Menicon Co., Ltd. today announced the official launch of silicone hydrogel daily disposable contact lens “Miru 1day UpSide,” a version of “1DAY Menicon PremiO” sold overseas.
“Miru 1day UpSide” is a silicone hydrogel daily disposable contact lens marketed in Japan under the name of “1DAY Menicon PremiO.” 1DAY Menicon PremiO is characterized by “SMART TOUCH” technology, in addition to our most advanced material, and has been widely used in Japan since its launch in December 2016.
UpSide means “looking up.” This naming is intended to draw intuitive appeal to one of the characteristics and the best feature of the product, the SMART TOUCH package that “allows users to wear the lenses without touching the inner surface of the lens because the outer surface of the lens is placed upward (it is placed downward in the package of other products) when users open the package.” Our questionnaire survey has revealed that this SMART TOUCH, both the feature and the name, has been favorably accepted. Our goal is to have the product accepted in the global market for its feature that is expressed in the brand name.
Further, the material used for “Miru 1day UpSide” is silicone hydrogel that is highly oxygen-permeable and is as soft as other existing hydrogel materials.
“Miru 1day UpSide” will be launched first in Europe; then, the sales market will be expanded successively. We will strive to increase the share for daily disposable lenses in the European market worth JPY 150 billion*.
*estimated by Euromonitor
Six particular features of “Miru 1day UpSide (1DAY Menicon PremiO)”
Users do not need to check the sides of lenses. The package allows users to pick up the lenses without touching the inner surface of the lens (SMART TOUCH), which enables easy wearing.
(2) Oxygen permeability
“Miru 1day UpSide” has oxygen permeability that ensures the safety of the pupil when the product is used as a daily disposable lens.
Oxygen permeability: 91×10?9(cm/sec)・(mLO2/(mL×mmHg)) (in case of -3.00 D)
Oxygen-permeable silicone hydrogel lenses are generally hard and not comfortable to wear. However, “Miru 1day UpSide” is sufficiently oxygen permeable and also has achieved softness comparable to that of existing lenses. This well-balanced material offers users comfort when wearing the lens.
Featuring new plasma technology, “Miru 1day UpSide” prevents adhesion of dirt on the surface, which prevents reduction in the performance of the lenses and also ensures lower friction on the surface of the lenses. This lower friction contributes to a natural feeling when users wear the lenses.
(5) Design of the Lens
Generally, contact lenses for excessive myopia tend to be thicker, particularly in the peripheral part, which often compromises the feeling of comfortable wearing. However, our product is designed to be evenly thin, even in the peripheral part, regardless of the optical power of the lens. As such, comfort during the use is maintained.
(6) UV protection
“Miru 1day UpSide” is made of materials that cut UV light and protects the pupil from UV light.
UVA protection rate: 84%
UVB protection rate: 96% (-3.00 D)
By bringing this daily disposable contact lens that has realized these highly particular features to broader overseas markets, we hope to offer contact lenses that contribute to a better lifestyle for more users.
Current Kakamigahara Factory (single-story)
After expansion, the factory will have second and third floors.
At Menicon Co., Ltd., construction has been decided to initiate on December 1, 2018, to add the second and third floors to the current single-story Kakamigahara Factory (Kakamigahara-shi, Gifu), where our daily disposable contact lenses are manufactured, to increase our production volume.
In operation since March 2015 to produce “1DAY Menicon PremiO,” Menicon’s daily disposable contact lenses, the Kakamigahara Factory was originally designed to add floors vertically, when required to “increase production volume in the future” and/or “improve efficiency of traffic lines of materials and people in the factory.” The construction for expanding the floors will start in December. We can safely continue production of contact lenses on the first floor during construction because of the double steel beam structure of this building.
This construction is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2020. A total of 15 lines will be installed, an increase from the current three lines. Our production lines will be sequentially added, targeting an annual production capacity of over 500 million lenses. By increasing the production volume and product portfolio, we aim for greater sales in the daily disposable contact lens market in Japan and the rest of the world, which is expected to grow.
<Expansion of the Factory Floors>
In this construction, the building will be expanded not horizontally but vertically, by adding the second and third floors. The first floor, where we currently operate, was originally designed to accommodate added floors; therefore, the first floor roof will not be removed, and no anchor bolts will be installed on the roof during construction. Thus, we can continue production on the first floor without being affected by waterproofing works, vibration, or noise. By adding the floors, we can construct the warehouse to store intermediate and final products in the second and third floors. By automating the storage and retrieval processes, the traffic lines of materials and people in the factory will be more efficient.
