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Thomson X Inks Strategic Partnership with Singapore-Based Startup Plano and Set Sights on Managing Myopia in Asia

Thomson X Inks Strategic Partnership with Singapore-Based Startup Plano and Set Sights on Managing Myopia in Asia

SINGAPORE, Feb. 5, 2021 Thomson X (“TX”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGX Mainboard-listed Thomson Medical Group Limited (the “Group”), today announced a strategic partnership with Plano Pte Ltd (“Plano”), a Singapore-based HealthTech startup. The collaboration will leverage on the respective strengths of TX and Plano to address and manage the rapidly increasing incidence of myopia through innovative technological solutions.

Myopia is steadily growing into one of the biggest public health challenges in the world, affecting an estimated 2.6 billion people globally, or about one-third of the world’s population. By 2050, myopia is projected to affect 5 billion people, which is estimated to be about half of the world’s population[1]. Developed economies in Asia such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea have reported myopia rates of more than 80% and the estimated direct annual costs of managing myopia globally amounts to US$328 billion.  

Plano is a health technology company that specialises in myopia management through education and awareness, innovative technological solutions and AI. Supported by the Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore Eye Research Institute, National Health Innovation Centre and Enterprise Singapore, together with its recent strategic alliance with Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a global ophthalmic leader, Plano is a leading advocate in raising awareness and educating the public on myopia, its risk factors and management strategies.

Thomson X, a platform that is focused on simplifying healthcare through technology, oversees Thomson Medical Group’s technology roadmap by connecting HealthTech startups with its healthcare expertise and network to scale up rapidly and maximise their reach, creating sustainable growth. Through the partnership, the Group’s patients at Thomson Paediatric Clinic and Thomson Kids in Singapore, and Thomson Eye Centre in Malaysia will soon have access to Plano’s innovative eye-care solutions on top of Thomson’s existing healthcare services. In addition, the partnership will also accelerate Plano’s market potential through TX’s global partner, the Global Esports Federation, by delivering innovative eye health services to Esports athletes and gamers who are exposed to long screen time.

The partnership will grant TX an option to subscribe for an equity stake in Plano which can be exercised in three tranches over a six-year period based on certain conditions. If all three tranches are exercised, TX will hold a minority stake in Plano, allowing TX to participate in Plano’s future growth.
References:
1. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016;123(5):1036-42.
2. World Health Organization. The impact of myopia and high myopia: Report of the Joint World Health Organization – Brien Holden Vision Institute Global Scientific Meeting on Myopia. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia: 2015.
ABOUT THOMSON X
Thomson X is a platform focused on enriching the current healthcare landscape through strategic partnerships and collaboration, so as to drive growth in the health and wellness space. Operating in synergy with Thomson Medical Group’s core activities and top-tier partners, Thomson X will fuel innovative health technology companies to maximise their potential. At Thomson X, we embrace the spirit of spontaneity, creativity and passion. Thomson X is a subsidiary of Thomson Medical Group
ABOUT PLANO
Plano was developed with a clear purpose; to save sight and empower lives. With a culture of disruptive thinking grounded in real scientific research, Plano promotes the use of education and awareness, innovative technological solutions and AI to help manage myopia & excessive device use. Plano’s founding Managing Director, Associate Professor Mohamed Dirani, is dedicated to the study and research of myopia and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School and an Honorary Principal Investigator at the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA). In July 2020, Plano announced its strategic alliance with global ophthalmic leader, Santen Pharmaceutical. In Nov 2020, Plano emerged as the winner of Galen Growth’s World’s Most Innovative HealthTech Startup 2020 Award from a field of 64 global HealthTech Startups.

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