A comprehensive laser eye surgery system that would automate manual incisions and eliminate the need for ultrasound power in cataract refractory procedures is preparing for commercial launch in the U.S., Europe and other international markets.
LensAR Inc.’s laser system for cataract eye surgery combines advanced measurement and scanning technology with femtosecond laser technology, which uses ultra-fast energy pulses to create incisions and break apart the cloudy lens for removal. The system is designed to reduce or eliminate the use of manual incisions and ultrasound power in cataract surgeries, thus improving precision, accuracy and ease with a single device.
About 22 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Corrective surgery usually involves making at least one incision in the eye to remove the clouded lens and replace it with a plastic or silicon lens.
Currently, the LensAR Laser System has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for anterior capsulotomy and lens fragmentation, which are two steps in the cataract surgery procedure. It is still under investigation for use in other parts of the procedure, including precise limbal relaxation incisions and clear corneal incisions.
At least two other companies are developing similar systems for this market. LenSx, now owned by a Novartis subsidiary, received FDA clearance in 2009 for its technology that makes laser incisions into the eye during cataract surgery, and OptiMedica’s Catalys laser system received clearance in December for capsulotomy and lens fragmentation.
LensAR just closed a $24 million fundraise from investors that include Aisling Capital and Florida Growth Fund.
[Photo courtesy of Flickr user helgabj]