A Look at Unilens Vision, Inc.
BY JASON J. NICHOLS, OD, MPH, PHD, FAAO
Michael Pecora, president/CEO, Unilens
The subject of this month’s Industry Focus is Unilens Vision, Inc., a specialty contact lens company based in Largo, Fla. I recently had the pleasure to speak with Michael Pecora, president and CEO.
Q Mr. Pecora, please tell us a bit about your company in terms of its history and direction.
Unilens was founded more than 25 years ago to bring multifocal contact lenses to market. Originally established in Canada in 1989, Unilens Vision Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary Unilens Corp. (located in Largo, Fla.) and its wholly owned subsidiary Unilens Vision Sciences Inc., develops, licenses, manufactures, distributes, and markets contact lenses. Unilens was one of the pioneering companies to offer multifocal contact lenses in the market, providing eyecare professionals (ECPs) with the first uncompromised alternative to monovision for presbyopic patients.
Today, Unilens is a technology-based, specialty contact lens company. We started with our patented technology, and we continue to move forward with that; we have a focus on supporting independent ECPs; and we have a focus on developing new and innovative products to meet the total needs of all patients. As we move forward in our direction at Unilens, we will continue with our long-standing business model to exclusively support independent ECPs with best-in-class branded products.
Q Tell us about any new products or new developments in which Unilens is involved.
We’re really excited about our recently launched C-Vue Addvantage Multifocal for Presbyopia, which is our flagship multifocal contact lens product. The new technology behind this lens incorporates our familiar patented multifocal technology with a lens design that offers consistent add power across the entire power profile. This results in a more predictable, easier fit with less chair time required for ECPs. Furthermore, the new lens features a thinner and more rounded edge that helps provide significantly improved comfort over previous lens designs.
One area in which there currently is an unmet patient demand is in the toric multifocal contact lens category; this is a market that’s really in its infancy today. Unilens has made strides in addressing that market—which is a relatively new and fast-growing market—with our C-Vue Advanced HydraVue Toric Multifocal, the first silicone hydrogel toric multifocal contact lens for monthly replacement. This lens helps address the needs of aging astigmats who have become presbyopic; it also allows ECPs to reduce their dropout rates by keeping aging astigmats in contact lenses that are prescribed and sold exclusively by them. In the past, there weren’t many options for patients wearing toric contact lenses who become presbyopic. But now, we offer this toric multifocal contact lens technology that can work well for those patients.
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 my view, in the short as well as the long term, specialty contact lenses will continue to be one of the fastest growing segments in our industry as manufacturers, such as Unilens, continue to provide new and innovative products that focus on addressing unmet patient demand and improving success rates.
We really believe that such advances are going to be the future of the contact lens industry—specialty contact lenses that meet those currently unmet patient demands. Our goal is to continue to develop new products that aren’t currently being served in the industry—to create new markets that don’t exist today and see how they grow from there. 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.