Novartis, a healthcare solutions company has announced that Alcon, its eye care division, has entered into an agreement with Google to in-license its “smart lens” technology for all ocular medical uses.
The agreement with the Google subsidiary devoted to finding new solutions to big global problems provides Alcon with the opportunity to develop and commercialize Google’s “smart lens” technology with the potential to transform eye care, the company announced noting that the transaction remains subject to anti-trust approvals.
“We are looking forward to working with Google to bring together their advanced technology and our extensive knowledge of biology to meet unmet medical needs,” said Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez. “This is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye.”
Sergey Brin, Co-Founder, Google says “our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people. We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.”
According to Novartis, under the agreement, Google[x] and Alcon will collaborate to develop a “smart lens” that has the potential to address ocular conditions. The smart lens technology involves non-invasive sensors, microchips and other miniaturized electronics which are embedded within contact lenses.
Novartis says its interest in this technology is currently focused on helping diabetic patients manage their disease by providing a continuous, minimally invasive measurement of the body’s glucose levels via a “smart contact lens” which is designed to measure tear fluid in the eye and connects wirelessly with a mobile device and help people living with presbyopia who can no longer read without glasses. The “smart lens” has the potential to provide accommodative vision correction to help restore the eye’s natural autofocus on near objects in the form of an accommodative contact lens or intraocular lens as part of the refractive cataract treatment.
“Alcon and Google have a deep and common passion for innovation,” said Jeff George, Division Head of Alcon. “By combining Alcon’s leadership in eye care and expertise in contact lenses and intraocular lenses with Google’s innovative “smart lens” technology and groundbreaking speed in research, we aim to unlock a new frontier to jointly address the unmet medical needs of millions of eye care patients around the world.”