Funds to launch new, FDA-approved treatment option for end-stage macular degeneration
SARATOGA, Calif., Jan. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc., a developer of advanced visual prosthetic devices designed to improve vision in patients with end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), announced today it has closed a Series E financing totaling $31 million. The round was led by Saints Capital. New investors are Giza Ventures, General iFinancial Holdings, and BSI SA, and current investors include Pitango Venture Capital, Three Arch Partners, ONSET Ventures, and Newbury Acquisitions Fund/Infinity CSVC Management. As part of this closing, Elka Nir, Managing Director and head of the Life Sciences sector at Giza, will join VisionCare's board of directors.
VisionCare intends to use the new capital to launch its telescope prosthesis for end-stage AMD, the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. The Company will further develop its sales and marketing capabilities to begin commercializing the telescope prostheses in the United States, followed by other markets. VisionCare will continue to fund its research and development of new visual prosthetic devices for severe retinal disorders.
"The combination of an aging population and lack of effective end-stage AMD treatment options make VisionCare's telescope implant a vital addition to this high-value and high-growth segment of the ophthalmic space," said Zack Scott, M.D., Vice President at Saints Capital. "We have been impressed by VisionCare's abilities during the clinical development phase, and look forward to their progress as they bring this potentially life-changing treatment to market."
"We appreciate the commitments and support from our new and existing investors, which will help us play a growing role as a provider of novel treatments for sight-stealing diseases," said Allen W. Hill, CEO of VisionCare. "This financing round allows us to launch our CentraSight treatment program as we execute our commercialization plans for the telescope implant."
About the Telescope Implant
The Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz) is designed to improve vision and quality of life in patients with end-stage AMD. Smaller than a pea, the telescope is implanted in one eye in an outpatient surgical procedure.
CentraSight Treatment Program
The first-of-kind telescope implant is integral to a new patient care program, CentraSight, for treating patients with end-stage AMD. The CentraSight treatment program involves a patient management process and access to reimbursement resources for patients and physicians. Patients and physicians can find more information about the telescope implant and related treatment program at www.centrasight.com.
About End-Stage Macular Degeneration
AMD is a disorder of the central retina, or macula, which is responsible for detailed vision that controls important functional visual activities like recognizing faces and watching television. The National Eye Institute estimates that over 1.7 million Americans over age 50 suffer vision loss from advanced AMD, which frequently culminates as end-stage AMD (visual impairment due to untreatable advanced AMD in both eyes). These patients often experience a loss of independence and quality of life, and have difficulty with activities of daily living. Approximately half of the individuals living with advanced AMD are affected in both eyes.
VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Saratoga, CA, is a privately-held company involved in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of implantable ophthalmic devices and technologies that are intended to significantly improve vision and quality of life for individuals with untreatable retinal disorders. VisionCare's Implantable Miniature Telescope was invented by company founders Yossi Gross and Dr. Isaac Lipshitz. Information on VisionCare can be found at www.visioncareinc.net and www.centrasight.com.
SOURCE VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.