Contact Lenses

There are now in excess of 130 million contact lens wearers globally,1 but with more than two billion myopes and over one billion presbyopes to cater for, Brien Holden Vision Institute is developing novel contact lens products to offer improved treatments for these and other eye conditions.

We have over 40 years of organisational experience conducting R&D in the contact lens field and a proven ability to bring together and coordinate global network of partners to produce breakthrough research and a track record of commercial success. This includes:
  • First contact lenses approved by US FDA for 30 days continuous wear (launched in 1999) – Focus Night & Day lenses co-developed with Ciba Vision.
  • Soft toric contact lenses for the correction of astigmatism (2002), co-developed with CooperVision.
  • Multifocal contact lenses for presbyopia (2009), co-developed with Ciba Vision.


Myopia (short- or near-sightedness) affects many school-aged children and is fast becoming a major public health issue of our time. It is estimated that by the year 2050, 4.8 billion people will have myopia.2

The onset of myopia at an early age brings with it the likelihood of life-long eye care, there is a significantly increased risk of serious ocular health problems with high myopia, which can lead to vision loss and blindness.

Our myopia management contact lens designs are based on patented extended depth of focus (EDOF) technology, which incorporates higher order aberrations to provide a therapeutic effect in treating myopia, while minimising related visual disturbances.

Rebecca Weng 
(Project Manager) BOptom (Hons), Grad Dip (I&T), NAATI (Translator English/Chinese), GradCert OcTher

Rebecca Weng graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with a Bachelor of Optometry (Honours) degree in 2001 and completed her Graduate Certificate of Ocular Therapeutics at UNSW in 2011. Rebecca has been a clinical skills workshop demonstrator for the Graduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics course (UNSW) held in Sydney and Adelaide for two years.

She joined the Brien Holden Vision Institute in 2007 as a research optometrist and since 2010 has been managing clinical trials in China at Brien Holden Vision Institute and Aier Eye Hospital.
Rebecca has been facilitating myopia project collaborations with Shanghai Eye Disease Prevention and Treatment Centre since 2015. She has published case reports, research articles in optometric journals and presented at national and international forums.

We are developing intellectual property based on novel contact lens designs with the intention of licensing to industry partners. Our extended depth of focus (EDOF) contact lenses for myopia have recently been licensed to European manufacturer mark’ennovy and SEED Co Ltd in Japan.

Technology developed by Brien Holden Vision Institute and used in this project includes:
  • Eye Mapper
  • Electronic Vision Charts
  • Custom Clinical Database


Many commercial multifocal lenses claim to provide simultaneous vision at various visual distances but often this comes at the cost of reduced contrast, increased ghosting (a blurred, shadow-like effect), haloes (rings around bright points of light) and compromised overall vision satisfaction.

These shortcomings are often exacerbated with low illumination levels. Such visual compromises have been associated with an increase in patient dropout rate and lack of confidence in fitting by practitioners.

We are currently developing a range of extended depth-of-focus (EDOF) contact lenses, which are designed to provide optimal visual performance from distance to near with minimal ghosting. The range of EDOF designs aim to deliver a vision solution for all presbyopes, from emerging to advanced.
Our EDOF contact lenses, using patented technology:
  • use higher order aberrations to optimise retinal image quality over a wide range of distances from far to near while minimising ghosting and haloes;
  • perform relatively independently of patients’ natural aberrations and variation in pupil size; and
  • are designed to meet the vision needs of emerging, moderate and advanced presbyopes.

Jennifer Sha
(Project Manager) BOptom, BSc (Hons)

Jennifer graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with a Bachelor of Optometry (Hons) / Bachelor of Science degree in 2011. She worked in a corporate optometric practice in Canberra prior to joining the Brien Holden Vision Institute in 2013 as a research optometrist.
In 2015, she began running clinical trials as Principal Investigator. Jennifer has authored research articles published in Eye & Contact Lens and Arquivos Brasileiros de Oftalmologia.

We are developing intellectual property based on novel contact lens designs with the intention of licensing to industry partners. Our extended depth of focus (EDOF) contact lenses for myopia have recently been licensed to European manufacturer mark’ennovy and SEED Co Ltd in Japan.

Technology developed by Brien Holden Vision Institute and used in this project includes:
  • Electronic vision charts
  • Custom Clinical Database


It's estimated that the global sales of contact lenses for astigmatism will be more than US$4 billion by 2020.3 Astigmatism is a condition in which objects are blurred more in one direction than another and is caused by an irregular shape of the lens or the front surface (cornea) of the eye. It can be corrected by spectacles, contact lenses and refractive surgery. Astigmatism may occur together with myopia or hyperopia.

