At a Recent FDA Meeting, NovaBay Showed How its Innovative Contact Lens Disinfection System Solves Worrisome Problems
SAN DIEGO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / April 17, 2017 / CEOCFO Magazine, an independent investment publication that highlights important technologies and companies, today reports on a growing market for safe and effective systems for disinfecting contact lenses and the NovaBay® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NBY) product solution.
An estimated 41 million Americans wear contact lenses. The lenses help people see, and offer freedom from glasses at work and at play. But to wear contact lenses safely and to prevent potentially serious eye infections, lenses must be fully sterilized before they are put into the eyes.
Currently, there are two main approaches for disinfecting lenses. One is to immerse the lenses into something called a multipurpose disinfection solution (MPS). But these solutions can leave chemicals on the lenses that irritate the eye. As a result, many contact lens users fail to properly sterilize their lenses, raising the risk of infection.
The other main approach is using hydrogen peroxide, which, used correctly, is very effective at sterilizing lenses. "Hydrogen peroxide is considered the gold standard for disinfecting contact lens," explains David Stroman, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Ophthalmic Product Development at NovaBay® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NBY). An estimated six million contact lens wears currently use disinfection systems with peroxide.
The problem is that hydrogen peroxide can be difficult to use correctly. There are several issues, Dr. Stroman says. Hydrogen peroxide disinfection systems contain a catalyst that neutralizes the hydrogen peroxide over time. If too much of the hydrogen peroxide has been neutralized, the lenses may not be fully sterilized. On the other hand, the peroxide may not have been sufficiently neutralized for the lens to be safely inserted onto the eyes when users remove them from the disinfection case. That can be painful. "Even a small amount of remaining hydrogen peroxide causes burning and stinging," explains Dr. Stroman.
These issues are severe enough that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently held a meeting of its Ophthalmic Devices Panel Advisory Committee to discuss possible solutions. The FDA invited NovaBay to demonstrate how its novel intelli-Case system makes it possible to use hydrogen peroxide to safely and effectively disinfect contact lenses.
As NovaBay explained to both the FDA and CEOCFO Magazine, the intelli-Case has a sophisticated microprocessor embedded in the cap of the case. After hydrogen peroxide is added to the case and the contact lenses are inserted, the microprocessor analyzes the rate of neutralization of hydrogen peroxide. Then the case communicates to the lens wearer with a series of LED lights (red, yellow, and green). A red light indicates a problem with the peroxide solution. Yellow tells users that the disinfection process is underway. And the green light turns on only after the process has been successfully completed and the lenses are safe to place on the eyes.
"The intelli-Case has great potential to really help contact lens wearers, so there should be a strong market for it," says Dr. Stroman. NovaBay is now looking for partners to commercialize the device, and has started talks with major companies.