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Second Queen's Award for Contact Lens Innovation

A Second Queen’s Award for Ultravision for Contact Lens Innovation

April 2010

UltraVision CLPL, the largest independent manufacturer, supplier and licensor of contact lenses in the UK, has scored a double with a second Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Innovation.

The group formed by two former school friends, J Keith Lomas, Group CEO, and John Clamp, Group COO, both aged 39, is expanding throughout the world with sales into more than 60 countries.

“To receive the Queen’s Award once is a serious achievement, but twice is out of this world” said Lomas. “We were improving people’s vision but now our team is taking our technologies to new levels and dramatically changing lives for the better for thousands more people every month”.

The Queen’s Award is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a UK company and was awarded specifically for KeraSoft®, patented soft and silicone hydrogel contact lenses for irregular corneas and keratoconus.

Patients can have irregular corneas for a number of reasons including disease, trauma, corneal transplants or failed laser surgery such as Lasik and other prescription changing operations. Standard contact lenses or spectacles do not successfully address such complexities so patients can have considerably reduced vision. The traditional approach was with hard or rigid gas permeable lenses, but the rigid surfaces on thinning tissue was often extremely uncomfortable and resulted in short wearing times or patients not even able to wear the rigid lenses at all; so minimal sight.

KeraSoft® lenses are a combination of the latest in soft and silicone hydrogel materials using geometries from complex mathematics to offer comfortable wear and excellent vision for all waking hours, engineered and developed by John Clamp. Optometrist Lynn White, Keratoconus Consultant, helped refine the design for a wide range of irregular cornea conditions through her close work with her patients.

“I had to persevere with rigid lenses for years as there used to be no alternative” said Gareth Beynon, a keratoconic patient from Rugby, Warwickshire. “I was limited to a maximum of six to eight hours of comfortable wear a day, five days a week so I had to choose when I could see; at home or at work. My life revolved around whether I could wear my lenses or not and had no spontaneity at all. I had to rely on others being present most of the time in case I had a problem with the lenses which was very frustrating. With the KeraSoft® lens, it’s like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. I can now see throughout all my waking hours, have resurrected my motor racing hobby and have got my life back. This is genuinely transformational for me and others. The more people who hear about this the better”.

KeraSoft® lenses are fitted and dispensed by optometrists and opticians in hospital departments, private and high street practices. Ophthalmologists are using the lenses both pre and post-operatively, following cross-linking surgery and as a safer and longer term solution than corneal transplants.

UltraVision CLPL states that KeraSoft® sales are growing by double digit percentages month on month. As well as launching directly in India with new dedicated operations in Trivandrum, Kerala, UltraVision CLPL is currently in licensing discussions with third parties to help accelerate the roll out of KeraSoft® around the world.

J Keith Lomas added “We’ve got game-changing technology here so need to maximise the positive impact on people’s lives wherever we can”.

Her Majesty The Queen will host a reception at Buckingham Palace later this year for the winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – 2010.

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