Start-Up News March 2007
InnFocus and Transcend Medical advance glaucoma surgery, and new orthodontics company OrthoAccel cuts orthodontia treatment times in half.
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Millions of middle-aged and soon-to-be elderly people worldwide are running headlong into vision problems, and this looming patient pool is already beginning to steer the future course of physician practice and research and development dollars. The potential for huge rewards is certainly present for developers of safe, effective new therapies for disorders of the aging eye.
ForSight Labs LLC, the incubator founded in 2005 by The Foundry spun out its first company, Transcend Medical Inc., a company targeting glaucoma. Morgenthaler Ventures and Split Rock Partners teamed up to supply the company's first round of financing.
The clinical community has long been searching for a safe and effective surgical alternative to drugs for glaucoma, but the field has moved slowly. A decade ago, non-invasive laser procedures began earning a place as a second-line therapy with limited durability. Invasive surgeries are reserved for end-stage glaucoma because of their complexity, their serious complications, and their high failure rates. Venture firms believe a large, unmet clinical need represents a new $1 billion device market, and the pace of glaucoma device company creation is picking up.