By issuing convertible bonds in June 2018, we raised a fund of JPY 8 billion. A part of this fund will be spent on the construction of the additional floors of the factory, because an increase in the production volume of daily disposable contact lenses, which are expected to grow in the contact lens market in Japan and abroad, is believed to lead to further growth of our group.
<Production and Sales Volume>
Currently, our production capacity is 90 million lenses per year (with three lines). After the introduction of all of the lines (15 lines), we seek to produce over 500 million lenses, corresponding to approximate sales of JPY 25 billion (based on the assumption that we will produce contact lenses similar to our current daily disposable products).
We are pleased to announce the full-scale launch of the improved version of “Miru 1month Menicon”, our monthly replacement silicone hydrogel lens series, into the US market. Until now, “Miru 1month Menicon” has been marketed mainly in Europe, where it has been well received.
Since entering the European market with this product in 2007, we have steadily increased the number of export destinations and the lens is now used in more than 30 countries. We have also increased the number of product variants, starting with products for myopia/hyperopia and then adding those for astigmatism followed by bifocals. We obtained FDA approval in February 2018 for this lens series and are planning full-scale launch of the products in the US this fall or later.
The redesigned products for the US market, namely “Miru 1month Menicon” for myopia/hyperopia, “Miru 1month Menicon Toric” for astigmatism (the product is called “Miru 1month Menicon Astigmatism” in Europe) and bifocal “Miru 1month Menicon Multifocal” are made from materials similar to those used in the manufacture of “2week Menicon PremiO”, which has the second largest share of the Japanese market. Focusing on the eye health of users, we supply monthly replacement lens products which are highly safe and comfortable to wear.
* The photograph above shows the product packages for the US market. Regarding the “Miru 1month Menicon” series, marketed mainly in Europe, there will be no changes to the packaging.
Features of “Miru 1month Menicon” Series:
(1) High Oxygen Permeability
In this series, high oxygen permeability (oxygen transmission coefficient: Dk/t＝161*) has been achieved to safeguard the eye pupil while the lenses are being worn.
*Dk/t (a unit measured as): × 10-9 (cm/sec)･(mLO2/(mL ×mmHg) (in case of Pwr-3.00D)
Particularly for products designed to correct astigmatism and for bifocals, where lens thickness tends to increase, we are dedicated to ensuring wearer comfort and safety by adopting the most advanced and safety-oriented lens
(2) Excellent Surface Properties
In the “Miru 1month Menicon” series, we adopted the same surface treatment technology used in the manufacture of the “Miru 1month Menicon” series already marketed outside the US, having achieved high wettability and excellent antifouling properties against bacteria or protein/oil-based dirt, while maintaining satisfactory oxygen permeability.
With the launch in the US of “Miru 1month Menicon”, “Miru 1month Menicon Toric” and “Miru 1month Menicon Multifocal”, which feature a well-balanced lens design and materials that have already demonstrated their merits in the marketplace, we are convinced that we can provide products that are comfortable to wear, safe and hygienic to support eye health in the US market as well as in other markets. We are also aiming at increasing our share of the replacement lens (periodic exchange lenses) market in the US, which is reported to be worth 350 billion yen.**
**Source: research by Euromonitor International
Menicon Co., Ltd.’s French affiliate, Menicon SAS (hereinafter “M-SAS”), recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of its establishment. In line with its corporate principle “Contributing to society by providing superior visual correction,” since launching its business in Europe, Menicon has been dedicated to pursuing the company’s mission of disseminating accurate knowledge rather than just developing the market. With great appreciation for your support, we are pleased to announce M-SAS’s 40th anniversary and completion of its new premises in the business park near Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Menicon Co., Ltd. is pushing ahead with market expansion in not only Europe and the U.S. but also Asia, as a mainstay of its key strategy, which is to grow markets while pursuing the company’s mission of disseminating accurate knowledge and techniques.
We are pleased to announce that an opening ceremony was held on April 10, 2018 to mark establishment of the Menicon Contact Lens Training Center at Yangon Eye Hospital. The center, a joint venture between the hospital and Menicon, will serve as a flagship facility for dissemination activities in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (hereinafter "Myanmar").
Objectives of establishment of the Training Center
We are currently pursuing our market expansion strategy in Asia, including China, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong and we view Myanmar as one of the emerging important markets in the region, given the nation’s remarkable economic growth since democratization.
Like other Asian countries, Myanmar is facing the challenge of an increasing number of myopia sufferers. Unfortunately, the correct prescribing techniques for both orthokeratology lenses, which are internationally reported as being a means of preventing myopia progression, and general rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are not currently taught in Myanmar. Therefore, we will begin by applying through an agent to the Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar for marketing approval for various kinds of RGP lens, with the aim of obtaining the first marketing approval for formal RGP lenses for vision correction in that country. In addition to obtaining approval, we regard dissemination and establishment of the correct prescribing technique for RGP lenses as the backbone of our activities to achieve our aim of providing better visual acuity and disseminating safe lenses in Southeast Asia.
