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News, Business

Contact lens company makes ASX debut

29/03/2017By Matthew Woodley
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US based contact lens company Visioneering Technology (VTI) remained steady at $0.45 per share after making its first appearance on the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday.

The business, which raised more than $33 million for its IPO at an $88 million market capitalisation, specialises in multi-focals and has developed daily disposable soft contact lenses for adults with age-related presbyopia and hopes to be selling its product range in Australia by December this year.

VTI is also hoping to take advantage of the burgeoning under-18s market resulting from the growing incidence of myopia, with chief executive Dr Stephen Snowdy telling the Australian Financial Review the company is planning on providing contact lenses to children as young as seven.

“In our trials, children as young as that were able to put them in and take them out again. They are daily disposable so there is no disinfecting regime to follow,” he said.

Snowdy added that a differentiator of the NaturalVue range compared with other multifocal contact lenses was ease of fitting. He claims on average only one optometrist appointment is required for the VTI product as opposed to more than two appointments for other multifocal contact lenses.

This is because other current multi-focal contact lenses have a design where the centre of the lens is a prescription for near vision, while a concentric ring around the centre lens has a prescription for distance vision. Therefore, finding the right permutation of those two prescriptions can take time and often can leave the patient accepting a compromise to either the distance vision or the near vision.

However, VTI has developed technology that allows one prescription in the lens that corrects both the distance and the near vision, so there is not a trial and error process over several visits to the optometrist.

About half of the $33 million raised during the IPO will be used on sales and marketing initiatives, including among optometrists in Australia and the high-myopia countries in Asia such as China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

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