Safilens Turns 20 and Continues Growing as R&D and Innovation Position Italian Firm Among Leading Contact Lens Companies

By

Daniele Bazzocchi
STARANZANO, Italy—Safilens, a contact lens company based here, noted in a recent announcement that it is celebrating its 20th anniversary. “Twenty years of research, development and sales vitality have positioned the Italian company among the top players in the contact lens arena in Italy and ensure it an ever-increasing share of the international market,” the company noted in its announcement. Established in early 2001, in partnership with the Safilo Group, in the spring of 2012 the company was acquired by Bruno Farmaceutici S.p.A., a merger designed to offer patients unique lens solutions that combined performance and comfort.

Based on research, technology and the development of contact lenses, the merger leveraged innovation as the means of acquiring visibility in domestic and international markets, according to the announcement.

In 2005, Safilens patented the first contact lenses with hyaluronic acid release, the Safe-Gel line of contacts, and then solutions, which—thanks to the burgeoning interest—paved the way to international markets, and to FDA approval in the U.S.

In 2011, the highly advanced fusion technology was introduced that incorporates a co-polymer made of Tamarind-Seed Polysaccharides (TSP) and hyaluronic acid (HA)—the two natural polymers most used in the treatment of dry eye—into the contacts, thus ensuring optimal eye hydration and lubrication during their use, the company noted.

The essence of this corporate blending of pharmaceuticals and contact lens technology was expressed in the Open 30 Project, the first Safilens silicone lens based on the patented fusion technology. These contact lenses offer one of the most advanced monthly contact lens management systems currently available in the marketplace.

In 2015, Safilens developed and introduced the EDOF afocal lens design—initially in the daily fusion 1day presbyo version, and then in the weekly and monthly products—an easy, effective and immediate boon for presbyopes. The same concept was then employed in the less-stress-accommodation version for the use of video terminals and excessive proximal activity, making Safilens the first company in the world to introduce a fourth segment in the daily contact lens market.

“Research and development of Safilens products originates, as always, with close observation of lifestyles, continuous feedback from opticians, constant updating on materials, design and active ingredients, and with the desire to provide medical devices that improve the wearer’s experience and quality of life,” Safilens general manager Daniele Bazzocchi said in the announcement.

2020 was a noteworthy year, rife with challenges that—due to the global Coronavirus public health crisis—necessitated that Safilens management rise to the call to swiftly adapt its production and sales to support optical shops. In a year that had devastating effects on the world’s social, economic and health care systems, Safilens also engaged in solidarity activities for the common good. From March 22 to April 15, it promoted an initiative to benefit law enforcement, health care workers and emergency responders.

Safilens said it continues to strengthen its position in international markets, where its products are distributed in 35 countries.

In 2021, the company said it expects to launch “a groundbreaking new product that goes well beyond the simply corrective function of the lens.” The new product embodies the Safilens mission and its dynamic, independent and innovative DNA, the announcement noted.