New ASX entrant Visioneering Technologies, is expanding its focus and hopes to be selling its innovative contact lenses in Australia by the end of this year.
US-based Visioneering Technologies (VTI) has already launched its NaturalVue -branded lenses in the United States, which has a $US5 billion market for multi-focal lenses of the two types the company specialises in.
Now, following a $33.3 million IPO, VTI is set to list on the ASX on Tuesday and is looking to grow its US market and push into new territories, including Australia.
The company has developed multi-focal daily disposable soft contact lenses for adults with age-related loss of near vision – a condition called presbyopia – and for children with near-sightedness, or myopia.
Chief executive Dr Stephen Snowdy says current multi-focal contact lenses have two prescriptions in the same lens and claims VTI’s techology represents a significant advance.
Current lenses have a design where the centre of the lens is a prescription for near vision, while a concentric ring around the centre lens has a prescription for distance vision.
“Finding the right permutation of those two prescriptions takes a while and it’s often a process with the patient accepting a compromise to either the distance vision or the near vision,” Dr Snowdy said.
“With our lenses there’s only one prescription in the lens and it takes care of both the distance and the near vision, so there is not a permutative process that has to happen over several visits.”
The company intends to use $33.3 million raised in its IPO to increase the size of its US sales force and build up inventory of the lenses, which are made in Taiwan.
VTI is going through the regulatory processes to sell the lenses in Europe and in Australia, where the company plans to launch by the end of 2017.
VTI also intends to launch specially shaped contact lenses for patients with astigmatism, and special multi-focal lenses for patients with multiple needs for astigmatism, presbyopia and distance vision.
Dr Snowdy said VTI chose to list on the Australian share market because of the successful track record in listing US companies, and the strong appetite local investors have shown for medical devices that have been cleared by the US Federal Drug Administration.
VTI offered 74.9 million CHESS Depositary Interests at 42 cents each.