SINGAPORE, 16 JANUARY 2018 – HOYA Surgical Optics (HSO) today officially launched its new global research and development (R&D) facility in Singapore to develop new breakthrough technologies in intraocular lens (IOL), a lens that is implanted as part of the treatment for cataract. The new centre is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), and will serve as a Centre of Excellence fighting the growing burden of cataract.
The establishment of HSO’s global R&D facility in Singapore will also help to cultivate the nation’s research capabilities in eye disease, a niche area that is of growing importance due to the rising burden of cataract in the region. The move makes HOYA the first IOL company in the world to establish worldwide integrated operations in Singapore – with their global headquarters, manufacturing plant and new R&D centre all based here. This is the second HSO R&D facility in addition to its existing centre in Japan.
Cataract persists as a growing concern for blindness
Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, and is the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness, and it remains the leading cause of blindness1. In light of this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has singled out cataract as a priority eye disease to tackle as part of their goal to eliminate avoidable blindness2. The only effective treatment for cataract is surgery in which IOL is implanted in the eye.
In Asia, the burden of cataract is high, and studies have shown that the prevalence of the disease among Asians is much higher than compared to Westerners3. Though there are other risk factors for cataracts, ageing is the most common cause, and with Asia’s population rapidly ageing, the burden of cataract is predicted to worsen over time.
John Goltermann Lassen, Chief Executive Officer, HSO, said, “The opening of the HOYA Surgical Optics new global research and development (R&D) facility is a testament to our commitment to further the research and development of innovative products as HOYA continues to set new standards within the industry. The new centre in Singapore will also provide opportunities for collaborations with hospitals, universities and surgeons based in Singapore to uncover new solutions that will deliver better health outcomes for patients here.”
Putting Singapore on the map as a global hub for R&D
In addition to the future collaboration opportunities, the opening of the new global research and development (R&D) facility will also elevate Singapore’s position as a leading global biomedical sciences hub for multinational corporations, and attract the best in-class expert innovators and researchers into Singapore.
Mr Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director, EDB, said, “We are pleased that HOYA Surgical Optics is expanding and deepening their presence in Singapore. The launch of the R&D centre will advance Singapore’s capabilities in eye care research, and further strengthen our position as a leading ophthalmology hub. HOYA’s integrated operations here is testament to Singapore’s attractiveness as a base to anchor world-class R&D activities and talent, while building strong competencies in product and process development.” The new R&D centre is located in Biopolis, alongside HOYA Surgical Optics global headquarters.
About HOYA Surgical Optics
With more than 75 years of optical product expertise from the HOYA Group and 30 years of experience in designing and producing intraocular lenses (IOL), HOYA Surgical Optics’ mission is to improve vision and quality of life for millions of people suffering from cataract. Based on the core tenets of Quality, Trust, Dedication and Attention to Detail, Hoya Surgical Optics develops innovative and high-quality products that offer ease of use, safety and reliability to eye surgeons and ophthalmologists worldwide.
HOYA Surgical Optics is the fastest growing IOL company in the world and the global market leader in developing preloaded IOLs. HOYA Surgical Optics is a division of HOYA Corporation.
About HOYA Corporation
Founded in 1941 in Tokyo, Japan, HOYA Corporation is a global technology and med-tech company and a leading supplier of innovative high-tech and medical products. HOYA is active in the fields of healthcare and information technology, providing intraocular lenses, eyeglasses, medical endoscopes, optical lenses as well as key components for semiconductor devices, LCD panels and HDDs. HOYA currently employs a multinational workforce of over 36,000 people across its 150 offices and subsidiaries worldwide.