Israeli startup Belkin Laser, a portfolio company of the RAD Biomed accelerator of the Zisapel Family, announced today that it has closed a $5 million financing round. The funding comprises $2.5 million from Singapore's Zicom Holdings and China's Rimonci Capital and €2.5 million in an EU grant as part of the GLAUrious Program initiated and led by Belkin Laser in collaboration with four European partners. The company had previously raised $1.5 from Israel's Chief Scientist's Office, the RAD Biomed accelerator (run by David Zigdon), Gur Muntzer CEO of Care Medical Services and additional private investors.
Belkin Laser develops an innovative laser device designed to provide every glaucoma patient with a short, efficient initial treatment of the condition instead of the eye drops used today.
Belkin Laser was founded in 2013 at the RAD Biomed accelerator under a license agreement from the Haim Sheba Medical Center and Tel Aviv University. The company's product is based on an invention by Prof. Michael Belkin, the Company's medical officer and the inventor of Ex-Press, a glaucoma transplant acquired by Alcon eight years ago for $180 million. The company was cofounded by Dr. Ziv Karni CEO of Alma Lasers, which was acquired in 2013 for $240 million.
Belkin Laser has already performed a successful human clinical trial in Israel. The current round is meant to round up the product, hold a large scale clinical trial in multiple medical centers in the UK and Italy and receive the EU CE mark.
Glaucoma is a blinding chronic eye condition that impacts 70 million people worldwide. Only a small percentage of 200 thousand ophthalmologists treat this condition. However, with the new Belkin laser device, general ophthalmologists, not just glaucoma specialists, will be able to offer patients a 1-second laser treatment. The procedure has been shown to be effective and safe, while it does not involve contact with the eye and is painless.
Prof. Belkin's idea originated in the breakthrough discovery that laser energy can be transmitted to the inner eye's aqueous humor drainage area with no need for direct hit of the laser on the area being treated. As a result, the laser ray can be directed at the outer white part of the eye (sclera) with no need for a lens that aims the laser ray on the area that needs the therapy. The result is a 1-second treatment.
Belkin Laser CEO Daria Lemann-Bluementhal said, "Our treatment revolutionizes glaucoma treatment by making it highly accessible. With the capital raised in this round, we will advance the development of our solution, which requires no specialty and is simple and painless, thus helping millions of glaucoma patients across the globe to avoid vision loss. Our treatment replaces the initial traditional therapy with eye drops, a method that involves low patient compliance and as a result, gradual vision loss."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 4, 2017
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