Keranova raises $4.55 mln

Keranova said April 11 that it raised 4 million euro ($4.55 million) Series A round led by Mérieux Développement. CEA Investissement also participated while Bpifrance contributed 1 million euros ($1.14m). Keranova, of France, develops instruments for ophthalmic surgery.


Saint-Etienne and Lyon, France, April 11, 2016 – Keranova, a company that develops instruments for ophthalmic surgery, today announces series A funding of €4m ($4.55m). The round was led by Mérieux Développement in tandem with CEA Investissement. Additional support for the funding round came from French public investment bank Bpifrance, which contributed €1 million ($1.14m). The funds raised will finance the development of prototype surgical equipment and the preclinical study; a regulatory prerequisite for filing for approval of the clinical trial.

Keranova has developed a new and unique surgical instrument that leverages the results of joint research by two world-renowned multidisciplinary teams at Saint-Etienne’s Jean Monnet University.

This technological innovation developed by Keranova offers a new approach to surgical procedures and allows for a substantial reduction in manual intervention in favor of automation and precision. This will generate reproducibility and reduction of clinical risk (operator-dependent risk).

Keranova has its headquarters in the city of Saint-Etienne, where an exceptional concentration of academic laboratories engaged in excellent research has made it possible to found the company and ensure a plentiful supply of skills and high-quality human resources. Keranova also enjoys the support of the Saint-Etienne metropolitan authority.

“We aim to introduce a breakthrough innovation in the ophthalmology market, an area that is very open to technology, allowing us to overcome certain technological obstacles that were thought to be insurmountable,” said Fabrice Romano, founder and CEO of Keranova. “We are very pleased to welcome our new shareholders, two renowned investors who will help us make rapid inroads into the development of our first-generation product and the preparation of the clinical proof of concept.”

“Keranova’s technological advances should improve the accuracy and efficiency of surgery for several ophthalmologic diseases,” said Valérie Calenda, partner at Mérieux Développement. “We are delighted to fund this high potential industrial project in the Rhône-Alpes region and to support a team that has experience in the development and commercialization of innovative products.”

Keranova, founded in 2015, is the brainchild of Dr Fabrice Romano, former founding chairman & CEO of EyeTechCare, joined recently by Sophie Valla, managing director and former EMEA business development manager pharmaceutical/surgical with Bausch and Lomb / Valeant.

Legal advisors to Keranova: François Pujol, Duteil avocats, Lyon, France.

About Mérieux Développement
Mérieux Développement is the investment arm of French health care specialist, Institut Mérieux, which currently employs 15,000 staff worldwide and posted revenues of around €2.5 billion ($2.8bn) at the end of 2015 through its subsidiaries bioMérieux (listed on NYSE Euronext with the symbol BIM), Mérieux Nutrisciences and Transgene (NYSE Euronext, TNG). Mérieux Développement invests in the health and nutrition sectors and provides access to its expertise and its international network to support entrepreneurs and innovative companies whose products and services offer breakthroughs worldwide.

About CEA Investissement
CEA Investissement is a subsidiary of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), focusing specifically on financing for high tech businesses. Its investments are supported by two funds: the CEA Strategic Fund and the ATI Fund, which are subscribed by CEA, Bpifrance, energy company EDF, international high tech corporation Safran and Biomérieux. Since it was founded, CEA Investissement has provided funding to over 50 companies operating in microelectronics, the life sciences, energy and the environment, as well as in materials, instrumentation and on-board systems for industry. The CEA Investissement team is split between Grenoble and Paris. [website in French]

About Jean Monnet University
Jean Monnet University has a strongly outward-looking socioeconomic focus. Today it boasts nearly 20,000 students and plays a vital role within the local community. It has five campuses, from Saint-Etienne to Roanne, and is firmly committed to developing the vitality of the Lyon-Saint Etienne urban area, for which the Lyon University community of universities and higher education establishments (COMUE) is the driving force. Of France’s five multidisciplinary universities with a School of Health Care Sciences, UJM is particularly strong in medical teaching and research. [website in French]

About Keranova
Keranova develops instruments for ophthalmic surgery. The company aims to develop a new surgical instrument featuring unique technology, allowing for a new approach to current surgical procedures and substantially reducing manual intervention in favor of automation. Keranova is leveraging the results of research undertaken jointly by two world-renowned multidisciplinary teams at Jean Monnet University in Saint-Etienne.