Israeli med-tech start-up EyeYon Medical, which has developed contact lenses that can help alleviate eye problems in older people, including Corneal Edema, has just raised an investment of $3.6 million. Participating in the funding round were, among others, the Chief Scientist’s Office, medical technology venture capital firms TriVentures and Pontifax – and a large Indian distributor of contact lenses and other eye products.
EyeYon declined to name the Indian investor.
EyeYon’s contact lenses help solve a common problem in people over 50 who rely on contact lenses. Corneal edema is a swelling of the cornea that can be caused by injury, infection, and especially overuse of contact lenses, which interfere with the production of tears, among other things. Symptoms can include blurred vision, visual distortions (halos and rainbows), and a good deal of pain.
Often, surgery is required to repair the swelled cornea, but EyeYon’s technology can help avoid that. The company’s leading product, sales of which began this year, is a hyper-osmotic contact lens. Hyper-CLTM, according to the company, creates a cavity above the center of the cornea that can store hypertonic drops – a sodium chloride solution for the eye that is used to draw water out of swollen corneas. The drops are gradually released throughout the day, allowing for relief and improved treatment that may, in some cases, help delay or alleviate the need for a corneal transplant, the only solution in the case of chronic problems.
EyeYon Medical is a graduate of VLX Ventures’ technology incubator, a Jerusalem-based cooperative project of Van Leer Ventures and the Xenia Venture Capital Fund that specializes in early-stage investments in start-ups that marry digital technology with health solutions. Although relatively new, VLX Ventures has closed a deal with international communications giant Telefónica, with the two making joint investments in promising start-ups in areas such as telecommunications, smart home management, wearable tech, and digital health.
Nahum Ferara, CEO of EyeYon Medical, said that the funding “is a very significant vote of confidence in the company, from both leading funds and existing investors. Together with our new partners we can realize the company’s great potential to help improve the quality of life of millions of patients worldwide. The new investment will allow us to expand the company’s quality staff and promote accelerated development in innovative products to improve the world of ophthalmology.”
Ori Choshen, CEO of VLX Ventures: “We are thrilled that first class investors believed and invested in EyeYon Medical. The investment is the result of the company’s hard work with close assistance of the incubator’s team, and the outcome at all levels –product, go-to-market, strategy and sales — speak for themselves. EyeYon Medical is a promising portfolio company, and this funding will accelerate its pace of entry into the market.”