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Tuesday / August 16.
HomeminewsLicensing Agreements Put Brien Holden Vision Institute in Leading Position

Licensing Agreements Put Brien Holden Vision Institute in Leading Position

With a number of new licensing agreements now in place, Brien Holden Vision Institute is set to remain one of the leading vision correction centres in the world.

Chief Operating Officer, Yvette Waddell, said she is highly optimistic about the organisation’s future. “We can get to proofof- concept quickly, we translate the idea, protect the intellectual property and produce the clinical data/prototypes ready for industry to license.

“All our research projects are now using this approach, taking the ideas of our scientists through to prototype selection and then collaborating with the right industry partner to get the technology on to the market and benefitting patients.”

NOVEL CL AND SPECTACLE LENSES

Brien Holden Vision Institute also has several novel spectacle and contact lens designs to treat myopia in development and IOL technology that industry is currently evaluating.

the partner or perish philosophy is part of the organisation’s DNA

Ms. Waddell said the partner or perish philosophy is part of the organisation’s DNA. “We have great partners and an equitable sharing model for collaborative commercial activity,” she said. “We’re always happy to talk to people and explore ways to collaborate on the commercialisation of ideas or intellectual property. We’ve got decades of experience at it – why do something that someone else has or can do better?”

Brien Holden Vision Institute’s patented extended depth of focus (EDOF) technology is producing further licenses, including contact lenses to treat myopia. “The prospect of seeing these lenses worn by children, preventing them from reaching high levels of myopia, and potentially saving them from permanent vision impairment is very exciting,” said Dr. Ravi Bakaraju, Deputy Head of R&D.

Another focus is research into lens designs to deliver improved efficiencies at the manufacturing stage for contact lens companies. “For example, if we can offer a presbyopia contact lens product that will only need two designs to cover the company’s target market, rather than the conventional three, then that’s a significant saving for them,” says Dr. Bakaraju.

Ms. Waddell said the organisation’s balance of experienced and emerging researchers is just right. “We’ve got the tremendous skills and knowledge of people like Professors Arthur Ho, Klaus Ehrmann and Padmaja Sankaridurg. We also promote from within – we’ve had some outstanding graduates come through our PhD program, including Dr. Bakaraju, who is one of the new wave of scientists leading many of our projects.”

MANAGING MYOPIA

An important adjunct to this research and business development strategy is a ‘Managing Myopia’ program, which is addressing the need to compile evidence and guidelines for myopia management into a concise, clinically relevant education program for practitioners.

“It’s crucial that we not only help develop improved treatments and raise awareness about myopia but also equip optometrists with the skills and knowledge to provide appropriate treatment options for their patients,” said Ms. Waddell.

Conducted in Australia in February and July 2017, attention is now being turned to the US, with a course launched in August.

A critical element of its contact lens research is the organisation’s technology group, which has recently developed the ‘Brien Holden Aesthesiometer’, using an innovative technical concept to overcome deficiencies with currently used equipment. The instrument stimulates the ocular surface, for the purpose of determining its sensitivity, by propelling small droplets of sterile liquid through a micro-valve onto the surface of the eye. The researchers hope it may one day enable practitioners to quickly measure discomfort levels and inform their diagnosis and treatment recommendations for conditions like dry eye.

NOVEL TREATMENT FOR DRY EYE

Brien Holden Vision Institute is also currently investigating a novel treatment for dry eye, according to Dr. Judith Flanagan. “We’re taking a unique approach to elucidating the mechanisms of dry eye and ocular discomfort in an effort to develop novel products that address the aetiology of ocular discomfort, not merely the symptomatology,” she says.

“We believe that an imbalance or ‘dysbiosis’ of the ocular bacterial community is contributing to an unstable tear film. We are seeking to address this in two ways. Firstly, we are exploring topical applications that rebalance the ocular surface bacterial community. Secondly, and perhaps more powerfully, we are exploring subclinical inflammation arising due to gut dysbiosis, suggesting that this can lead to ocular sensitivity, and contact lens intolerance and cause or exacerbate signs and symptoms of dry eye disease.

“We are proposing that discomfort related to dry eye disease could be part of the continuum of this disorder related to cytokine induced ocular sensitivity and inflammation,” she added. “Hence, supplements that target gut dysbiosis might be a truly novel approach to treating this syndrome.”

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