Lensar hauls in $87M for laser eye surgery tech

Florida's Lensar has picked up $87 million in a mix of equity and debt financing, cash the company will use to market its cataract surgery technology in a fast-growing space.

Lensar scored $27 million in a private equity raise from Aisling Capital, Florida Growth and Florida Opportunity Funds, while the remaining $60 million comes from a credit agreement with PDL BioPharma. With the fresh financing, the company plans to expand the adoption of its Lensar Laser System, FDA-cleared and CE marked for refractive laser-assisted cataract surgery.

The latest raise follows a $24 million haul last year, and since then the company has been racking up expanded FDA indications for its technology. Lensar launched its device in the U.S. late last year, and CEO Nick Curtis said a spike in demand forced the company to increase its sales and distribution capacity.

"Lensar is in a large and growing market that has room for multiple players," Curtis said in a statement. "With strong financial partners like Aisling and PDL, we are in a position to market our differentiated technology to its full potential, and grow our share of the (refractive laser-assisted cataract surgery) market."

As the rate of laser-assisted cataract surgeries continues to grow, more and more companies are reaching into the field through M&A. This year alone, Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) bought OptiMedica for $250 million up front and another $150 million tied to milestones for its Catalys Precision Laser System, and Bausch + Lomb paid an undisclosed sum for Germany's Technolas Perfect Vision.

- read Lensar's announcement