Healthcare Industry News:  cataract 

Devices Ophthalmology Venture Capital

 News Release - April 27, 2009

Visiogen Secures $40 Million in Equity Financing

Funds Will Support Global Commercialization of the Synchrony(R) Dual Optic Accommodating Intraocular Lens

IRVINE, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Visiogen, Inc. of Irvine, California, announces that it has raised $40 million from new and current investors to support the global commercialization of the Synchrony(R) dual optic accommodating intraocular lens (IOL). Lead investor Novartis Venture Fund, along with Technology Partners, made major contributions to this round of financing, which was also strongly supported by current investors Three Arch Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, Prospect Venture Partners, CMEA Ventures and Foundation Medical Partners.

Since the last round of financing in 2007, Visiogen has made significant progress in the development of the Synchrony IOL, including the completion of the U.S. phase III study, the formation of Visiogen Europe GmbH and the commencement of commercialization in Europe. Furthermore, a number of clinical investigators have published encouraging results from multiple comparative randomized double-masked trials as well as objective proof of mechanism of accommodation at up to five years.

“The funds we have raised will give us the flexibility and resources necessary to maximize the commercial impact of the Synchrony IOL,” said Reza Zadno, CEO and Founder of Visiogen, Inc. “Our ability to raise capital from world-class investors in the current difficult economic climate is a testament to the significant market opportunity that exists for a next-generation accommodating IOL,” Zadno added.

“We are excited at the opportunity to collaborate with Visiogen,” said Steven Weinstein, Managing Director of the Novartis Venture Fund. “Their commitment to clinical science is impressive, as evidenced by their significant investment in clinically rigorous, double-masked, long-term trials of the Synchrony lens.”

“Visiogen has assembled a strong management team, and has a consistent track record of delivering on their commitments,” said Roger Quy, General Partner at Palo Alto-based Technology Partners. “We are pleased to support the commercialization of Visiogen’s Synchrony lens, which we believe is the most anticipated new technology for the treatment of cataract and presbyopia.”

The proprietary Synchrony Accommodating IOL is intended for use in cataract and refractive patients and has a mechanism of accommodation that has been validated in multiple studies by multiple objective measures. The Synchrony lens is supplied in a proprietary pre-loaded injector to facilitate ease of implantation and to eliminate lens handling. The lens has been implanted in over 1,000 patients to date, and is the subject of multiple comparative clinical studies in the U.S., Europe and South America. Visiogen has completed its U.S. IDE study and will submit the results to the FDA in 2009, with premarket approval (PMA) anticipated in 2010.

About Visiogen

Visiogen, Inc. is focused on developing innovative products for cataract and refractive patients. Founded in 2001 and located in Irvine, California, Visiogen’s first commercial application, the Synchrony(R), a 3-dimensional dual optic accommodating intraocular lens and pre-loaded injector, was commercially released in Europe in 2009. Visiogen has completed its U.S. IDE study and will submit the results to the FDA in 2009, with premarket approval (PMA) anticipated in 2010. More information about Visiogen and the Synchrony(R) accommodating IOL can be found at www.visiogen.com.

About Novartis Venture Fund

Established in 1996, the Novartis Venture Fund currently manages over $650 million in committed capital and has invested globally in more than 50 private life sciences companies across therapeutics, vaccines, devices and diagnostics. As a financially driven corporate life science investor, the Novartis Venture Fund invests in those companies which have the potential to lead the next innovation wave in new areas that will be critical to patient care. The Novartis Venture Fund team of eight investment professionals located in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, Massachusetts, brings together extensive expertise in drug development, medical devices, and venture capital.

About Technology Partners

Founded over 20 years ago, Technology Partners specializes in consumer medicine, neurotechnology, and cleantech investments, and is based in Palo Alto, California.

Technology Partners manages a total of approximately $700 million of venture capital. Investments are being made currently from Technology Partners VIII, L.P., a $300 million fund.


Source: Visiogen

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