Innovation and Acceleration of Ecosystem

Santen aims to reduce the loss of social and economic opportunities for people around the world due to eye conditions by working to improved access to healthcare in the field of ophthalmology as our specialty.

Ophthalmology as One of the Three Material Strategies

Santen’s materiality framework comprises three strategies and four areas of ESG materiality. In the strategy of Ophthalmology, one of our three strategies (Ophthalmology, Wellness, and Inclusion), we will accelerate innovation in ophthalmology and ecosystem(*) development.

Innovation in ophthalmology

We wish to free patients from having to live with eye conditions, improving their quality of life. We aim to accomplish this not only by producing new pharmaceuticals and medical devices and investing in innovative treatment approaches such as cellular and genetic treatment, we will also work to go beyond the bounds of the pharmaceutical industry in an effort to develop and provide patient-oriented ophthalmological solutions.

Acceleration of ecosystem development

In addition to working to address growing medical needs by development, sales and stable supply of ophthalmic pharmaceuticals and surgical devices, we strive together with our stakeholders to bring about qualitative and quantitative improvements in the ophthalmic care ecosystem and to improve the efficiency of society.

  • Ecosystem: The ophthalmic care ecosystem is an aggregate of various stakeholders that contribute to the provision of ophthalmic care and collaborative relationships in which they function organically.

Accelerating the Growth of Quality Eye Care Systems through a Partnership with Orbis

Santen has established a partnership with Orbis International (hereinafter, “Orbis”), a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness, with the aim of accelerating the growth of quality eye care systems so that everyone will have good access to quality ophthalmic treatment. Both parties will achieve this aim by building the capacity of eye care professionals, developing digital technologies helpful for supporting the education of eye care professionals, and increasing public awareness of the importance of eye health.

Digital glaucoma educational initiative for ophthalmologists in China

Focusing on glaucoma, a major cause of blindness that would be avoidable with appropriate diagnosis and treatment, the three-year initiative aims to create online training courses using artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies and develop a system for live surgical demonstrations.

Through this partnership, Santen, a global leader in ophthalmic treatments, including treatments for glaucoma, can enable access to distant learning tools for more eye care professionals, especially in remote rural areas in China.

These tools will be available in Chinese via Orbis's telemedicine platform named Cybersight. Therefore, they will enable Chinese eye care professionals to receive training in the official language of their country and consequently help implement an excellent standardized curriculum, which has so far been unavailable in China, resulting in better access for more patients to quality eye care.

Long-term (10-year) initiative to reduce the burden of an increasing number of eye disease cases in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Asia

Santen and Orbis will pursue a long-term (10-year) initiative to reduce the burden of an increasing number of eye disease cases in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Asia.

During the first three years of the initiative, Santen and Orbis will focus on establishing quality eye care systems by enhancing training for medical professionals utilizing AI and other digital technologies. Specific activities under the initiative are listed below. The two parties will also strive to raise public and personal awareness of the importance of eye health.

  • Increasing the quality of ophthalmic residency training and growing ophthalmologists’ expertise and skills in glaucoma treatment in Vietnam and India
  • Developing digital ophthalmologist training programs focusing on glaucoma, including an AI-assisted diagnosis support program and a digital surgical training platform
  • Investing in research that aims to quantify the importance of eye health, including how improved care and better vision can positively affect the quality of life

Developing Solutions, Including Ophthalmic Devices, through a Joint Venture Company Established with Verily

Santen has established a joint venture company, Twenty Twenty Therapeutics, together with Verily Life Sciences LLC (headquartered in San Francisco, USA; hereinafter “Verily”) to improve the eye health of people everywhere.

The new joint venture will develop solutions to support ophthalmology practice globally. Combining Santen’s industry knowledge and technology in ophthalmology and Verity’s expertise in developing connected integrated medical devices and machine learning, the new company will create and commercialize unique ophthalmic devices and comprehensive tech-enabled solutions.

From a medium- to long-term perspective, reduction of the burden of medical treatment by harnessing state-of-the art technologies such as IoT or machine-learning, will also trigger the dramatic growth of medical ecosystems in developing countries. The joint venture aims to improve access to medical care and its quality and reduce the burden that diseases impose on patients.