This Month's Profile Group: Artificial Retinal Devices Help The Blind To See, features profiles of 2C Tech Corp., LambdaVision and Nano Retina. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Adenovir Pharma, Akrivis Technologies, Emboline and Phagenesis.
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2C Tech Corp. is developing a non-surgical, nanotechnology-based artificial retinal prostheses designed to overcome the limitations of current, implanted silicon chips and to operate at the cellular level over the entire retina to preserve sight. The start-up’s injectable SeeQ device converts ambient light to electrical energy. As photoreceptors are stimulated by the electrical charge, they release growth factors beneficial for retinal cell preservation.
Israel’s Nano Retina Inc. is developing an artificial retina that it hopes will provide a superior solution for restoring sight to patients with late-stage AMD and other degenerative ophthalmic diseases, who currently have no curative options. Its permanently implantable device is powered by an eye-safe laser that can be imbedded or attached to eyeglasses.
Worldwide rates of all diseases that cause blindness are expected to double by 2020 due to the aging population, making this an area ripe for medical device innovation. A multibillion-dollar market has been built around the surgical correction of "front of the eye" age-related vision disorders such as presbyopia, but the technological evolution in ophthalmology has now reached the back of the eye. Artificial retinal prostheses are an increasingly popular area of investigation. Start-ups hoping to enter this market face daunting R&D, clinical and regulatory hurdles, and will require significant resources. We profile three such companies in this issue: 2C Tech Corp., LambdaVision and Nano Retina.