Ivantis hauls in $27M for tiny eye stent

The Hydrus Microstent is about the size of an eyelash--courtesy of Ivantis

California's Ivantis has closed a $27 million Series B to fund studies of its Hydrus Microstent, an eyelash-sized device designed to treat glaucoma.

The tiny Hydrus is inserted into the eye through a minimally invasive procedure, Ivantis said, providing relief from eye pressure by restoring natural outflow for built-up fluids. With this new funding, Ivantis plans to support four multi-center trials around the world, including one that compares Hydrus to Glaukus' FDA-approved iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass.

The company is touting its device's clinical viability, but Ivantis CEO Dave Van Meter said Hydrus also presents a huge economic benefit to patients and payers.

"Glaucoma medication in the U.S. costs our system nearly $3 billion per year, and studies show that 50% of patients are not compliant with their medications within 6 months of diagnosis," Van Meter said in a statement. "It's a grossly inefficient delivery of care at a high cost."

Ascension Health Ventures led the round, joined by New Enterprise Associates and Delphi Ventures. AHV's Tara Butler said her firm was convinced by Ivantis' technology and the sizable unmet need it stands to serve.

"As a disease, glaucoma is already one of the most vexing issues in our healthcare system today, and its prevalence is projected to double in the U.S. by 2030," Butler said in a statement. "This investment decision was driven by high-caliber clinical data, a strong intellectual property position and obvious clinician conviction for the promise of this technology."

- read the announcement

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