Visioneering Technologies Limited (ASX:VTI) CEO and Executive Director, Dr Stephen Snowdy, discusses the benefits of contact lenses for a range of conditions, including paediatric myopia, presbyopia and astigmatism.
Jessica Amir: Hello I’m Jessica Amir for the Finance News Network. Joining me from Visioneering Technologies Limited (ASX:VTI) is CEO and Executive Director, Dr Stephen Snowdy. Welcome back.
Dr Stephen Snowdy: Good afternoon, thanks Jess.
Jessica Amir: For new investors, you sell contact lenses but just remind us. Who uses your lenses?
Dr Stephen Snowdy: Optometrists use our contact lenses in two patient populations that are underserved or unserved, by the current products. One of those patient populations are people who are called presbyopic. These are people over the age of 40, who have lost their ability to see up close. That’s about a $3 billion market opportunity in the US. The other patient population being served by our lenses are children, who are nearsighted. This is called paediatric myopia. About a third of the children in the United States are nearsighted and getting worse every year. And 80 to 90 per cent of Asian children are nearsighted.
Jessica Amir: It’s been a year since listing. So just walk us through your key milestones and what you’re most proud of?
Dr Stephen Snowdy: It’s been a very busy year at Visioneering. We raised $33 million in the IPO, back in March of 2017. And in 2017, we really dedicated ourselves to getting the infrastructure in place to build more sales in the US, and to start laying the groundwork for building sales outside the US. We turned in $1 million of revenue, in 2017. The first quarter of 2018, we turned in US$555,000 in revenue, which is pretty exciting for us. We grew the number of active accounts from a little over 130 at the time of the IPO, to over 940 active accounts at the end of the first quarter of 2018.
We received CE Mark in that time as well, that gives us clearance to go into Europe. That gives us clearance to go into some other countries as well. We use that CE Mark for expedited clearance in Australia, so now we’re cleared to sell our products in Australia as well. We saw some great data published in the year as well and practitioners using our lenses in children. They showed a 97 per cent decrease in the rate of progression of nearsightedness in children wearing our lenses, which was very very exciting.
Jessica Amir: Let’s talk about the specifics about the products. Just tell us what you’re selling at the minute and what’s coming down the line?
Dr Stephen Snowdy: Our flagship product is our multifocal contact lens. That’s the lens that we use in people who are presbyopic, or in children who are nearsighted. We also sell something called the sphere lens, which is for the simple correction of distance vision. We’ll be launching a new and improved version of the sphere lens in the summer of this year. And we also are looking at launching the toric lens for people with astigmatism, this year. And a revolutionary product in 2019, which combines the multifocal optics of our lens with the toric lens, and that’ll be the multifocal toric lens that we’re looking at launching early in 2019.
Jessica Amir: What can we expect in 2018?
Dr Stephen Snowdy: 2018 is going to be a continued year of growth for us. We’ll be adding sales representatives or territory managers in the United States. We’ll be adding active accounts as we’ve seen in the past. And investors should also look forward to our international launches, beginning with Europe and possibly Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.
Jessica Amir: Last question now Stephen. Just tell us why you think investors should be adding VTI to their portfolio?
Dr Stephen Snowdy: VTI has revolutionary products that address two patient populations that are in the US, unserved or underserved by the current offerings, from the major contact lens companies. Together these opportunities represent a $5.4 billion market in the United States. We’ve also received clearances recently that will allow us to serve markets outside the United States, as well. In addition, VTI has executed very well against the expectation of the investor community since the IPO. And awareness is increasing among the investor community of VTI and its successes. And I think altogether that makes for a pretty compelling opportunity.
Jessica Amir: Dr Stephen Snowdy, thank you so much.
Dr Stephen Snowdy: Thank you.