Catchword is thrilled to share Allergan’s announcement that the FDA has approved Vuity and it is now available by prescription. Catchword created the name for this first and only eye drop to treat presbyopia (age-related blurry near vision) and for pHast, the technology used to deliver it.
The FDA approved Vuity for treatment of presbyopia on October 29, 2021, which received significant media coverage in general and pharma/healthcare outlets. Excitement has continued with stories online, in print, and on television explaining the eye drop’s life-changing effects. CBS Mornings aired a story today, as the company announced the product is now available by prescription.
“Vuity represents an eyesight revolution for millions if not billions of people around the world,” said Catchword principal Mark Skoultchi. “We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.”
What does Vuity do?
We all joke about eyesight deteriorating as we age—if only my arms were longer! It’s an inevitable part of getting older, right? This type of vision loss is called presbyopia. It’s a progressive condition that reduces the eye’s ability to focus on near objects, and nearly every adult over the age of 40 experiences it. That’s 128 million Americans (nearly half the US adult population)!
In a non-presbyopic eye, the clear lens behind the iris can change shape and focus light to the retina, making it easier to see things up close. In a presbyopic eye, the clear lens hardens and does not change shape as easily, making it difficult to focus on near objects. Presbyopia can be diagnosed by an eye doctor, but is usually left untreated. Until now.
Since 1948, Allergan has discovered, developed, and delivered more than 125 products and invested billions in research to treat glaucoma, ocular surface disease, retinal diseases, and other prevalent eye conditions. Presbyopia is not anywhere near as debilitating as these conditions but affects nearly everyone eventually. Allergan, now part of global pharmaceutical leader AbbVie, decided to find a treatment so people no longer need readers and a flashlight to do the activities they love.
The solution Allergan developed (pilocarpine HCL ophthalmic solution 1.25%) is a once-daily, prescription eye drop that works in as soon as 15 minutes and lasts up to 6 hours to improve near and intermediate vision without impacting distance vision.
This optimized formulation of pilocarpine, an established eye care therapeutic, is delivered with proprietary technology that allows the eye drop to rapidly equilibrate to the pH of the tear film. It uses the eye’s own ability to reduce pupil size, improving near vision without affecting distance vision. This new method eliminates the discomfort and blurry vision associated with existing means of delivering pilocarpine. Going forward, Allergan will use the technology to deliver the active ingredients of other eye-care formulations.
How did Catchword name it?
Because Catchword had helped Allergan in the past with eye care product naming, Allergan turned to us again to develop a name for this first-of-its-kind product as well as the innovative pH-sensitive ingredient technology.
In addition to richly conveying the brand themes and story, engaging target audiences and all the other requirements of a great name, with the eye drop name needed to be extremely careful about overpromising—it would treat, not cure, the condition and could not guarantee a particular level of vision improvement for every user. It also needed to sound like an over-the-counter brand (not a crazy drug name full of Xs and Zs) even though it would be a prescription product.
Vuity instantly conveys the solution’s ability to improve viewing acuity and recalls the phrase “view it.” As a gentle coinage it is both familiar and intriguing. The name is easy to spell and say (no small feat in pharmaceutical naming) and works equally well for English-speaking and international audiences to convey meaning and a smart, friendly tone. This naturalness is quite a contrast to the contrived look and feel of the name of new rival Eyenovia.
The name’s sounds further convey meaning and of course tone. The smoothly voiced opening “V” suggests velocity, action, and efficiency, ideas reinforced by the word’s brevity. Vuity packs three syllables into a small, quickly spoken package, underscoring the product’s ability to quickly deliver significant, lasting results.
The delivery tech name is equally apt. A clever altered spelling, pHast easily expresses the ingredient brand’s rapid pH equilibration. The name is short, easy to remember, and completely international given the universality of pH and the familiarity of the word fast to even minimal English speakers. pHast perfectly balances scientific and consumer-friendly vocabulary, appealing equally to medical and lay audiences.
As another gentle and short coinage, the name pairs easily with Vuity, but contrasts in tone and rhythm (one syllable versus three), enabling it to stand on its own as a completely different category of offering and signaling that it is aimed at a medical audience but is not intimidating to the consumer.