CooperVision MiSight 1 Day Team Honored with 2019 BCLA Industry Award


At the 2019 BCLA closing dinner
gala are CooperVison's Paul Chamberlain and BCLA president
Sunil Shah during the awards presentation.

MANCHESTER, England—A trio of myopia management leaders has been honored with the prestigious British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Industry Award for their work developing, researching and commercializing the innovative CooperVision MiSight 1 day contact lens. John Phillips, Stuart Cockerill and Paul Chamberlain were recognized on Saturday, June 1 at the BCLA Clinical Conference & Exhibition closing gala dinner. They were selected from a field of finalists who have all made immeasurable contributions to the field, according to an announcement.

Myopia is projected to affect the vision and ocular health of approximately five billion people by 2050, more than doubling today’s numbers. The rising prevalence of this condition, also known as nearsightedness or short-sightedness, is sparking the need to go beyond solely providing vision correction, to also deliver accessible, effective methods to slow the progression of myopia in children.

These factors led the three pioneers to each play a substantial role in developing and commercializing the MiSight 1 day contact lens, which is now worn by more than 10,000 children around the world, according to the announcement.

For John Phillips, the story begins at the University of Auckland (New Zealand), where as a researcher he became aware of early experiments demonstrating that myopic defocus imposed on the retina slowed eye growth. He initiated human studies of monovision spectacle wear in children, which demonstrated that myopic defocus could also slow the rate of myopia progression in children

CooperVision's MiSight 1 team celebrates its award at the BCLA meeting in Manchester, England, last weekend.
John translated early experimental optical designs into a dual-focus contact lens with two simultaneous image planes: one focused on the retina to address visual acuity and the other deliberately creating simultaneous myopic defocus on the retina to slow myopia progression. Phillips now is a principal investigator at the Auckland Myopia Laboratory and senior lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at The University of Auckland.

Cockerill, who is head of global commercial operations, specialty eyecare, at CooperVision, also played a key role. In 2009, MiSight 1 day was the first contact lens introduced for myopia management. At the time, the pathological consequences of myopia were less well established. Cockerill had the foresight to initiate the first industry-supported three-year study to assess the efficacy of the dual-focus design across three continents, with sites in Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Portugal.

Chamberlain spearheaded the third phase of MiSight 1’s evolution as CooperVision’s research and development lead for myopia management programs. He directed the analysis of the MiSight 1 day three-year study, ensuring a rigorous approach with data that was robust and generalizable to the targeted patient population, as well as suitability to support key regulatory pathways. He currently serves as director, research programs, CooperVision.

“Myopia management has been described as the ‘next contact lens revolution’—something more evident than ever at this year’s BCLA Conference,” CooperVision vice president of global myopia management James Gardner said in the announcement. “However, it takes inspiration, vision and dedication to integrate new technology into a commercially viable approach. The foresight and years of effort from John, Stuart and Paul are well deserving of recognition from their peers and the industry.

“Yet they’ll be the first to tell you the honor is not about them—it’s about the thousands of children who are benefiting from that work every day. It’s this attitude that gives us hope that we can truly make an impact, working alongside ECPs to take on myopia,” Gardner said.