By Denis Langlois

The new ACUVUE OASYS with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology contact lenses are launching this month in Canada.

The two-week reusable contacts, named by TIME as one of the best inventions of 2018, were developed through a strategic partnership between Johnson & Johnson Vision and Transitions Optical.

The contacts function by quickly and seamlessly adjusting from clear to dark in response to changing light conditions, balancing the amount of light entering the eye including filtering blue light, and blocking harmful ultraviolet rays.

They begin to darken as soon as they’re exposed to UV or high-energy visible light, with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology enabling the lenses to become dark in about 45 seconds and fade back from dark to clear within 90 seconds when going from outdoors to indoors.

At Transitions Academy 2019, Optical Prism got an opportunity to speak with Zohra Fadli, director sphere, light management and lens care platform, research and development at Johnson & Johnson Vision, and Catherine Rauscher, global director, business innovation for Transitions Optical, about the new contact lenses and the partnership between the two companies.

Q: Excitement has been building about this new product. Can you give us a glimpse into why you’re so excited about it?
Zohra: We are very excited about this product because it’s the first-of-its-kind contact lens with light adaptive technology. We are excited because it addresses a significant, unmet need. Because at the end of the day, we develop technologies not just to develop them, but to serve the patient and to serve the eye doctors.
With the data we have and the results from the studies and all the performance data we have, it has all been phenomenal. So we’re true believers. We know this product is going to be very transformational.
Catherine: It is clear there are so many moments where we need help managing light in our lives.
We believe the benefits of light management technology are limitless.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about the research and development that went into these new contacts.
Z: The technology basically started with the question – what’s the unmet need? And we know today that there is significant, unmet need in vision compromise due to changing, challenging and bothersome light. We know that bothersome light is very dynamic, so we had to develop a very dynamic solution and that’s why photochromic technology became the number 1 choice for us and the partnership with Transitions is the number 1 partnership for us to develop this product.
This product is a culmination of more than 10 years of product development, fuelled by a fantastic, extraordinary collaboration with Transitions, all geared to serve the patients, serve the doctors and provide them with the first-of-its-kind light adaptive technology.
We know from the clinical data that the technology works, it adapts to light and it provides all-day soothing vision for the patient and allows the patient to see better, live better and connect better.

Q: How do these lenses protect against blue light?
Z: The lens has a photochromic compound in it, homogeneously distributed in the entire lens matrix. The lens indoors blocks up to 15 per cent of blue light and outdoors blocks up to 70 per cent.

Q: Finally, can you tell us more about the partnership between Transitions Optical and Johnson & Johnson Vision that helped to create these contacts?
Z: We wouldn’t have developed this product without the strong partnership with Transitions.
If you start with the unmet need, the unmet need is about changing bothersome light. It needs a dynamic solution. Transitions is the pioneer in that.
Think about Johnson & Johnson Vision coming with the knowledge and expertise in contact lenses, combining that with the expertise of Transitions Optical and putting that together in a contact lens that is Acuvue Oasys with Light Intelligent Technology. The collaboration with Transitions has been very inspiring, very committed.
C: Transitions Optical is committed to partnering with innovative companies like Johnson & Johnson Vision to create combined results that deliver on patient needs in a way that has never been done before. I’m happy to say we’ve succeeded!