SightGlass targets global myopia progression with new spectacles
Executives from SightGlass Vision, developers of novel spectacles designed to slow myopia progression in children, are hoping this treatment option can help address the increasing prevalence of this condition worldwide.
Primary Care Optometry News spoke with SightGlass Vision chief medical officer Joe Rappon, OD, MS, FAAO, and founder and CEO Thomas W. Chalberg, PhD, about recent data on myopia progression and the CYPRESS trial outcomes for the company’s DOT Lenses for managing myopia.
Rappon said that research by Earl L. Smith III, OD, PhD, FAAO, FARVO, from the University of Houston, Texas, indicated that the prevalence of myopia varies around the world, with low rates around 10% in Africa, but higher rates of about 44% in the U.S. and more than 80% in areas such as Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
“Increasing myopia is something we should be very concerned about because of these dramatic increases over the last few decades,” Rappon said.
“A lot of times we think of this nearsightedness as just a nuisance — needing to wear glasses or contacts or get LASIK — but it’s actually more insidious than that,” he said. “It is now well-known that the structural changes related to myopia have sequelae to the eye, including complications such as cataract, glaucoma and retinal detachment that can lead to irreversible blindness.”
Rappon said the market for myopia control contact lenses is growing, but contacts carry certain risks. Adverse events can result from overnight wear, multifocal designs can interfere with vision at night and in low contrast situations, and wear is challenging in arid environments and while swimming, he said.
“Additionally, very young children often don’t have the dexterity to safely put in, take out and care for their lenses,” he said. “We also have data showing that providers often feel uncomfortable prescribing contact lenses for children, with only about 3% of children younger than 8 years old receiving prescriptions.”
Chalberg shared data on the SightGlass Vision DOT Lenses from the CYPRESS trial. Subjects wearing the glasses experienced up to a 50% reduction in axial length progression and up to 74% reduction in spherical equivalent refraction progression. The glasses were also well-tolerated, and patients reported cosmetic satisfaction.
He also noted that there is no complex fitting system or specialized technology needed for the frames, as they follow the standard workflow of prescription, frame selection and measurements, with the technology embedded into typical spectacle lenses, followed by a standard edging and mounting process.
“The goal of myopia management is to reduce or eliminate the progression,” Chalberg said. “The natural course of myopia is that onset occurs early, such as 8 years old, and progresses over time. If a provider waits until a patient is 12 years old to prescribe corrective eye wear, which is what you might do for contact lens fitting, it may be too late, and the myopia may have progressed further than if the patient receives management earlier.”
Chalberg said the company surveyed eye care providers, asking: If a spectacle lens for myopia had proven efficacy, would it become primary treatment for your myopia management patients? Results showed that 60% of Canadian ECPs would use spectacles as primary treatment at 30% efficacy, which increased to 87% of ECPs at 50% efficacy.
“We think spectacles will be the first-line therapy for myopia management and the workhorse product for clinicians,” he said. “Contact lenses won’t work for everyone.”
SightGlass Vision anticipates CE Mark approval this quarter of 2020, initial commercial launches in Europe and Canada as early as the first half of 2021, and application processing with the FDA around 2022.