Novartis’ eye care division, Alcon, has entered into an agreement with a division of Google to in-license its "smart lens" technology for all ocular medical uses. The agreement with Google[x], a specialized team within Google, provides Alcon with the opportunity to develop and commercialize Google's "smart lens" technology with the potential to further enhance Alcon's pipeline. The transaction remains subject to anti-trust approvals.
Under the agreement, Google[x] and Alcon will collaborate to develop a "smart lens" that has the potential to address ocular conditions. The smart lens technology involves non-invasive sensors, microchips, and other miniaturized electronics, which are embedded within contact lenses.
Novartis' interest in this technology is currently focused in two areas. One, helping diabetic patients manage their disease by providing a continuous, minimally invasive measurement of the body's glucose levels via a "smart contact lens" which is designed to measure tear fluid in the eye and connects wirelessly with a mobile device; and two, for people living with presbyopia who can no longer read without glasses, the "smart lens" has the potential to provide accommodative vision correction to help restore the eye's natural autofocus on near objects in the form of an accommodative contact lens or intraocular lens as part of the refractive cataract treatment.