Chromagen Research and FDA Approval

The American Food and Drug Administration has given approval in the United States for Cantor & Nissel's ChromaGen Haploscopic lenses.

The ChromaGen system is a series of individually prescribed coloured filters, fitted in either contact lens or spectacle form, with the aid of a simple diagnostic set. The lenses are used to assist patients with colour vision defects and, more latterly, those with reading difficulties (dyslexia). The system was developed by David Harris, of the Ultralase refractive surgery clinics, and Cantor & Nissel acquired the rights in March this year.

David Cantor, Managing Director of Cantor & Nissel said "ChromaGen has enormous potential both to patients and practitioners. We are delighted to have FDA recognition of the system and, with our American distribution network already in place, we will be able to service the needs of the entire area".

The ChromaGen system has been available in the UK since 1997. Since Cantor & Nissel acquired the rights in March this year and restructured the pricing policy, efforts have been concentrated on European and International expansion.

Recent research published in Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics by Helen Swarbrick and others at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, has confirmed that the ChromaGen system improves colour perception in colour blind subjects.

The researchers used a range of colour vision tests including the Ishihara, Farnsworth Munsell D-15, Farnsworth lantern test and subjective responses on a visual analogue scale. The results showed that there was a highly significant improvement in the Ishihara and D-15 results, but not in the lantern test. Judgement of distance and motion were only slightly affected and, subjectively, the subjects reported improved colour perception but as the lenses were tinted they felt that their vision was altered in dim light.

The researchers concluded that ChromaGen lenses enhanced subjective colour experience and assisted in certain colour-related tasks, but were not indicated as an aid for in occupations where colour-vision related restrictions were in place.

The ChromaGen lens system is used for helping those with defective colour vision and improving reading in dyslexia. It was awarded Millennium Product status for innovation and achievement in 1999 and is now distributed worldwide from Britain by Cantor & Nissel.

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