J&J’s Plans for Smart & 3D Printable Contact Lenses

Jonhson & Johnson’s Plans for Smart and 3D Printable Contact Lenses - Eye On Innovation Article - Helathegy

Personalized contact lenses that can relieve eye allergies, reduce glare and eyestrain, and treat presbyopia are all concepts moving through the pipeline at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, analysts were told during the company’s business review meeting.

Some of those efforts could be getting a boost from a collaboration between J&J and a subsidiary of HP Inc. to develop 3D printable medical devices. The collaboration will focus on personalization of instrumentation and software for patient-specific health care devices, the companies said in a statement. Eye health is one of three areas specifically mentioned for this collaboration.

At the company-wide analysts’ meeting a day after announcing the HP collaboration, Peter Shen, PhD, worldwide vice present for R&D of J&J Vision Care, provided insight into the company’s near-term plans for utilizing smart and 3D printable technology in the contact lens space. The light-enabled 3D printing technology he spoke about was outside the HP collaboration.

“Our team is working on the active contact lens, meaning combining contact lenses with the benefit of pharmaceutical medicines,” Dr. Shen said. “Our first lens will be an anti-allergy contact lens for which we will file an NDA next year.”

J&J researchers are also working on a contact lens that will adapt to the environment to reduce glare and eyestrain indoors and out, he added. “Our team is also working on a personalized contact lens using our light-enabled 3D printing technology,” Dr. Shen said.

Presbyopia is the third area in which J&J aims to apply the technology. “Our smart lens technology platform will enable us to explore opportunities to embed sensors and microprocessors into the contact lens,” he said. “Our first indication will be for the treatment of presbyopia.”

Meanwhile, the collaboration with HP opens other opportunities for using 3D printing in J&J’s businesses, Sandra Peterson, J&J group worldwide chairman, said in announcing the HP collaboration. “Combined with advances in data mining and software, 3D printing could enable distributed manufacturing models and patient-specific products, therapies, and solutions that deliver better outcomes, better economics, and improved global accessibility,” she said.

Added Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business: “Advances in 3D printing technology have the potential to break historical paradigms of health care delivery in ways that are not feasible in traditional manufacturing processes.”

When the collaboration was announced, the companies said teams from both organizations had already begun working together.