Photo (cc) Novartis AG
Novartis took back its 2016 date for testing its autofocus contact lens on people, reported Reuters. Verily Life Sciences, a sector of Google, partnered with Alcon, a division of Novartis to develop this groundbreaking product two years ago, but are currently experiencing delays.
Last year, Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said that his company’s Alcon eye care unit was on track to begin testing in 2016. As of now, they are unsure as to when human clinical trials will begin. Novartis
The two companies are developing two kinds of “smart” contact lenses: 1. An autofocusing lens for people with far-sightedness, 2. A glucose-sensing contact lens for diabetes patients to measure blood-glucose levels.
John Smith, a former executive with Johnson & Johnson, called their efforts “faith-based science.” He told STAT that attempts to measure glucose from sweat, saliva, and tears have been unsuccessful for decades. The teams from Alcon and Verily were aware of the challenges from the very beginning, but they say that for producing cutting-edge technology, their efforts thus far have been solid. Slowly but surely.