expect from Biofinity® toric and Biofinity® multifocal, and give practitioners a product that’s still easy to fit, with consistent, reliable performance across a massive range of parameters. 

You mentioned that Biofinity® toric multifocal has a massive range of parameters. Can you put that into context for us?

Lee Hall:  The lens is available in a broad spherical power range (+10.00D to -10.00D), and significantly in a wide range of cylindrical powers too, (-0.75D to -5.75D) with axes in 5 degree steps around the clock, all combined with add powers of +1.00, +1.50, +2.00 & +2.50, both D&N, throughout the entire sphere and cylinder power range. This gives a total of over 200,000 unique prescription offerings in the Biofinity® toric multifocal product.[4]  

That’s a mind-blowing number.

Is there any way you can break that down for us in a way that’s easier to understand?

Lee Hall:  Another way to think about it is as a product with 65 sphere powers, 11 cylinder powers in 36 axes, and 4 add powers in each of the center-distance and center-near designs (Figure 1). This extensive range of prescription options enables practitioners to give their patients the astigmatic and presbyopic means of correction they deserve.

Figure 1. Prescription Options for Biofinity® toric multifocal.

In your time as a practicing optometrist, what were the major challenges of fitting multifocal torics and how has this lens overcome those challenges?

The two key challenges at that time were the reliability of the toric designs and the range of options that existed for patients. In the past, toric designs were not as advanced as the Optimized Toric Lens Geometry found in Biofinity® toric and also leveraged in the Biofinity® toric multifocal product, and nor as reproducible.  This meant that finding a toric lens design, among the limited multifocal toric options at that time, that worked well for the patient in the first place could be a challenge. Even once a suitable match could be found in terms of design, the patient would quickly “run out of add power” in the available options as their presbyopia continued to advance.  This made fitting astigmatic presbyopes in that day a real challenge.

This lens is a gamechanger in that it brings together the proven reliability of our market leading toric design with an expansive power range that goes up to +2.50D of add. This provides a possibility to keep that astigmatic patient happy throughout the rest of their contact lens wearing life as their presbyopia continues to progress. In fact, Biofinity® toric multifocal can provide correction for 99.6% of astigmatic presbyopes.[5]

Is there anything else about the Biofinity® toric multifocal that makes fitting astigmatic presbyopes less daunting?

Absolutely. Use of the streamlined fitting guide and fitting process we’ve developed has been shown to give a 93% success rate on initial fitting, with excellent or acceptable vision performance.[6]

From June, this lens will also be part of our OptiExpert fitting app which is another user-friendly innovation from CooperVision®.  With the simple click of a button, OptiExpert will take the guess work out of fitting Biofinity® toric multifocal.

Lee, we’ve covered a lot of topics in our brief time together.

Can you summarize the opportunity of Biofinity® toric multifocal for our readers?

Lee Hall:  The Biofinity® toric multifocal product was developed to deliver on our commitment to provide the practitioner with a contact lens option for nearly every wearer in their practice. Now, patients with both astigmatic and presbyopic refractive error will get the correction they deserve. Whether the need is for near, intermediate, or distance vision, Biofinity® toric multifocal lenses provide effective vision correction for nearly all astigmatic presbyopic patients. For the first time, astigmatic presbyopes have access to a bespoke contact lens option in a monthly silicone hydrogel in the Biofinity brand that many wearers are familiar with. The future is bright, very bright indeed!

[1] Charman WN. Developments in the correction of presbyopia I: spectacle and contact lenses. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2014; 34: 8–29. doi: 10.1111/opo.12091

[2] Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2010, Vol.51, 1516. doi:

[3] CVI data on file, 2019. US industry reports and internal estimates.

[4] CVI data on file 2019. Based on total number of prescription option combinations (for sphere, cylinder, axis and ADD -including D & N combinations) manufactured.

[5] CVI data on file 2020; Rx coverage database; 42 to 70 years ≥0.75DC

[6] CVI Data on file 2018. Non-dispensing, subject masked, randomized, bilateral, cross-over short-term clinical evaluation. 27 astigmatic, presbyopic soft CL wearers at 2 sites (UK & US) fitted using CVI fit guide

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