Atia Vision Accelerating the Development of Intraocular Lens for the Ophthalmology Market

By Brent MacDonald – Principal @ Rising Tide VC

Millions of people worldwide are visually impaired due to cataracts – loss of vision due to lens clouding. The two current treatment options, the standard intraocular lens (IOL) and multi-focal IOL, force patients to choose between focusing ability and clear vision. Current treatment options have limitations with visual side effects: glares, halos and artifacts. Currently no solution mimics the natural ability of the eye to provide a full range of vision, from distance to near.

Most cataracts develop slowly and do not disturb eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with vision. At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision interferes with usual activities, cataract surgery is likely a remedy. Factors that increase risk of cataracts include:

increasing age; diabetes; excessive exposure to sunlight; smoking; obesity; high blood pressure; previous eye injury or inflammation; previous eye surgery; prolonged use of corticosteroid medications; and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. (WHO)

Atia Vision is developing a fluid-filled modular IOL that accommodates via ciliary muscle action to add both near field and distance focusing features to the standard toric lens. The team at Atia Vision is committed to improving patient outcomes by developing a safe and controllable presbyopia correcting IOL that aims to restore the full range of functional vision in cataract patients, the largest segment of the ophthalmology market. The Company’s proprietary technology represents an advancement that addresses clinical challenges currently facing the visual impairment space, of which cataracts and presbyopia are the largest segments. Last year Atia Vision closed $20 million in Series D financing bringing total funds raised to $40 million. Atia Vision is a portfolio company of Shifamed, LLC, a highly-specialized medical innovation hub focused on developing advanced solutions that get to market faster, reduce risk, increase impact, and forge a path toward a world where all people are able to lead longer, healthier lives.


Why We Are Excited:

Nearly 67 million people worldwide (WHO) are visually impaired due to cataracts, which can lead to blindness if untreated. We believe Atia Vision’s innovation addresses the unmet needs of cataract and presbyopia patients through a familiar conventional cataract procedure. The Atia Vision modular intraocular lens technology features an accommodating base responsive to the ciliary muscles, simulating the natural mechanism of the eye and fixed lens element that allows for subsequent refractive correction. It is likely that the company’s solution is designed for true accommodation, aiming to restore the full range of vision.

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