A Look at CooperVision, Inc.
BY JASON J. NICHOLS, OD, MPH, PHD, FAAO
Bob Ferrigno, president, North America, CooperVision, Inc.
This month’s focus is on CooperVision, one of the four major global hydrogel lens manufacturers. I recently had the pleasure to speak with Bob Ferrigno, president, North America.
Q Mr. Ferrigno, please tell us a bit about your company in terms of its history and direction.
CooperVision has molded itself over the last few decades through a number of acquisitions, being successful in acquiring technologies and bringing them to market. At the same time, CooperVision has brought its own innovation in product design to market as well. This has allowed the company to keep pace with the industry from a technology standpoint as well as in terms of growth.
CooperVision also offers a very broad range of contact lenses. We are known for having the widest range of lenses in the industry.
While those technologies are important, Coopervision has been increasingly recognized for partnering and working with eyecare practitioners (ECPs), particularly independent practitioners. We depend on these partnerships to understand ECPs’ needs so we can design lenses to help them better serve their patients.
Q Tell us about any new products or new developments in which CooperVision is involved.
What we’re most excited about now is the Clariti 1 Day daily disposable line that we acquired from Sauflon Pharmaceuticals. The American Academy of Optometry meeting in November marked our official unrestricted U.S. launch of the Clariti brand in the United States as a CooperVision product. The feedback that we’ve gotten from prescribers has been very positive. It’s a premium silicone hydrogel technology, but the manufacturing capability and process make it more affordable, so we can price it like a hydrogel.
We’re adding dimension to the Biofinity brand. Our Biofinity XR lens is continuing to roll out, and the Biofinity Toric XR will be coming in the near future. We are also expanding the parameters of Biofinity Multifocal.
Through our research, we continue to investigate new options in every contact lens modality. Longer term material and chemistry changes are being evaluated in an attempt to improve end-of-day comfort.
Finally, WebSystem3 is a cloud-based software system that allows ECPs to communicate automatically with patients and to further engage with them. EyeCare Prime allows ECPs to build a plan on how they’re going to grow their practice, and with EyeCare Prime Premier, we assign a marketing consultant to help ECPs execute those plans. The last component of the service is Lens Ferry, which allows wearers to order replacement lenses. We continue to expand the customer base for WebSystem3 services. As demand grows, we are expanding our capacity.
Q Tell us your vision for the contact lens field in the short term (less than 5 years) and in the long term (20 years from now).
In the short term, we’re seeing a lot of change and consolidation in the industry. Retailers are recognizing the value of contact lenses, which creates pressure for independent ECPs and could change the dynamics in the industry.
We believe that there will be a continued shift in daily disposable prescribing in the United States that will, at the least, catch us up with the rest of the world.
We think there’s opportunity for industry to work together to help more people understand the health and the benefits of wearing contact lenses. New technology will allow people to stay in lenses longer, which will be positive for the market.
In the longer term, there is opportunity in some developing contact lens technologies. Whether it’s computer chips or drug delivery, there are innovative ideas that can have a significant impact on the industry. CLS
Dr. Nichols is an assistant vice president for industry research development and professor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham as well as editor-in-chief of Contact Lens Spectrum and editor of the weekly email newsletter Contact Lenses Today. He has received research funding or honoraria from Vistakon, Alcon, and Allergan.