SINGAPORE, NNA - Japan's Santen Pharmaceutical Co. has invested in Singapore's startup firm Plano Pte. Ltd. to collaborate on the treatment of myopia, one of the most common health issues globally, by using a holistic approach as well as innovative technological solutions.
Details of the investment amount have not been disclosed. Through the alliance with Plano, Santen plans to raise awareness and offer support for myopia's prevention and management, the company said in a press release Tuesday. It also plans to expand its business in the region and beyond.
Plano, an eye health tech company launched in 2017, was the first spin-off from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) – Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Ophthalmic Technologies Incubator Programme.
Plano's principal products include the online optometry booking system, Plano Eyecheck, and the Plano application, allowing parents to monitor their children's smart device use and eye health. The application has been adopted by more than 250,000 households, according to the press release.
"This funding and strategic alliance with Santen will play an instrumental role in growing Plano's user engagement, strengthen its big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, and drive its international expansion plans," Plano's Managing Director Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani said in the release.
According to the release, treating myopia costs Asian economies $328 billion every year, with Singapore alone spending $755 million annually.