Japan's Santen and Singapore-based Plano Collaborate To Tackle Growing Burden Of Myopia
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Japanese pharmaceutical company Santen Pharmaceutical and Plano Pte., a Singapore-based healthcare startup, on Tuesday announced a strategic alliance to tackle the global burden of myopia. Under this strategic alliance, Plano has secured an investment from Santen. Santen, through Plano, will initiate to tackle the burden of myopia using both a holistic approach and innovative technological solutions.
Myopia is one of the most common health problems in the world, affecting an estimated 2 billion people, or about 28 per cent of the world’s population.
Santen, a leading company in the field of ophthalmology, has cultivated expertise and capabilities specializing in ophthalmology based on a thorough customer orientation, including patients and healthcare professionals. The company is now focusing on medical devices and digital techniques to provide better eyecare.
Shigeo Taniuchi, president and chief executive officer of Santen, on the strategic alliance said, “I am pleased to have a strategic alliance with Plano. Santen will, through Plano, by this strategic alliance, initiate in Singapore to raise awareness and support prevention and management of myopia in everyday life, as well as to expand the novel solutions to the region and beyond. With a recognition of rapid increase of myopia as a social issue, as a global leader in ophthalmology, Santen will work closely with Plano to resolve social issues related to myopia and to improve QOL of the patients around the world."
Founded in 2017 by associate professor Mohamed Dirani, Plano is the first spin-off from the Singapore Eye Research Institute-Singapore National Eye Centre Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator Programme, dedicated to accelerating highly promising ophthalmic research and development projects towards commercialization and medical deployment. The key products in the company’s ecosystem include the plano application and the online optometry booking system, Plano Eyecheck.
“This funding and strategic alliance with Santen will play an instrumental role in growing Plano’s user engagement, strengthen its big data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities, and drive its international expansion plans. The strategic alliance with Santen, who recognize myopia as a material issue, is very important as we collectively embark on our future objectives to advance Plano’s products and services, expand its myopia-centered ecosystem into the region and introduce new and people- centered products for the management of myopia. We are eager to get to work with the excellent team at Santen,” said Plano’s Dirani.
“To align with Santen, who have shown leadership in ophthalmic care for over 130 years, is a humbling one. This alliance will provide the team at Plano with the added confidence, mentorship, and new opportunities to more effectively deliver its pioneering services in Singapore and the region. I am honored to be part of this journey and believe that this alliance will take Plano to even greater heights,” he further added.
Plano users can look forward to a series of exciting announcements which include a new app interface for both parents and children, improved product functionality, and for the first time in the world, an AI-driven calculator for the development, progression and stabilization of myopia in children and teenagers.