Research Triangle Park, NC — Alievio Vision has closed on $5.7M in equity funding in its Series A round led by VCapital, InFocus Capital Partners and Triangle Venture Alliance. The funding round also includes returning Series Seed investors Triangle Angel Partners, IMAF Coastal Plain, and Pilot Mountain Ventures as well as additional new angel investors. These funds will be used to support four clinical trials globally, including a pilot study in the United States, to study the efficacy of the Alievio device for the treatment of refractory glaucoma.
Glaucoma afflicts more than 3 million Americans according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, is traditionally treated by lowering the eye pressure to stop vision loss. No current drug or surgical treatment exists that provides a predictable target pressure control, leaving physicians to use an imprecise combination of multiple therapies to attempt to reach a recommended pressure range.
Alievio’ novel device drains aqueous humor externally, avoiding scarring within the drainage site and potential failure associated with other incisional/shunt surgeries.
“We are pleased to have VCapital, InFocus Capital Partners, and TVA participating in our Series A financing, in addition to the ongoing commitment of our current investors,” said Ray Krauss, CEO of Alievio Vision. “Our first in human trial overseas has been underway for the past 18 months and has shown encouraging preliminary results. Product refinements will continue as we move forward with additional clinical trial sites.”
“VCapital views Alievio Vision as a life enhancing and life changing technology for those that struggle with the debilitation and vision loss from glaucoma. Alievio has the potential to improve the daily lives of glaucoma patients”, said Len Batterson, Chairman and CEO of VCapital.
“InFocus Capital Partners has been a supporter of Alievio’ breakthrough approach to the treatment of refractory glaucoma both as a seed investor and as a co-leader of the Series A round,” said Robert Rothman, MD, Managing Director. “Our fund is led by ophthalmologists and we are committed to providing capital to companies with seasoned management and disruptive technology that will change the way eye disease is treated in the future. Alievio Vision has met and currently exceeds our expectations. We look forward to watching them continue the positive progress they have made so far.” Dr. Rothman and his founding partner at InFocus, Ron Weiss, MD, are both academically-affiliated and board certified ophthalmologists.
“Researchers and scientists from universities across the Triangle region often join forces to collaborate on innovations,” said John Glushik, Managing Director of the Duke Angel Network. “Through the Triangle Venture Alliance, angel and investor networks from all these universities can also team up to provide critical support and funding for disruptive technologies such as the Alievio Shunt.”
About Alievio Vision
Alievio Vision, Inc. is a privately held ophthalmic device company headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Focused on the design and development of its ocular implant called the Alievio Shunt, Alievio Vision is looking to reinvent the way glaucoma is being treated by providing the ability to personalize and adjust therapy for glaucoma patients. For more information, visit www.Alieviovision.com.
The Alievio Shunt is an investigational device and is not approved by the FDA.
VCapital is a Chicago-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage companies. Their strategy is to invest in companies that offer the ability for exceptional, profitable growth. Their investments span medical device, biotechnology, technology, telecommunications and more.
About InFocus Capital Partners
InFocus Capital Partners is a venture capital fund specializing in the identification, capitalization, and development of breakthrough and disruptive opportunities in the ophthalmic space. The team and advisors at InFocus are accomplished ophthalmologists, ophthalmic executives, and seasoned finance professionals who are well-positioned to understand and evaluate life-science investments.
About Triangle Venture Alliance
Triangle Venture Alliance, a partnership among Duke University, the University of North Carolina and NC State University is a network of angel groups created to fund early-stage private companies founded or managed by alumni, students, parents, staff and faculty.