June 21, 2022
By John Sailer, Editor-in-Chief, Review of Myopia Management
GILBERT, Ariz. — It’s clear to anyone involved with myopia management that CooperVision has aligned itself to offer most of the treatments available to slow the progression of axial length growth in children. “Of the four ways to intervene, we cover three of them,” Juan Carlos Aragón, president of CooperVision Specialty EyeCare, told Review of Myopia Management during a recent tour of one of its Centers of Excellence, the Paragon CRT manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona.
The three myopia management interventions to which he referred are orthokeratology (such as Paragon CRT), dual focus contact lenses (MiSight 1 day), and spectacle lenses (SightGlass Diffusion Optics Technology). While these treatments are offered under the overall corporate CooperVision umbrella, Dr. Aragón’s CooperVision Specialty EyeCare business unit is specifically focused on specialty contact lenses such as orthokeratology and scleral lenses.
Specializing in Specialty EyeCare
“Specialty is not just the products,” said Dr. Aragón. “Our people are special; our doctors are special. We’ve built the broadest and deepest portfolio of specialty lenses.” Over the past few years, he and his team have strategically acquired a group of specialty lens companies to build an entirely new business unit within CooperVision.
“In 2017, we decided to build a separate business unit with a stand-alone management team absolutely focused on what we are doing,” said Dr. Aragón. In August of 2017, this CooperVision business unit acquired Procornea in the Netherlands, which had the license to sell the DreamLite orthokeratology lens in China. This was followed by the deal to acquire Paragon, which occurred in December 2017. Again, this was because of its license to sell in China, in this case the Paragon CRT orthokeratology lens. The following year, the acquisition of GP Specialists in August 2020 brought CooperVision Specialty EyeCare its third distributor in China. Because of the incidence of myopia there and the prevalence of orthokeratology to treat it, China is the company’s largest market.
Of course, other important markets are the U.S. and Canada in North America, where there is also widespread availability of Paragon CRT and GP Specialists brands.
Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are other priorities for CooperVision Specialty EyeCare. London-based No7 Contact Lenses was acquired in April 2021, and most recently, CooperVision acquired EnsEyes in Denmark, a leader in specialty contact lenses in the Nordic region of Europe.
In addition to bringing the products together, Dr. Aragón has also built a team of leaders in the field of specialty contact lenses to manage them. They include Tony Sommer, General Manager, Americas; Leah Johnson, OD, FAAO, FSLS, Director of Professional Affairs; Mark Cosgrove, General Manager, GP Specialists, whose knowledge of customizing the orthokeratology lenses of GP Specialists was cited as equally valuable to acquire as the company itself; Louise Curcio, Director of Marketing, Americas; Charles Morris, Global Brand Director; Carlos Arandia, Director of Operations; Kelly Voltz, OD, FAAO, Senior Manager, Professional & Clinical Affairs; and Justine Siergey, OD, FSLS, Manager Professional Affairs, Irregular Cornea.
OrthoK Fitting Success — There’s An App for That
Now, following these strategic acquisitions, CooperVision Specialty EyeCare has positioned itself as a single source for a variety of orthokeratology products. These include Paragon CRT, Paragon CRT Dual Axis for myopic patients with astigmatism, and GP Specialists’ iSee and GOV orthokeratology lenses. This wide array of available orthokeratology lenses covers the spectrum of fitting complexity and customization. To illustrate this variety of lenses and help ECPs understand where they are positioned within fitting complexity and customization, GP Specialists offers this “Guide to Ortho-K Lens Selection.”
Another tool the company introduced to help ECPs with their orthokeratology fitting success is the Paragon CRT App, the first specialty contact lens mobile application in the market. It provides ECPs with an easily accessible tool to design a customized lens that is optimal for any patient. The app’s popularity is evidenced by the fact that since its launch in October 2021, it has been downloaded by 95.8% of ECPs who are prescribing Paragon CRT. The company also offers computer-assisted online software known as the OrthoTool for ECPs to design their own lenses.
More Than Just Specialty Lens Manufacturing
In the Gilbert, Arizona, facility, in addition to the Paragon CRT manufacturing lab, this CooperVision Specialty EyeCare Center of Excellence also includes an educational facility as well as its own print shop. The state-of-the-art educational facility features cameras throughout that allow presenters to record and/or broadcast live a variety of diagnostic instruments in action.
The in-house “Customized Marketing Creation Services” print shop enables the operation to quickly develop, design, customize, and print brochures, fliers, posters, and other promotional pieces for the company itself or for its customers. In fact, during the Review of Myopia Management tour of the Gilbert, Arizona, facility, the company produced a brochure with photos and descriptions of that same day’s activities!
The currently 90,000-square-foot facility located just outside of Phoenix is also in the process of undergoing major renovations that will increase it by more than 45,000 square feet by 2025.
For more on CooperVision Specialty EyeCare, its Gilbert, Arizona, facility, and its strategic plans around orthokeratology specifically and myopia management in general, listen to Review of Myopia Management’s ‘Up Close With’ Juan Carlos Aragón.