Correction of astigmatism with a contact lens requires variations on several aspects of the design – namely the spherical and cylindrical powers, and more importantly the orientation (axis), which involves a range of 180 degrees. The different axes requirements are currently managed by manufacturing contact lenses in 10 degree increments, meaning potentially a total of 18 variations for each combination of spherical and cylindrical power. This doesn’t include variations to the diameter and ‘base curve’.

All of these variables mean that there are potentially thousands of combinations and different lenses. It has been suggested that the top 250 combinations, or stock keeping units (SKUs), ‘account for nearly half of all toric prescriptions, and  the top 1000 meet the needs of about 80% of patients’.2
This necessitates a high volume of lenses, is expensive to manufacture and requires large space to store inventory. Consequently, only a small number of companies are able to produce a comprehensive range and the lenses are significantly more expensive than regular spherical lenses.

As a solution, Brien Holden Vision Institute is using patented optical principles to develop a novel toric contact lens designs that can facilitate a reduction of the number of SKUs required, without any associated significant visual compromise.

The novel toric is anticipated to offer easier fitting protocols for eye care professionals around the world, requiring minimal chair time when prescribing these lenses. The new toric lens would also provide significant savings in the manufacturing, logistics and inventory management for the industry.

Dr Eon Kim (Project Manager)
BCE MBioMedEng PhD

Dr Kim graduated from University of New South Wales (UNSW) with a Bachelor of Computer Engineering and Master of Biomedical Engineering degrees in 2005. She joined Brien Holden Vision Institute as a Research Engineer, specialising in instrumentation and developing software programs.
She completed a PhD at Brien Holden Vision Institute and School of Optometry and Vision Science (UNSW), investigating the ocular changes induced by corneal inlay (a sub-epithelial vision correction device) implantation to correct a hyperopic eye. This involved conducting clinical studies, writing customised image analysis software and theoretical modelling.

Dr Kim has published papers in peer-reviewed journals including Optometry and Vision Science, Journal of Biomedical Optics and Journal of Optometry.

Technology used in this project includes:
  • Transfer to manufacturing
  • Electronic Vision Charts
  • Custom Clinical Database



As part of our development of new myopia control interventions and strategies, we have designed and built screening tools that can measure and monitor risk related variables associated with myopia progression.

The EyeMapper is a global aberrometer, developed by our technology group, which performs quasi-real time global (central and peripheral) refraction and aberration measurements of the human eye. The EyeMapper has been used in clinical research studies at Brien Holden Vision Institute (Sydney, Australia and Guangzhou, China facilities) to assess peripheral refraction.

As well as peripheral refraction, the EyeMapper also produces the central measurements that conventional auto-refractors provide. Data collected suggests that specific features of a peripheral refraction profile can be used to individually manage children that are at risk of developing myopia and/or children that are at risk of progressing myopia.

Further development of the EyeMapper could produce an instrument that is compact, affordable and practical for use in every day clinical practice to better inform myopia management strategies.

The use of electronic vision charts for measuring distance visual acuity is now widespread in optometry and ophthalmology for its various advantages including the ability to randomise letters and to switch targets quickly. However, near vision testing, which is critical for assessing multifocal contact lens performance, is still typically performed with paper cards and charts.

Our technology team has adapted handheld tablet computers to function as electronic vision charts to retain the previously mentioned advantages when testing intermediate and near distances.

In parallel to the optical design optimisation, the Technology Team is also enhancing its capabilities in the areas of design transfer to manufacturing, as well as investing in new metrology equipment to ensure that lenses are made to specifications. Recent additions include the PLu apex optical profiler made by Sensofar and the Lambda-X PMTF instrument.

With this equipment and the in-house developed Model Eye, the Brien Holden Vision Institute is able to fully verify product quality and predict optical performance in vitro. The ever more intricate optical designs require sophisticated methods to measure and analyse their optical features. Software tools continue to be developed by Brien Holden Vision Institute to assist with this challenging task.


1. Global Industry Analysts, CONTACT LENSES AND SOLUTIONS: A Global Strategic Business Report, June 2014.
2. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016 Volume 123, Issue 5, Pages 1036–1042.
3. Schnider CM, Maximise your toric lens fitting sets, Optometric Management, Vol 47, May 2010, 44-49.