Avedro raises $42M, opens plant to step up device rollout

Avedro raised the $42 million after securing FDA approval for its technology.

Avedro has raised $42 million to further commercialization and development of its corneal collagen cross-linking technology. The equity and debt financing from backers including HealthQuest Capital and OrbiMed Advisors sets Avedro up to build on the FDA approval it picked up last year.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Avedro secured FDA clearance to sell its corneal collagen cross-linking device the KXL System and accompanying photoenhancers last year. The approach uses photoenhancers and irradiation to create new corneal collagen crosslinks. This is intended to cause stiffening of the cornea and, in doing so, counter the progressive thinning of the part of the eye associated with keratoconus.

Now, Avedro has finished construction of a manufacturing facility to support commercialization of the products and snagged money to bankroll its efforts. HealthQuest led the round with assists from existing investors OrbiMed and InterWest Partners. An affiliate of OrbiMed handled the debt financing component of the fundraising.

Avedro put together the financing package to support the commercialization of its approved device and photoenhancers, while also pushing ahead with its pipeline plans.

“Our mission at Avedro is to commercialize our innovative orphan drug products to treat progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery and continue to develop new noninvasive technologies that may help reduce the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses,” Avedro CEO Reza Zadno said in a statement. “This infusion of capital combined with the opening of our new manufacturing facility will allow us to ensure availability of our commercial devices while expanding our pipeline and clinical development programs.”

The FDA nod covered the use of the photoenhancers Photrexa Viscous and Photrexa together with the KXL System to treat progressive keratoconus, a condition that causes the thinning of the cornea.

Avedro’s approach to tackling the condition entails administering the topical formulation Photrexa Viscous to reveal a yellow flare on the eye. The healthcare professional then checks the thickness of the cornea, applies Photrexa if necessary until it reaches a certain thickness and then continues to administer the photoenhancer while irradiating the eye.