GHIF and Visionary Venture Fund back Iantech


Iantech, an ophthalmic startup, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding. The investors were Global Health Investment Fund and Visionary Venture Fund.

PRESS RELEASE

July 13, 2017 – The Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF), a New York-based fund focused on medical innovations with high impact potential in both developed and developing markets, and Visionary Venture Fund, an Orange County ophthalmology-focused venture fund, have completed an investment into Iantech, Inc, a company co-founded by ophthalmic surgeon-innovator Dr. Sean Ianchulev. Iantech will use the funding to further R&D and commercial efforts for its miLOOP technology. The revolutionary miLOOP is a major advancement in cataract surgery, allowing energy-free lens fragmentation through a minimally invasive clear cornea incision. The company aims to improve global efforts to address cataract-induced visual impairment, including the 25 million who are blind from cataracts.

miLOOP is a pen-like device that utilizes first-in-class nitinol micro-filament technology to fragment the lens for removal through a micro-incision. This makes cataract removal more efficient, less invasive, less dependent on capital-intense phaco-emusifications systems, and easier to learn. Iantech developed the device to fragment cataract lenses without using any energy, making them easier to remove and improving safety. The device is now commercially available in select US markets and can be used with industry-standard phacoemulsification techniques, allowing surgeons to manage challenging cataract cases, address a wider range of cases, and improve outcomes for cataract patients.

“We are excited to partner with Iantech to bring miLOOP to the U.S. and global markets,” said Curt LaBelle, managing partner at the Global Health Investment Fund. “Our mandate is to support companies that can make a tangible difference in lives globally, and miLOOP’s potential to help erase global blindness fits that perfectly. Fully half of global blindness today is caused by untreated cataracts. In the developing world, access to miLoop, which is easy for physicians to learn, repeatable and reliable, can make a significant, positive impact on the lives of millions.”

“miLOOP is an ingenious instrument that helps surgeons fragment even the densest and most challenging cataracts for extraction through small incisions,” said David F. Chang, MD, co-chair of the ASCRS Foundation and also an Iantech medical advisory board member. ”Because extremely advanced cataracts are so prevalent among poor populations, we have a promising new technology that will be welcomed by surgeons both in the most advanced Western centers as well as in the developing world, thanks to the support of the GHIF.”

“Advances in interventional technology have transformed the field of cardiovascular medicine and radiology and we see our device as similarly situated to make a significant difference in the treatment of cataracts,” said Brian Walsh, CEO of Iantech. “The miLOOP’s revolutionary micro-engineered memory-shaped materials are designed to allow eye surgeons to achieve superior outcomes in the simplest and most difficult cases.”

About Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF)
GHIF is an impact investment fund structured by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The fund received anchor support from Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (acting through KfW), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. The fund’s limited partners also include AXA, GlaxoSmithKline, International Finance Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Merck, the Pfizer Foundation, and individual investors.

With an emphasis on late-stage projects, GHIF finances the development of drugs, devices, vaccines, and diagnostics for conditions that are prevalent in low-income populations. Much like a traditional investment fund, GHIF searches for opportunities that will deliver compelling financial returns in developed markets and/or emerging markets. Of equal importance, each investment must also advance the fund’s public health mission, which is to ensure that the innovations it supports are accessible to those who need them most in underserved markets. Key global health challenges targeted by the fund include malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, cholera, and preventable causes of maternal and infant mortality, in addition to other neglected infectious diseases. GHIF’s definition of success requires meaningful improvements in the lives of those afflicted by these challenges, and the fund forecasts and measures its progress against this objective alongside traditional financial return benchmarks. To learn more, visit www.ghif.com

About Visionary Venture Fund
Visionary Venture Fund is an ophthalmology-focused venture capital firm investing across all aspects of the eye. The fund partners with leading ophthalmologists and sophisticated investors to make later stage investments in devices and pharmaceuticals in the $40 billion global ophthalmology industry.

Visionary Venture Fund is located in Orange County, California, the global center for innovation in Ophthalmology where the industry adds $13 Billion annually to the California economy. Working closely with its Key Opinion Leader partners to identify and assess investments across the globe, the Fund draws on its local knowledge base for diligence support through its affiliation with OCTANe’s Launch Pad business accelerator.

About Iantech
Iantech is working to invent and commercialize new surgical approaches which can reduce the global footprint of cataract-induced visual impairment and blindness. Using smart, efficient and adaptable micro­interventional technology, the company aims to catalyze global outreach efforts as we fight the 25M blindness epidemic in the world. Iantech was founded by ophthalmic surgeon-innovator Dr. Sean Ianchulev, Professor of Ophthalmology at New York Eye and Ear.