At SECO International, one of the largest educational optometry conferences in the world, attendees can expect to see the latest research and eye care products in development. Among the eye-opening innovations is a small but powerful device that treats dry eye disease.
Contact lens company, Alcon, will be showcasing the iLux device, a portable, handheld gadget that uses localized heat and pressure to treat Meibomiam Gland Dysfunction (MGD). The meibomian glands secrete oil which helps lubricate the eyes, but when they’re blocked or dysfunctional, the eyes become dry and irritable.
“At this year’s meeting, we are excited to put the iLux® Device into the hands of optometrists who have been seeking opportunities to offer new treatment solutions to their patients suffering with dry eye disease, said Sergio Duplan, region president of Alcon in North America in a press release.
After the company acquired Tear Film Innovations, Inc. in December last year, the iLux Device joins Alcon’s suite of contact lens, surgical and over-the-counter products. The device itself received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2017 and is commercially available in the US and Canada.
According to 2017 research, approximately 16.4 million US adults are living with dry eye disease. Key competitors in the dry eye market include Allergan and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, each offering its own medicated eye drops. Johnson & Johnson offers LipiFlow, a temperature and pressure-driven dry eye treatment, although it is not portable like iLux.
Alcon has other projects to showcase at SECO International. They plan to demonstrate a 3-D educational training module called Multifocal Virtual Reality which provides user guidance and information about contact lens fitting for patients with presbyopia.
In addition, the company will present new data from its Power of One program, which helps eye care professionals grow their practice through optimized practice management and improved patient compliance.
Alcon’s product demos and new data will help the company break away from its parent, Novartis.
“As Alcon moves toward becoming an independent company, we plan to continue to showcase our industry leadership at meetings like SECO International by bringing forth innovations that give ECPs the tools, techniques and data to deliver the best outcomes for their patients,” said Duplan.
To bolster its marketing campaign for Systane Complete eye drops, the company partnered with tennis star Venus Williams in a direct-to-consumer TV advertisement last year.
SECO International 2019 is scheduled for February 20-24 in New Orleans, LA.