PolyU myopia control technology extends impact into Greater Bay Area
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today extends its licence on Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact (DISC) technology to Vision Science and Technology Co. Ltd. (VST), a local start-up. The patented technology was licensed to VST last year for commercialisation of DISC lens in Hong Kong. Following the extended licensing arrangement, VST will further promote the product to the cities in the Greater Bay Area and other parts of China in the future. Children and teenagers in the nation will also be benefited from PolyU's research success in myopia control technology to address their vision health issues.
The novel DISC technology has been patented in the Mainland, Australia, the United States and various European countries. DISC lens is a multi-zone soft contact lens that provides clear vision and at the same time projects blurred, out-of-focus (defocused) images onto the retina to slow down the increase in axial length of the eye of the myopic patients. The clinical control trial conducted by PolyU showed that DISC lens can effectively retard the progression of myopia by approximately 60% amongst Hong Kong children aged 8 to 13.
DISC lens, launched by VST in Hong Kong last year, has received positive responses. To offer the myopic population an alternative, VST today launches a daily disposable contact lens — DISC-1 Day. With the authorisation from PolyU, VST will collaborate with Daylite Vision Care Ltd. to apply for licence application with the China Food and Drug Administration for DISC-1 Day in order to extend the DISC distribution to the Mainland. It is expected that with the licence granted by the Chinese authority, the brand new product will be distributed to the authorised optometric clinics and fitting centres within a year, initially in the Greater Bay Area, and gradually extending across the nation.
Dr Dennis Tse, Assistant Professor of the School of Optometry at PolyU, said "We are so pleased that the novel DISC technology was successfully commercialised that many children in Hong Kong can be benefited. We keenly hope that this innovative technological solution can be brought to the Greater Bay Area and other cities in the Mainland to help the nation address the spiralling myopic problem among children and adolescents."
VST is a local start-up founded by a PolyU alumnus. VST received support from the HKSTP-PolyU Tech Incubation Fund (TIF) and PolyU Tech Launchpad Fund (TLF). Specialising in developing and distributing products for vision improvement, VST is the first company in Hong Kong that adopts a tailor-made professional fitting approach to manufacture and provide soft myopic control lenses. Under the licensing arrangement with PolyU, VST manufactures and provides DISC lenses via its authorised optometric clinics and fitting centres. The lenses are manufactured according to the prescription of optometrists.
Mr Jackson Leung, Founder and Director of VST, said DISC lens has been well received since its launch last year. However, DISC lens users are required to take a regular fitting assessment every three months and to wait for another two weeks for the newly prescribed DISC lens. They also need to clean and disinfect the lens every day. Therefore, some customers wish to have a more convenient option. "VST therefore developed the brand new DISC-1 Day in order to offer the myopia population with another choice. DISC-1 Day lens is readily available upon optometric fitting assessment, and is for daily wear and disposal without the need for care. With power of myopia correctable up to 10.00 diopters, it is of the highest diopter with ultraviolet protection among all similar products in the market."
VST was awarded a total of HK$1.6 million, including a matching fund, under TIF and TLF schemes. Both schemes are funded by the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities under the Innovation and Technology Commission of the Hong Kong Government. PolyU has been committed to promoting technology and knowledge transfer, nurturing entrepreneurial culture and providing support to aspiring entrepreneurs. Besides supporting start-ups by offering various seed funds, the University also provides co-working space for entrepreneurs at InnoHub in both its Hong Kong campus and Shenzhen Base, mentorship support through the Startup Consultation Clinic manned by Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, training workshops for entrepreneurs, and networking opportunities with incubators and investors. In line with the Hong Kong SAR Government's proactive endeavours in developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-MacauGreater Bay Area, PolyU will put in further efforts in technology innovation and knowledge transfer in the region.
Ms Denise Wong
Communications and Public Affairs Office, PolyU
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