Menicon, the first developer of corneal contact lenses in Japan and a trailblazing leader in the industry for a number of years, is cooperating with the largest ophthalmologic facility in Myanmar, Yangon Eye Hospital, to design and develop a new educational curriculum for prescribing contact lenses and to boost prescribing know-how and skill levels among physicians with the aim of improving healthcare in Myanmar.
Overview of Training Center
The Training Center has been granted official approval for its establishment by Myanmar’s Minister of Public Health (Ministry of Health and Sports). The training provided by the center will be included in the curriculum for the medical specialist program.
Training Center Location: 3rd floor, Yangon Eye Hospital, Myanmar
Ribbon-cutting ceremony at an entrance to the Training Center following the opening ceremony
Second from left, Dr. Tin Win, Professor and Head of the Department of Ophthalmology; center, Dr. Thet Thet Sein, Medical Superintendent; second from right, Mr. Takeshita Menicon Senior General manager
Training Center tour and curriculum briefing
On that day, more than 50 physicians came in a constant stream after working hours to participate in the opening ceremony. A tour and curriculum briefing were subsequently conducted, with all the visiting physicians taking part.
NAGOYA, Japan – February 6, 2017 – Mr. Paul Rose, Dip Opt, B Sc., FCCLSNZ, inventor of the Rose K brand of contact lenses for irregular cornea, is to become a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM), it was announced in early January. Rose’s appointment is in recognition of his contributions to the fields of ophthalmology and optometry. The award is one of the highest honors bestowed on individuals in New Zealand distinguished for their services and contributions.
Menicon Co. Ltd. Announced: Remco Engelhart has joined the company taking up the position of Business Development Director Europe.
He has over 25 year experience in contact lens industry.
Remco begins his new role effective January, 2017.
Toyota City, Japan, October 5, 2016-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and contact lens manufacturer Menicon Co., Ltd. (Menicon) have jointly developed a new liquid livestock manure composting product that will join the resQ45 series of TMC-Menicon jointly developed manure composting systems, which debuted in 2006. The product, called the New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko Liquid (new special express liquid enzyme), will be sold by a TMC subsidiary, Toyota Roof Garden Co., Ltd., starting today. It will be distributed through Toyota Tsusho Corporation’s (Toyota Tsucho) livestock feed sales channels.
In Japan, where around 80 million*1 tons of livestock manure are generated annually, concerns about the adverse impact of manure on the environment, including its offensive odor, water pollution, and greenhouse-gas generation, have created widespread awareness for the need to find ways to properly process, and to effectively utilize manure. In January 2013, Toyota and Menicon launched a jointly developed powder livestock manure composting product called the New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko,*2 which had significantly shortened the composting period from around one month to around two weeks, while substantially reducing the generation of malodorous ammonia gas by between 50 and 90% (in the case of poultry waste). However, since the dispersion of powder composting agents is both a time- and labor-intensive process for large farms with major composting requirements, TMC and Menicon recognized the need to develop a liquid product that can be dispersed more easily by existing liquid dispensers.
Using these liquid dispensers, the newly developed New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko Liquid can be dispersed in a manner that is more reliable and uniform as compared to powder. This helps to improve dispersion efficiency, and helps to facilitate the creation of better quality compost. As a result, TMC and Menicon believe that this new product will help to reduce onerous work on livestock farms, while also providing positive environmental benefits at the same time. Furthermore, since a 100grams bottle of the new liquid product is able to substitute for an 8kg bag of powder, this development also helps to significantly reduce the space needed for storage.
June this year marked the tenth anniversary of the launch of the resQ45 series of manure composting systems, which were developed to help improve the livestock manure composting process. In addition to New-Tokubetsu-Kyuko Liquid, other main products in this series include the Buta resQ for pig manure and the Moo resQ for cows. Total sales of the resQ45 product lineup reached 200,000 bags in April, and annual sales are forecasted to hit 50,000 bags this year.
TMC, Menicon, and Toyota Tsusho intend to continue pursuing a wide range of technology-based environmentally friendly initiatives. The three companies are aiming to strengthen collaboration toward the goal of realizing a recycling-oriented society, while working to develop new environmental businesses and helping to improve farmlands.
*1 Quoted from the 2016 statistics from the Statistic Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
*2 A manure composting product combining an enzymatic agent that promotes the decomposition of dietary fibers in manure and thermophilic bacteria.