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CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—Essilor said Monday that it launched a trial of its Stellest lens, a new generation of spectacle lens solutions in the fight against myopia, in July at the Wenzhou Medical University Eye Hospital in China. The company said the “interim findings” after one year of the ongoing clinical trial show more than 60 percent slowdown in myopia progression, on average, when compared to children wearing single vision lenses. Essilor noted in its announcement that there was “extremely positive feedback from parents and children alike,” and that the initial trial will be “continued with a broader roll-out in other hospitals in China, followed by several other countries.”

The clinical trial on 167 myopic children started in 2018 in Essilor’s joint Research and Development Center with its partner the Wenzhou Medical University.

The Stellest lens has been designed with an exclusive and pioneering technology called “H.A.L.T.” technology (Highly Aspherical Lenslet Target) by Essilor’s industry-leading research and development teams, the announcement noted. And it is the culmination of more than 30 years of academic studies, product design, rigorous research efforts, and collaboration with the top research institutes and myopia experts.

Additional details about the trial and the plans to further the launch were not available from Essilor at VMAIL’s press time.

Myopia today represents a global health crisis, with 5 billion people, or half of the world’s population, expected to be myopic by 2050. It can progress rapidly in children, and may lead to sight threatening eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment and macular degeneration later in life, according to the Essilor announcement.

Myopia has been steadily increasing worldwide and in particular in China, with 54 percent prevalence in children aged 6-18.

According to Essilor, the key interim findings after one year revealed:

● After one year, children wearing Stellest lenses saved more than half a diopter of myopia degree on average (more than 60 percent slow-down in myopia progression when compared to the control group wearing single vision lenses).

● After one year, eye elongation was prevented in 28 percent of the children wearing Stellest lenses, while eye elongation occurred in all the children wearing single vision lenses.

● 100 percent of children wearing Stellest lenses had clear vision, adapted to their new lenses within a week, and were as satisfied with their quality of vision as the children wearing single vision lenses.

These interim findings were first unveiled at the World Society of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (WSPOS) Worldwide Connect 2020 virtual congress, of which Essilor is a gold sponsor.