As we embark upon a New Year, it seems appropriate to spend some time looking back at the significant developments of 2017 and looking ahead to see what can be expected of CooperVision® in 2018. Steve Diamanti, PhD, Sr. Manager of Technical Marketing at CooperVision, took some time to discuss both where we’ve been and where we’re headed in the world of 1-day contact lens innovation.
“I’ve been with CooperVision since 2013 and just in that short time we’ve brought a lot of innovations to the market” says Diamanti. “We brought, of course, our new 1-day sphere product, MyDay® sphere, which is the completely new silicone hydrogel material. It’s one of the softest1 silicone hydrogel materials that’s ever been created. That was a big innovation in 1-days: being able to give patients the oxygen that they need but not compromise on the softness that they were used to from hydrogels.”
Steve and his team were the ones who were tasked with creating the MyDay material. “Some of the early research work was going on even before I joined CooperVision. What’s cool at CooperVision is that we don’t just have the ability to manipulate different molecules and formulate them to create new lens properties. We actually have the ability to go one step further back and make totally new building blocks. And so the thing with the MyDay material that was unique was that we wanted to set out to create a contact lens material that really broke all the rules of what a silicone hydrogel could be.” Doing so involved going back to the R&D drawing board in the most fundamental way. “To do it, we actually went all the way back to the chemistry lab and designed a totally new base molecule that would allow us to get to that incredible level of softness for the MyDay material,” he says.
Steve recalls the challenges faced by his team while pushing for this level of innovation. “One of the really challenging things about developing a new contact lens material is that there are so many properties that you have to get right,” explains Diamanti. “It becomes quite a balancing act,” he says, “because let’s say you try to change one thing to try to improve the clarity of the material. You might then give up something on the softness or you might give up a little oxygen transmission. So being able to create a material that excels in every category both from the material properties side as well as from the clinical outcomes side is really difficult.”
The positive feedback that CooperVision ultimately received from both practitioners and wearers on the MyDay material was especially rewarding. “We had quite a challenge that the marketing team put out for us: to design something that was unlike any other material on the market. So, when we were able to do it and in the early clinical testing go head-to-head with the competitor’s lens and not just match the comfort of [a hydrogel lens], but actually exceed it… you know, it was just phenomenal. It’s hard to even describe.”
When asked what he considers to be the most exciting upcoming innovation from CooperVision, Steve was quick to reply. “Well for me, it’s got to be MyDay toric. The MyDay toric is going to be an absolute blockbuster for us. It combines our best contact lens material with our best toric design features, which of course is the market-leading Biofinity® toric.” Steve feels that this marriage of material and optics can’t help but produce the best daily toric lens option on the market2. “When you bring together a leading design and a best-in-class lens material, it’s really going to provide an opportunity for all of those astigmatic contact lens wearers who wanted to upgrade to a 1-day lens but didn’t have a good option, to wear a daily disposable lens that sets the same standard of visual performance as Biofinity toric. And for those already wearing 1-day torics, it will be an opportunity for them to truly upgrade… to crisper more reliable vision with better comfort. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that it is CooperVision’s most anticipated product launch since I’ve been here.”
The MyDay toric lens is expected to launch nationally in early 2018. Ask your sales representative for further details.
1. Compared among CooperVision 1 day silicone hydrogel contact lenses. Data on file.
2. Comparison of fitting stability of the different soft toric contact lenses. Contact Lens & Anterior Eye 37 (2014) Hamed Momeni-Moghaddam et al. Optimised Toric Lens Geometry™ compared to available prism ballast, precision balance and accelerated stabilization toric lens designs.