Ophthalmology Futures Forum IOL debate
Multiple accommodating intraocular lens (IOL) technologies will continue developing over the next few years as industry and ocular surgeons seek better treatments for presbyopia
Multiple accommodating intraocular lens (IOL) technologies will continue developing over the
next few years as industry and ocular surgeons seek better treatments for presbyopia, according
to presenters at Ophthalmology Futures Forum Vienna 2018.
However, designing successful accommodating IOLs remains daunting, said Julian Stevens
MRCP, FRCS, FRCOphth, DO of Moorfields Eye Hospital. Several mechanical and flexible gel
lens IOL designs have lost accommodative range over time due to capsule fibrosis, and lens
mineralisation has developed as much as five years after implant, he noted.
Detecting such problems lengthens development time, but is necessary, Dr Stevens added.
“Given that we are implanting these lenses in younger people for refractive reasons, how much
safety and efficacy data do you need, how long do you wait before you say ‘yes, that’s it?’” He
believes electronic accommodating IOLs will be the solution, though battery technology must
improve to provide a 40- to 50-year lifespan.
Alcon are making progress on electronic accommodating IOLs and contact lenses, noted Laurent
Attias, senior vice president for corporate development at the Novartis division. “The battery
technology is not that far off. … we’ve seen improvements from four years to 20 years.”
MK Raheja, head of ophthalmic implant R&D for Johnson & Johnson, is not willing to write off
mechanical and shape-changing designs. Every technology has its advantages and limits and all
are at an early stage, he said. “We need to push forward on every front.”