Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Scoop: Ann Arbor's OcuSciences' technology is focused on the detection of retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma at their earliest stages. Its technique--retinal metabolic analysis--can also monitor disease progression or mitigation with treatment.
The company's retinal imager, the OcuMet Beacon, can non-invasively assess retinal mitochondrial dysfunction. It can alert doctors to problems before there is irreversible cell damage and detect dysfunction several years earlier than current non-invasive technology.
And the company is moving quickly. "We are making more and more improvements as we develop the product," says Matt Field, business manager for OcuSciences, as quoted by Concentrate Media earlier this year.
As the Detroit Free Press noted in 2008, the test is quick and painless and could cost as little as $20 versus $120 or more for standard blood glucose testing for diabetes, co-founder Howard Petty said. Both Petty and co-founder Victor Elner are University of Michigan researchers.
Kurt Riegger, OcuSciences' president and COO, told FierceMedicalDevices the company has conducted three clinical studies and is hoping for a regulatory sign-off from the FDA within the next 12 months. The company is private and has raised an undisclosed amount of capital. It has two partners in place to commercialize the technology for a primary care market and for more advanced cases with a research-level instrument. The company also has a partner in Europe and hopes to eventually obtain the CE Mark, Riegger said.