Notal Vision gets FDA nod for AMD home diagnostic kit

CFO and VP business development Hadar Levy said that the company's founders had always targeted the home market, because a product for clinics has no advantages over competing products.

Notal Vision Ltd. has obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) marketing approval for its non-invasive age-related macular degeneration (AMD) early diagnostic and monitoring solution, ForeseeHome, which patients can use at home.

AMD is a leading cause of blindness, and early diagnosis can lead to treatment to prevent or forestall sight deterioration. This is the importance of the kit for home use. The company obtained EU CE Mark certification to market the device in May 2009.

In November, Notal Vision sold its clinic-based Foresee PHP preferential hyperacuity perimeter product to Reichert Ophthalmic Instruments Inc of the US for several million dollars. Notal Vision CFO and VP business development Hadar Levy said that the company's founders had always targeted the home market, because a product for clinics has no advantages over competing products.

Levy added that Notal Vision has enough money for marketing the new home-based product. Notal CEO Barak Azmon predicts that the company will reach tens of millions of dollars in sales by 2011.

Notal Vision is nevertheless currently seeking to raise several million dollars from financial and strategic partners in order to fund a broader marketing effort. The company's largest shareholders are Jerusalem Global Ventures (JGV), with a 30% stake, and IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. (TASE:IDBH) investment arm Elron Electronic Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: ELRN; TASE: ELRN), with 22%. Other investors include ProSeed Venture Capital Fund (TASE:PRSD), China Development Industrial Bank Inc., California-based Saints Venture Capital, and Chen Barir.

The ForeseeHome requires a prescription from an ophthalmologist, who will also supervise the test results. The product currently has no insurance indemnification, but Levy nevertheless predicts strong sales, even though patients will bear the full cost of the kit.

Tel Aviv-based Notal Vision was founded in 2000 by Atzmon and CTO Dr. Yair Alster.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 7, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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