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Application of Cold Plasma Treatment for Antimicrobial Contact Lenses

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MePlat (Application of Cold Plasma Treatment for Antimicrobial Contact Lenses)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2017-07-31

Our company has in the past carried out clinical studies with favourable results on the application of antimicrobial coating on specialised intra-ocular lenses, we have now the intention of replicating the success on the commercial contact lens market (daily, weekly and monthly use). Through our technology involving cold plasma, we have the ability to modify the surface properties of the contact lens to increase resistance to the attachment of bacteria, making the contact lens safer, and more comfortable. Through cold plasma, heparin will be immobilised to the lens surface, adding an aqueous layer and decreasing contact lens related morbidity. The possibility of grafting heparin directly to the surface of the contact lens will provide a much safer and more comfortable solution to contact lens users, one which lasts throughout the lifetime of the product.

With our process, we aim to disrupt the industry and drastically reduce incidents of severe eye infection resulting from inappropriate contact lens use and care. Furthermore, we aim to increase customer retention and reduce the dropout rate by making contact lenses more comfortable for the users, adding more relief and reducing instances of dryness and discomfort.
We have carried out legal research for the introduction of the medical reactor and the novel process of heparin grafting on contact lenses and result indicate that there is freedom to operate.
We are also making the preparations for the clinical trials which are being planned for early 2020. As part of the feasibility study we have specified the technological scope of the project and the work required to reach commercialisation of a fully functioning heparin grafting process including the development of a reactor. The workplan for phase two project has been defined, and all the milestones have been clearly indicated.
We are also undertaking studies of the market from which we will evaluate the complexity of the business scenario and set up a business model to target specific groups of users.
We are working on establishing the USPs of our product which clearly distinguish us from competition, and with which we can obtain competitive advantage.
In addition to the above mentioned activities which are mainly related to the development and commercialisation of the technology we have also carried out internal auditing within our organisation to better understand the required skills for the medium and long term operations of our company as well as the financial forecasts for the running of the new business.
Research carried out so far indicates that the practice of coating contact lenses with antimicrobial polymers typically involves relatively long time and/or consists of laborious, multiple steps, resulting in a process which is not cost-effective nor time-efficient for implementation in a mass production environment .
Our solution is based around a cold plasma technique in which, through our method, we apply a very thin layer of heparin on the lens. The treatment process takes about 10 to 20 minutes and the vacuum process varies according to reactor size and pump sizing. The total MePlat treatment adds approximately 5% on the total time of the lens manufacturing process. MePlat is a unique process which increases the resistance of bacteria from contact lens surfaces, and makes contact lens wear more comfortable for longer periods. Making it the most efficient process to be introduced into the market so far.

Through our innovative heparin grafting technology, we foresee a market growth in the number of persons taking up contact lenses, as well as a potential grow for our company.