Myoptechs Develops Soft Contact Lens to Slow Progression of Nearsightedness
Are you a person who sees a map on your phone clearly, but needs to wear glasses to drive the route? Or maybe you are a student who can easily read assignments on your iPhone but has difficulty reading the “blurry” whiteboard during class.
If so, you could be among the more than 30 percent of the U.S. population affected by myopia, a vision condition often called nearsightedness.
“Myopia is very common,” said Paul Grimm, CEO of Myoptechs. “People with myopia can see up close clearly while objects further away appear blurry. Myoptechs is an ophthalmic medical device company commercializing new technology invented by Dr. Tom Raasch at The Ohio State University to help slow the progression of myopia.”
Myoptechs aims to reduce the risk of long-term, sight-threatening complications caused by progressive myopia.
“Myopia usually begins to develop when children are really young and stays with them for the rest of their lives,” Grimm said. “As myopia develops, the eye gets longer, and as the eye gets longer, distance vision worsens. An elongated eye is associated with significant risks to eye health and vision later in life.”
Additionally, environmental factors and behavior exacerbate myopia. It is projected that 50 percent of the world will be myopic by 2050; prevalence is already over 75 percent in most Eastern Asian countries. While distance vision can often be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, that doesn’t help address the progression of the disease associated with the elongated eye.
“Current technology addresses distance vision with a single vision lens. We are innovating in a new optical correction category that addresses distance vision and eye elongation,” said Grimm. “These products are incredibly meaningful to consumers as they provide clear distance vision while also slowing myopia progression, which means less myopia throughout life and potentially fewer vision complications down the road.”
“These products add multifocal optics that provide clear distance vision while shortening the focal point of light in the periphery,” he said. “This provides a signal to the eye to stop growing, which is a clinically proven mechanism to slow the progression of myopia. Our unique design is being developed to provide better efficacy than products currently available.”
Myoptechs recently received funding for prototype development from the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (TVSF) and Rev1 Ventures with The Ohio State University Concept Contract Award.
“We are in the product development phase with prototypes we plan to take into clinical testing. Additionally, we are seeking partnerships with various strategic investors and funding for our seed round from traditional private equity and venture capital.” Grimm said. “We intend to be the next level of efficacy in the treatment of myopia. From a consumer standpoint, losing eyesight or having issues with vision is nearly as scary as cancer. Myoptechs can be incredibly impactful, and we are committed to making a difference.”
“Rev1 really wants their entrepreneurs to succeed,” said Grimm. “We are an engaged client, and the Rev1 team has helped us fine-tune our strategy and approach. They have provided us with many useful tools and resources in our start-up journey. They are the best!”
For an entrepreneur and a startup, patience is always a challenge.
“What we are accomplishing can’t happen fast enough,” Grimm said. “Because of our prior contact lens work with Lentechs (also a Rev1 client), we have a qualified network of partners in contact lenses. With our work experience with them and Rev1, Myoptechs has hit the ground running and is quickly developing a meaningful contact lens technology.”
Learn more about Myoptechs here.