Alcon to launch new water-containing silicone hydrogel contact lenses in the U.S.

Blue eye
Alcon's new lenses are built from a silicone hydrogel comprised of 51% water. Dubbed verofilcon A, this holds a permanent layer of moisture close to its surface. (Pixabay)

Alcon has announced plans to launch its daily disposable contact lens in the U.S. made from a new material.

The company’s Precision1 lenses are built from a silicone hydrogel comprised of 51% water, dubbed verofilcon A. The lenses also hold a permanent layer of moisture on their surface, designed to support the eye’s tear film, and contain an ultraviolet-light-blocking compound to offer protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

"Precision1 is designed to provide lasting visual performance for patients who wear their contact lenses from early morning to late at night,” Alcon CEO David Endicott said in a statement

“Precision1 will be well-positioned as a mainstream daily disposable that complements our premium Dailies Total1 and value-driven Dailies AquaComfort Plus contact lenses, further expanding our contact lens portfolio to give us long-term growth opportunities in 2020 and beyond as we continue to develop our promising pipeline,” Endicott added.

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The lenses were previously made available in Australia and New Zealand in March of this year. Alcon said its sales teams have begun working with eye doctors in preparation for an initial U.S. launch in September with plans for a wider rollout across the country in early 2020 and internationally throughout the next year and into 2021. Precision1 will be “priced competitively” between Alcon’s Dailies Total1 and AquaComfort Plus lines, according to the company.

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In a head-to-head study compared to Johnson & Johnson’s 1-Day Acuvue Moist lenses, participants rated Precision1’s vision and comfort higher at the end of a day’s use and preferred the lenses’ overall handling, according to Alcon—which said 1 in 5 new wearers of contact lenses stop using them within the first year due to poor vision, comfort or handling issues.