Santen and Plano, Team Up to Tackle Myopia Challenges

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OSAKAO, Japan and SINGAPORE—Santen Pharmaceutical Co., based here, and Plano, a Singapore-based health tech start-up, have formed a strategic alliance to tackle the global myopia crisis. Under the terms of the deal, Plano has secured an investment from Santen. Santen, through Plano, will develop solutions for myopia using both a holistic approach and innovative technological solutions, the companies said in an announcement. “I am pleased to have a strategic alliance with Plano,” said Shigeo Taniuchi, president and CEO of Santen.

He added that Santen, through Plano, will begin working in Singpore to raise awareness and support prevention and management of myopia in everyday life, as well as expand novel solutions to the region and beyond. He added, “With a recognition of rapid increase of myopia as a social issue, as a global leader in ophthalmology, Santen will work closely with Plano to resolve social issues related to myopia and to improve QOL of the patients around the world."

Plano’s managing director associate professor Mohamed Dirani commented, “This funding and strategic alliance with Santen will play an instrumental role in growing Plano’s user engagement, strengthen its big data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities, and drive its international expansion plans. The strategic alliance with Santen, who recognizes myopia as a material issue, is very important as we collectively embark on our future objectives to advance Plano’s products and services, expand its myopia-centered ecosystem into the region and introduce new and people-centered products for the management of myopia.

"We are eager to get to work with the excellent team at Santen. To align with Santen, who have shown leadership in ophthalmic care for over 130 years, is a humbling one. This alliance will provide the team at Plano with the added confidence, mentorship, and new opportunities to more effectively deliver its pioneering services in Singapore and the region. I am honored to be part of this journey and believe that this alliance will take Plano to even greater heights.”

Santen is a leading developer of medical devices and digital technologies for ophthalmology. Santen. Plano is an eye health tech company launched in 2017 and founded by Dirani. It is the first spin-off from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) - Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator Programme, dedicated to accelerating highly promising ophthalmic R&D projects toward commercialization and medical deployment.

The key products in the company’s ecosystem include the plano application and the online optometry booking system, Plano Eyecheck. The science-based plano application has been adopted by more than 250,000 households, according to Plano.

Plano users can look forward to a series of announcements which include a new app interface for both parents and children, improved product functionality, and for the first time in the world, an AI-driven calculator for the development, progression and stabilization of myopia in children and teenagers, the companies said.