Contact Lens Spectrum Supplements

Special Edition 2017

Contact Lens Spectrum

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C O N T A C T L E N S S P E C T R U M S P E C I A L E D I T I O N 2 0 1 7 c l s p e c t r u m . c o m 62 INDUSTR Y FOCUS JA S O N J. N I C H O L S, O D, M P H, P H D A SECOND LOOK AT CONTAMAC T his month, we revisit Con- tamac Ltd., a U.K.-based manufacturer of materials for the contact lens, intraocular lens (IOL), and other healthcare in- dustries. I recently had the pleasure to speak with Robert McGregor, Contamac's managing director. Mr. McGregor, please tell us about your company in terms of its history and direction. Contamac is proud to celebrate its 30th Anniversary this year. My father John McGregor, the cur- rent chairman, founded the busi- ness in our family home in 1987, making Contamac a true "garden shed" story, as we would say in the United Kingdom. Contamac's focus has always been material manufacturing, our first being a 38% HEMA material for the contact lens industry. We've made many advancements in both the contact lens materials industry and the IOL materials industry. For example, in 1997, we launched C126, a foldable hydrophilic acrylic material for the IOL industry; we launched the Optimum GP ma- terials in 2004; and we developed Definitive, the first latheable sili- that complement the healthcare industry. It will further provide us with additional funding to improve not just R&D, but our client liai- son and support structures within the business. I think this can be viewed as a new chapter in the history of the business. But, the important point is that our company philosophy and leadership remain unchanged; and, even more importantly, our customers remain our priority. Tell us about any new products or new developments in which Contamac is involved. The lifeblood of our business is R&D; we relocated to a larger facil- ity in part to provide our R&D team with significantly greater resources. Because R&D is fundamental to the business, we reinvest about 15% to 20% of our revenues back into our research program. Our research team is currently developing SiHy and GP products for the contact lens industry. We also are researching new hydro- gel materials and working on a new generation of IOL materials. Our team of chemists is research- ing technologies related to surface chemistry as well as frequent lens replacement. Our goal is to con- tinually provide our finished lens manufacturers with new options and opportunities. Although the eyecare sector is our core business, we are also devel- oping biocompatible materials for use in other healthcare fields. For example, we've developed polymers that are used as skin expanders for particular traumas, such as for deep burns, that can be placed under cone hydrogel (SiHy) material, in 2008. Contamac now manufactures more than 250 materials for all con- tact lens and IOL applications. Contamac has been honored to receive several awards in the com- pany's history. One of our polymers was recognized with a medical de- sign excellence award in 2008. And, in 2012, we received the Queen's Award for Enterprise in the Inter- national Trade category. We also re- ceived a second Queen's Award for Enterprise, this time for Innovation in SiHy materials, in 2016. Also in 2016, we relocated our headquarters and manufacturing plant into a 35,000-square-foot purpose-built facility in Saffron Waldon, England. We manufac- ture more than 15 million finished blanks annually, but the business is capable of producing >18 million as needed. Outside of the United Kingdom, we have a sales, market- ing, and distribution center for the business in the United States. We work with a range of distributors worldwide, and we also have an of- fice based in Shanghai. In April 2017, we formed a stra- tegic alliance with Shanghai-based Haohai Biological Technology, a high-tech enterprise that is princi- pally engaged in the research and manufacture of absorbable bio- medical materials. Its business is focused in industries outside of our traditional contact lens and IOL markets. That partnership is going to strengthen our core research and development (R&D) capability, not just in the markets that we already serve, but it will also help us to ex- pand into new geographical territo- ries and to look at new technologies RO B E R T M CG R E G O R M A N AG I N G D I R E C TO R, CO N TA M AC, LT D.

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