Calhoun Vision

CEO: Rick Heinick
Based: Pasadena, CA
Founded: 1997
Company website

The scoop: Calhoun Vision is aiming to change the field of ophthalmology with its light adjustable intraocular lens. The company's lens, which was developed by Nobel laureate Dr. Robert Grubbs and UCSF ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Schwartz, contains light-sensitive material and is implanted following a cataract surgery, adjusting based on a patient's vision.

The technology could eliminate the need for glasses after cataract surgery and eliminate the need for a second corrective procedure, CEO Rick Heinick told FierceMedicalDevices.

"We solve for a problem that there's no other solution for," Heinick said. "There are over 20 million cataract surgeries a year. We feel we have the most innovative, disruptive technology because it addresses unmet needs in ophthalmology through adjustability and customization."

What makes Calhoun Vision Fierce: Calhoun is already making waves with its technology, bringing in $69 million this past summer to ramp up commercialization for its lens.

The company is also building out its management to support development, bringing on Ron Kurtz as its chief operations officer and Eric Weinberg as its chief commercial officer. An expanded team, along with Calhoun's fresh pot of cash, will drive the company toward a FDA approval for its technology, Heinick said. A Phase III trial for the device is fully enrolled, and the company plans to evaluate the data at the one-year point in March 2016 to complete its submission.

"Our priority is to get FDA approval, and that's our vital focus," Heinick said. "We're focused in how we use this capital and we're hiring some great talent so when we're ready to market the product, we'll be prepared."

What to look for: The company is in the midst of a "major transformation," Heinick said. In addition to bring on new management, Calhoun is in the process of hiring a vice president of engineering, a senior quality person and another head of manufacturing to build a "seasoned, proven team" he added.

In the future, Heinick sees the company's product becoming the "go-to lens" for cataract surgeries because of its versatility. And if all goes according to plan, the technology could apply to many different indications in the future, he added, improving vision for patients once the eye has healed from surgery.

"We have the most innovative tech coming out of any medical device in ophthalmology. We're in the largest surgical market. We're transforming, and we continue to stay focused and be excited," Heinick said.

-- Emily Wasserman (email | Twitter)

For more:
Calhoun Vision raises $69M for light adjustable intraocular lens FDA approval, launch

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