LensAR raises $24M to back laser system

As the U.S. population ages, many folks start needing cataract surgery. In fact, by the time they turn 80, more than half of people in the U.S. will have cataracts, according to the National Eye Institute. Orlando, FL-based LensAR, which is developing the next generation of laser systems for cataract surgery, is looking to address this huge need, and it has closed a $24 million private financing to help in its efforts.

Aisling Capital and Florida Growth Fund participated in the financing, which will be used to back shipments of the LensAR laser system in the U.S., Europe and select other markets. The company will also use it to determine whether the laser has other clinical applications. Its system has been cleared by the FDA for anterior capsulotomy and lens fragmentation in cataract surgeries.

What's special about LensAR's system? According to the company, it uses 3-D-confocal structured illumination with an advanced ultra short pulse laser for greater precision. It can perform limbal relaxing incisions, opposite clear corneal incisions, capsulotomies and lens fragmentation automatically after taking a 3-D image.

Its tech has attracted the attention of Topcon Europe Medical, which last fall made an equity investment in the Florida company. The two also announced a strategic partnership at the time.

LensAR also announced this morning that Nick Curtis, the company's chief commercial officer, will serve as interim CEO. The company's current chief, Randy Frey, will remain a member of the board of directors and will also serve as a consultant.

- see the LensAR release