ASX-listed Visioneering Technologies (VTI) has signed a sales and distribution deal with Japan’s largest contact lens company, mapping a path into the lucrative European market.
VTI, the US-based maker of the NaturalVue Multifocal contact lens for myopes and presbyopes, announced to investors last week it has entered into a definitive agreement with contact lens giant Menicon’s wholly-owned subsidiary NKL Contactlenzen, B.V.
In a deal aimed at the burgeoning paediatric myopia market, VTI will supply NaturalVue in Menicon-branded packaging for sale and distribution in Europe. The lenses will be packaged as Menicon Bloom Day Contact Lenses for Myopia Progression Control.
For Menicon, the announcement builds on the May launch of Menicon Bloom Night, the first orthokeratology product to receive clearance in Europe for treating pediatric myopia progression. The hyper oxygen-permeable rigid lens was the company’s first within the newly announced Menicon Bloom Myopia Control System.
The companies claim Menicon Bloom Day (NaturalVue) and Menicon Bloom Night, expected to be available in Australia early next year, are each suited for differing segments of the pediatric myopia market.
The agreement is the next step of VTI’s global expansion, with its daily disposable contact lenses having received marketing clearances for pediatric myopia control in the European Union, Australia, and New Zealand, and most recently a Certificate of Listing in Hong Kong.
“Menicon is a well-respected global leader in the contact lens industry, and a company dedicated to the fight against the myopia epidemic,” Dr Stephen Snowdy, VTI CEO, said.
“Menicon’s willingness to make NaturalVue such a significant part of its new Bloom Myopia Control Management System is further validation of NaturalVue daily disposable contact lenses. Partnering with Menicon will help us expand the availability of NaturalVue MF in Europe and potentially other international markets.”
The terms of the deal do not prohibit VTI from marketing, selling, or distributing NaturalVue in Europe under VTI’s own or others’ brand names. The agreement is cancellable with one year’s notice, although not before the second anniversary of the agreement.
Additionally, in the December quarter VTI expects to receive US$475,000 in cash related to an initial stocking order under the agreement, and to book the cash as revenue in the December 2019 or March 2020 quarter, when the initial stocking lenses are delivered to NKL. The delivery of the initial stocking lenses is dependent on certain regulatory review and approvals.