Can Ongen is an industry expert, seasoned leader, member of the board of directors of VSY Biotechnology, an innovative and fast-growing biotechnology company, headquartered in Germany. VSY Biotechnology develops, manufactures, and sells IOLs, OVD and delivery systems over 80 markets globally.
Can has more than 30 years of global leadership experience in medical devices, surgical implants, capital equipment, consumer, and pharmaceuticals, having served in senior executive global commercial and marketing roles for Alcon, Nestlé Skin Health and Galderma.
In an interview with Ophthalmology Breaking News (OBN), Can Ongen evaluated the pandemic’s impact on the biotechnology sector and shared VSY Biotechnology’s plans and vision for the long run.
Ophthalmology Breaking News is an online platform, providing ophthalmologists with the latest news in the ophthalmic field, including breaking news from press releases, technological advances and surgical tips.
OBN: How has COVID-19 impacted your business? How did VSY Biotechnology close 2021?
CO: Whilst our focus on innovation-led growth for our business remained the same, there is no denying that the pandemic affected us and our industry like everyone else; it was very challenging, particularly during the first six months. However, we reacted quickly and took the necessary measures for our business and organization to confront the challenges posed by the pandemic: we reallocated our resources to improve digitization, internal and external communication and increased our investments in new product development.
We closed 2021 with mid-teen organic sales and EBITDA growth, whilst at the same time investing significantly in R&D, systems, and organization. We expect to see the fruits of these investments in our sales and profit both in the short and medium term.
OBN: Please tell us about VSY Biotechnology’s recently launched product with Sinusoidal Vision Technology; Golden Ratio concept ?
CO: We have introduced the concept of “Golden Ratio in IOL Technology” with our Acriva Trinova Pro C Pupil Adaptive® IOL. A world’s first, this technology is designed to provide patients with a high level of visual quality at all distances and in all possible lighting conditions.
The new lens uses patented Sinusoidal Vision Technology (SVT), which is designed to distribute effective and efficient light energy into near and intermediate distances while maintaining distance visual acuity due to minimized light loss in the diffraction orders.
The technological advances of Trinova Pro C Pupil Adaptive® IOL enable surgeons to achieve excellent visual outcomes, minimize spectacle dependency and maximize patient satisfaction after cataract surgery. Although trifocal lenses are the most effective option for spectacle freedom, dysphotopsia such as halos and glare cause visual discomfort and represent significant disadvantages of these types of lenses. The Acriva Trinova Pro C Pupil Adaptive® lens achieves significantly less glare and halos and is a trifocal lens which resolves dependency on spectacles by utilizing the highest retinal light and pupil adaptive design. Thanks to this innovation, not only can patients expect lifetime spectacle cost savings but they can also enjoy an improved overall vision-related quality of life.
OBN: How is VSY Biotechnology’s R&D product pipeline?
CO: VSY has one of the biotechnology industry’s most competitive pipelines. We currently have a significant number of projects at different development stages. These include a new kind of intraocular lenses with improved optical performance as well as new raw materials and different formulations. These are innovative solutions aimed at significantly improving patients’ quality of life and treatment standards at the global level.
OBN: What is your vision for future growth? Where is the growth area?
CO: High technology / premium IOLs, newly formulated OVDs and delivery systems are in our short and mid-term product pipeline. Moreover, we are planning to expand our business into new geographic areas and markets within the framework of our 5-year strategic plan. I should also mention that the company is significantly investing in MDR and MDSAP programs. Our ambition is to have a stronger presence with high technology products in key markets and regions. Our rich technology product pipeline combined with our business expansion strategy will help us achieve our goals and so become a unicorn company.
OBN: What are your plans for 2022?
CO: The industry is still experiencing the negative effect of the pandemic, even if it is not as strong as last year. The issue is not anymore ‘how to deal with the current pandemic challenges’ but whether you are ready for the post-pandemic phase. That includes not only having new products to launch by a motivated organization, but also a ready and agile supply chain team and strong partnerships.
VSY Biotechnology will continue investing in its organization including activities such as marketing and regulatory affairs, and strengthen its regional presence in key markets. We will launch two new products and open two new regional affiliates and focus on HCP training, business partners and customer development. 2022 will be a very busy and exciting year for us and further strengthen our ability to serve patients and healthcare professionals worldwide through inspiring innovation.
OBN: Thank you very much Can and wishing you and VSY Biotechnology a prosperous 2022.