Johnson & Johnson has made a significant breakthrough for contact lens wearers with allergic eye itch by obtaining FDA approval for a drug-eluting contact lens. This development has caught the attention of medtech analysts at Needham & Co., who have released a report highlighting the potential growth in both the contact lens and intraocular lens markets.

According to the Needham analysts, both markets offer attractive opportunities due to their exposure to growth drivers that are somewhat insulated from pure volume growth. They believe that a shift towards premium products could increase the growth rate of both markets beyond their historical mid-single digit rate.

The report also covers the firm’s coverage initiation of Alcon, Cooper Companies, RxSight, and STAAR Surgical. It emphasizes the increasing demand for premium lenses in the contact lens market, with a shift from monthly and two-week replacement lenses to daily lenses, which can be significantly more expensive. Additionally, there is a shift from hydrogel to silicone hydrogel lenses, which come at a premium price.

The analysts also note that improving the conversion rate from trialing to permanent wearer and higher retention rates among older wearers could contribute to market growth. They mention STAAR Surgical’s FDA-approved EVO/EVO+ Visian Implantable Collamer Lens as a potential game-changer for correcting myopia and myopia with astigmatism.

In the intraocular lens market, the analysts expect growth to be driven by the adoption of premium lenses in cataract surgeries. They highlight the advancements in toric and advanced technology intraocular lenses, which can be significantly more expensive than monofocal lenses.

The report also mentions Google Trends analytics, which indicate that cataract procedure volumes are trending better than orthopedic and cardiovascular procedures. This suggests a potential indicator of growth for the intraocular lens market.

The analysts estimate that the current value of the intraocular lens market is around $3 billion. They also discuss RxSight’s differentiated intraocular lens system, which allows for post-procedure adjustments to provide tailored visual correction.

Alcon’s AcrySof IQ PanOptix Trifocal Intraocular Lens, which has surpassed one million implants worldwide, is highlighted as a multifocal lens that offers improved near and intermediate vision compared to monofocal lenses. Alcon has also recently launched the Clareon family of IOLs in the United States, which uses advanced intraocular lens material for consistent visual outcomes and exceptional clarity.

Overall, the Needham analysts see promising growth opportunities in both the contact lens and intraocular lens markets, driven by a mix shift towards premium products and advancements in technology.

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