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 improve access to healthcare in the field of ophthalmology as our specialty.

Ophthalmology as One of the Three Material Strategies

The company'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 established a partnership in 2020 with Orbis International (hereinafter, "Orbis"), a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for four decades, 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 are working together to 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.

Initiatives to help ophthalmologists in China, Vietnam and India further develop their expertise and skills in glaucoma treatment

Online training

Cybersight, Orbis's award-winning telemedicine and e-learning platform for eye health professionals, offers an opportunity for efficient learning together with a wide variety of online learning content, including courses on various eye-disease-related topics and the latest medical information, thereby contributing to the development of ophthalmologists' expertise. Cybersight provides eye health professionals with free access to a standardized educational platform and world-class knowledge, no matter where they are on the planet. The high-qualigy educational content is available online in multiple languages, enabling local ophthalmologists and other medical professionals to learn effectively in their native languages.

As of July 2022, Cybersight offers six online courses and over 20 educational resources on glaucoma in Chinese, and two online courses and four educational resources in Vietnamese. The number of ophthalmologists using Cybersight for their learning amounts to 1,700 in China, 1,600 in Vietnam, and over 5,300 in India. They are among more than 67,000 eye care professionals across 212 countries and regions globally using the platform.

Development of diagnostic and surgical skills

Developing skills in diagnosis and surgery requires a favorable environment and ample opportunities for training, including equipment, educational materials, programs, and competent trainers. To ensure efficient access to high-level professional training for as many ophthalmologists as possible, Santen has partnered with Orbis to offers innovative training programs whose features include diagnostic support assisted by AI and digital technology, online remote guidance, and surgical training using simulation kits - all through Cybersight. We therefore aim to help ophthalmologists in emerging countries develop their skills in glaucoma diagnosis and surgery.

Glaucoma surgical training using a simulation kit (at Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, Vietnam)

Initiative to help train ophthalmology residents in Vietnam and India

Another key to making high-quality ophthalmic treatment more accessible is to provide ophthalmology residents with standardized, high-quality education in order to increase the number of fully trained ophthalmologists. Santen supports Orbis as the organization develops and offers practical solutions to raising the level of ophthalmic education, including tools for evaluating training programs, instructor training programs, and training tools based on digital technology. These efforts work to standardize training programs for ophthalmology residents in Vietnam and India and help local educational institutions enhance their resident training capabilities.

Initiative to raise public awareness of the importance of eye health in India and China

Santen is also providing support to Orbis to conduct academic research aimed at quantifying the importance of eye health, including the impacts of ophthalmic treatment and improved visual functions on quality of life (QOL). This support has already led to the publication of research on the link between vision impairment and mental health in children in the peer-reviewed journal Ophthalmology. The goal is for the findings of these academic research projects to be used for advocacy and raising awareness of the importance of vision care in India and China.

Strategic Partnership with SNEC to Provide Innovative Educational Programs for Healthcare Professionals

We have entered into a strategic partnership with the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), which is widely recognized internationally as a world leader in education for eye care professionals. We are working together to jointly develop and deploy internationally an enhanced educational program deploying a combined online and offline platform to address the shortage of trained healthcare professionals supply to contribute to development of the eye care ecosystem throughout the region. We have started the Ophthalmic Technician (OT) training program as the first initiative under the partnership in Singapore. The program will be expanded to other countries and regions from now on.

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 Verily'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.