CORDIS - EU research results

Better vision after cataract and refractive surgery with photonics technology

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - BeVision (Better vision after cataract and refractive surgery with photonics technology)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2020-04-30

Older people suffer disproportionately from poor vision as eyesight deteriorates upon aging, you typically lose first the ability to focus on nearby objects and then slowly getting blind by cataracts, the clouding of the eye lens. All people over 45 suffer from nearby vision problems, or presbyopia, and upon the age of 65 over 50-60% of the people have cataracts . Due to the fast aging population in Europe, these numbers will rise dramatically and it has been forecasted that in 2030 half of its citizens would have presbyopia and around 70 million people cataracts . Each year, 4.3 million cataract patients in Europe get their eye lens replaced with an IOL , making it the most common operation. In addition, 700,000 patients in Europe receive a laser refractive surgery . Thus, there is a fast-growing group of patients that would benefit from our innovative technology.

Currently, around 430,000 cataract patients in Europe get a multifocal lens and 30-35% (around 130,000) of them are not satisfied with their vision due to the photic phenomena, especially evident under conditions with less light such as night driving. For the laser treatments, the dissatisfaction rates are around 10%, resulting in 70, 000 people in Europe with permanent vision problems. Thus, in total more than 200,000 patients in Europe have problems with their eyesight.

Voptica SL has developed a disruptive innovation in eye testing that allows the patient to experience these optical solutions before surgery, helping the patient and doctor to select their best solution and understand what their vision will be like post-surgery. Voptica’s technology offers the possibility to patients to experience for example their multifocal IOLs before surgery and concurrently reduces testing time, standardizes eye tests and enables to predict the effect of optical solutions before they are implemented.

Our VAO will benefit every patient by optimizing their visual outcomes, but at the same time can ensure their expectations are realistic as many patients believe surgery will give them perfect vision.
VAO is currently the only medical device in the world that can measure objectively the lower- and higher-order eye aberrations of patients and, subsequently, simulate the different optical solutions to correct the patient’s eye imperfections during visual testing. The real vision experience of the patient during testing can be further personalized by adding different visual conditions, e.g. far or near distance, darkness, exactly adjusted to the patient’s daily needs.

VAO offers a technology to personalize optical solutions and will benefit every patient by optimizing their visual outcomes, but at the same time can ensure their expectations are realistic as many patients believe surgery will give them perfect vision. VAO can achieve a cost-effective method that will meet precisely these needs of the market.

Overall, the unprecedented real vision experience offered by VAO will personalize optical solutions for patients and unlock new opportunities in the profitable ophthalmology market. Currently, Voptica has installed some prototypes in research groups and hospitals as well as to influential lens manufacturers. However, we have identified three main barriers that are hindering Voptica to enter the profitable clinical market:

1.- Clinics cannot buy our instrument as they need it to be validated in clinical studies by third parties.
2.- VAO requires a make-over of its soft- and hardware to fine-tune it to the needs of clinical use.
3.- Difficult to enter the clinical market due to its conservative nature and guidelines.

This project focuses on removing these barriers.
The general overview for the activities of this proyect to achieve the 3 main objectives are:

• Clinical objectives: all the results obtained have resulted quite promising for VAO.
• Commercialisation objectives: we have worked along this line however, since the anticipated cost reduction is a necessary first step to successfully reach the market.
• Marketing objectives: it is expected to develop relationships with potential contacts and distributors once the tasks of the commercialisation objectives are almost completed.
However, Voptica is actively working on this line.

In Period 1, Voptica completed the first part of the objective 1. In Period 2,Voptica has also made good progress with objectives 2 and 3.

Most of the tasks are now going according to the plan, as same as last Period.The staff in charge of optical engineering has been testing new products that would achieve, if satisfactory, the goal of cost reduction. We found a significant difficulty in incorporating the information of lenses design from other companies. We have decided to use our in-house expertise to develop a series of special intraocular lenses that could be implanted and adapted with VAO. This would allow us to carry our clinical studies and demonstrate the potential of VAO to improve the visual outcomes after surgery. These lenses would be superior to those of the competitors as they would offer a larger focus range to the patient without them needing to wear glasses. Voptica, some qualified experts and shareholder have developed the Voptica IOLs, with no competence in the market, ArtIOLs is already a new product that can be the chance that Voptica need to launch finally VAO.
"At the end of the project, the result expected by Voptica will be a cheaper, simpler and more versatile VAO to compete and also includes a catalog of real lenses, with which you can experience a vision more appropriate to each patient. This real lens catalog has materialized in the ArtIOLs, unique intraocular lenses that we hope to include in Voptica's business model, offering our future clients the best ""virtual"" correction by experimenting with VAO and the best ""real"" correction, wearing an ArtIOL after surgery. Voptica aims to have a profitable company, capable of generating and maintaining quality employment in the Region of Murcia, maintaining the same gender and contributing to the enrichment of our area, with innovative products and without competition in the market."