Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and Menicon, the Japanese contact lens specialist, announced on April 7 the signature of a global partnership in the field of orthokeratology contact lenses designed to slow the progression of myopia among children. According to the joint statement, Menicon will keep developing and manufacturing the therapeutic lenses while Johnson & Johnson Vision Care will focus on the distribution of the products. No further details could be obtained regarding the details of the distribution strategy. 

Although they accounted for only about 2 percent of the Japanese company’s revenues in its last financial year, ortho-k lenses have been growing at an annual average rate of 19 percent since 2017, reaching 1.7 billion Japanese yen (€13.5m-$15.5m) in 2019-2020. The development of this product category has been fueled by good performances in Asia, China in particular.

In April 2019, Menicon had also launched its Menicon Bloom myopia control management system in Europe, starting with the Netherlands where the company has its regional headquarters. The system consists in the use of the company’s CE-approved Medicom Blue Night’s ortho-k lenses together with the Easyfit software, a dedicated program for eye care professionals to guide them through the fitting process, and a specific mobile phone application. A few months later, the company started to distribute therapeutic Visioneering Technologies’ contact lenses in Europe by integrating them in its Menicon Bloom program. In a YouTube interview posted last month, Hidenari Tanaka, Menicon’s president and CEO, declared that the company wanted to become a global leader in ortho-k lenses.

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care’s recent initiatives in the area of myopia management include the release of a guide with new recommendations for eye care professionals in collaboration with several international optometry organizations and the start of a research partnership with the Singapore National Eye Centre and the Singapore Eye Research Institute.