Company name: Cearna Inc.
Location: Naperville, Illinois.
Solution/product: Cearna’s first product, OcuMend, is a topical gel pad that’s applied before and after upper and lower eye lift procedures to reduce the unpleasant side effects of surgery and soft tissue injury. The proprietary cooling gel is a combination of arnica and ledum that the company says reduces bruising, swelling and pain. Aside from cosmetic procedures, the platform has potential applications in orthopedics and sports medicine, the company says.
Money raised: While seeking up to $1 million, the company has secured $100,000 in convertible debt, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. It raised $706,000 in 2011.
How it will be used: CEO Dr. Josephine Polich didn’t return a call, but the company’s website says the product will be rolled out nationally in surgical offices in the third quarter of 2012. Follow-on applications include nose reconstruction in 2012 and face-lift surgery in 2013.
Management team: Founder and CEO Polich comes from an engineering background and has worked at IBM and Alcatel. She holds a doctor of chiropractic degree. Chief operating officer Donavan Emery was the 16-year president of Chicago-area financial and management consulting group ProfitLink.
Market size: Despite a recent decline in cosmetic procedures during the recession, the market is recovering, according to research firm GIA. However, nonsurgical procedures dominate this market, with 75 percent of facial plastic surgeries being nonsurgical, according to American Academy of Facial Plastic Reconstructive Surgery data.
Competitors: Prescription or over-the-counter medications are often used to control postsurgical pain. NatraGel makes a similar eye pad product and other arnica-based gels used to soothe and heal wounds include Boiron, Roberts Research Laboratories and Boericke & Tafel.