New Company Aims to Reinvigorate In-Office Lens Casting
By Andrew Karp: Group Editor, Lenses + Technology
ALPHARETTA, Ga.—A team of veteran optical industry executives, backed by a major venture capital firm, is entering the market with a new technology they say could reinvigorate the in-office spectacle lens casting category. The team, based here, has been operating since 2007 under the name QSpex Technologies.
|QSpex Technologies’ CEO Steve Martin.
|QSpex Premium Lens System.
|QSpex back molds come complete with AR coating.
Led by Steve Martin, who founded Ciba Vision in 1980 and Ciba Vision Ophthalmics in 1990, QSpex recently raised $6 million of a targeted $12 million in an equity offering from principal investor Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, a Woodlands, Texas-based firm that previously raised $12 million for QSpex in 2009.
“Today, the potential impact of healthcare reform, the prevalence of third party pay, and the ongoing consolidation of suppliers worries many ECPs. QSpex is a way to put control back where it should be: in the hands of the doctors and opticians,” said Martin.
According to Martin, the QSpex System produces “top quality premium lenses including seven-layer, vacuum deposited AR progressive lenses on site,” allowing providers to personally control quality. A pair of lenses can be produced in about 30 minutes, so accounts are able to tailor service to individual patient needs. “The icing on the cake is they can do this while reducing lens cost by 30 percent to 50 percent and increase margins,” he noted.
The company plans to begin a regional roll-out of the QSpex system in July in the Southeast. Availability will be expanded in October to Delaware, Maryland, northern North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Southern New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. The system will be available nationwide by early 2013, QSpex said.
Several companies marketed in-office lens casting systems in the 1980s and ’90s with limited success. The most notable was Innotech, which was acquired and then folded by Johnson & Johnson. Since then, there has been little activity in the category.
The QSpex Premium Lens System was created by its founder, Kai Su, PhD, who serves as chairman and chief scientific officer. Dr. Su has worked in the vision care industry for over 31 years and is an expert in the field of polymer chemistry. He has developed products such as Ciba Vision’s Softcolors contact lenses and Alcon Laboratories’ Opticlean contact lens cleaning products and holds over 100 eyecare-related patents.
In addition to Martin and Su, several other industry veterans are members of QSpex Technologies’ management team. Ron McGhay serves as executive vice president of marketing and sales. He has over 30 years of general management, sales and marketing experience in the ophthalmic and optical products industries.
David S. Provow serves as senior vice president manufacturing/operations for QSpex. Provow has over 30 years of experience in spectacle lens manufacturing, mold production, process and technical engineering and quality control.
Tim Rogers, who has over 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the ophthalmic and optical products industries, is director of product management.
To reach customer service, please call (800) 825-4696.
© 2013 VisionMonday. All Rights Reserved