Press Release: Santen and Orbis Announce Partnership to Tackle the Burden of Eye Diseases

Orbis is happy to share its ten-year partnership with Santen to fight the increasing burden of eye diseases in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Asia.

NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, Santen) and Orbis International (hereinafter, Orbis) today announced a long-term, ten-year partnership to tackle the increasing burden of eye diseases in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Asia. Under this long-term partnership, Santen and Orbis will accelerate the growth of quality eye care systems by building the capacity of eye care professionals, developing digital technology and increasing awareness of the importance of eye health.

During the initial three years of the ten-year partnership, Santen and Orbis – through Orbis's initiatives and award-winning telemedicine platform, Cybersight, which reaches eye care professionals across 200 countries and regions – will carry out the following activities:

  • Provide quality residency training and grow ophthalmologists' expertise in glaucoma, thereby building and strengthening skills that are critical to protecting vision and providing quality patient care, in Vietnam and India
  • Develop digital training programs, such as artificial intelligence (AI)-augmented care and a digital surgical training platform for glaucoma, that enable greater access to patient care
  • Invest in research that aims to quantify the importance of eye health, including how improved care and better vision can affect quality of life

These activities are designed to be implemented in addition to the "Digital Glaucoma Educational Initiative" for ophthalmologists in China, which Santen and Orbis announced in June 2020.

Derek Hodkey

President and CEO of Orbis

We are thrilled to expand our part­ner­ship with San­ten, a com­pa­ny that shares our dri­ve to raise aware­ness of the impor­tance of eye health and to build strong eye care sys­tems capa­ble of pro­vid­ing patients with qual­i­ty care. By work­ing togeth­er, we can sig­nif­i­cant­ly accel­er­ate our work to train eye care pro­fes­sion­als across Asia. With glob­al blind­ness pro­ject­ed to triple over the next three decades, train­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of oph­thal­mol­o­gists is more crit­i­cal than ever.
Chinese paediatric glaucoma patient Shunwen having her eyes examined

Patient Shunwen Wang receives a check-up for her glaucoma.

Shigeo Taniuchi

President and CEO of Santen

We are pleased to announce our deep­ened part­ner­ship with Orbis, this col­lab­o­ra­tion will accel­er­ate the growth of and access to eye care sys­tems in under­served coun­tries and regions by con­tribut­ing to oph­thalmic care capac­i­ty enhance­ment and increas­ing aware­ness of the impor­tance of eye health. As not­ed in our long-term vision San­ten 2030, San­ten believes in a holis­tic approach to eye care begin­ning with edu­ca­tion, train­ing, tech­nol­o­gy and research to help ensure opti­mal patient care which in turn may lead to Hap­pi­ness with Vision for peo­ple around the world.

At present, at least 2.2 billion people around the world have a vision impairment, of whom at least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed. Santen and Orbis believe in a world where everyone has access to quality eye care and where no one is blind or visually impaired due to avoidable causes. We join forces to improve people's quality of life through the gift of sight, which can lead to a more fulfilling and happier life.

Santen Forward-looking Statements Information provided in this press release contains forward-looking statements. The achievement of these forecasts is subject to risk and uncertainty from various sources. Therefore, please note that the actual results may differ significantly from the forecasts. Business performance and financial conditions are subject to the effects of changes in regulations made by the governments of Japan and other nations concerning medical insurance, drug pricing and other systems, and to fluctuations in market variables such as interest rates and foreign exchange rates.

About Santen

As a specialized company dedicated to ophthalmology, Santen carries out research, development, marketing, and sales of pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter products, and medical devices. Santen is the market leader for prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals in Japan and its products now reach patients in over 60 countries. With scientific knowledge and organizational capabilities nurtured over a 130-year history, Santen provides products and services to contribute to the well-being of patients, their loved ones and consequently to society. For more information, please visit Santen's website (

About Orbis International

Orbis is a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for nearly four decades. Orbis transforms lives by delivering the skills, resources and knowledge needed to deliver accessible quality eye care. Working in collaboration with local partners, including hospitals, universities, government agencies and ministries of health, Orbis provides hands-on ophthalmology training, strengthens healthcare infrastructure and advocates for the prioritization of eye health on public health agendas. Orbis operates the world's only Flying Eye Hospital, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft, and an award-winning telemedicine platform, Cybersight. For the past nine consecutive years, Orbis has achieved Charity Navigator's coveted four-star rating for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency, placing Orbis in the top 3% of U.S. charities. To learn more, please visit


Akiko Yoshikawa, Corporate Communications

Media Contact

Kristin Taylor Associate Director, Global Marketing and Communications

Address: Orbis
​520 8th Avenue, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again