Mainboard-listed Cordlife Group has received a license from the Ministry of Health (MOH) that permits it to launch OptiQ, a corneal lenticule banking service in Singapore.

This makes it the first company in Asia to offer such a service.

The corneal lenticule banking service allows patients to undergo certain refractive eye surgery using the lenticule extraction method (such as SMILE) to treat conditions such as myopia or astigmatism.

Myopia is common among Singaporeans, with 82% of 20-year-olds suffering from the condition.

In addition, the service cryopreserves patients’ corneal lenticules for potential treatment of presbyopia and other ocular conditions in future.

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Presbyopia is an age-related condition that will affect most people after the age of 40, where the eyes gradually lose the ability to focus on objects at close range.

SEE: Cordlife on target to achieve full-year net profit in FY18

The technology behind OptiQ was invented by Professors Donald Tan and Jodhbir Mehta from the research arm of the Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI).

The expertise to store and re-implant a person’s corneal lenticule was also developed by SERI and patented by the Singapore Health Services (Singhealth).

“Cordlife has accumulated 20 years of experience in the banking of biological materials so offering the storage of corneal lenticules is a natural extension of our services. Our partnership with SERI fits perfectly with our commitment to providing innovative healthcare service,” says group CEO and executive director Tan Poh Lan.

“We are pleased to leverage Cordlife’s technical and marketing expertise in biological tissue and stem cell storage as we anticipate significant utility of cryopreserved corneal lenticules,” adds Professor Tan at SERI.

Shares in CordLife closed 2 cents lower or 5.3% down at 36 cents on March 2.