HELSINKI, Finland (February 10th 2021) Maculaser, a Finnish startup developing temperature-controlled laser therapy for retinal diseases, has raised €1.2 million in funding. The round was led by Finnish venture capital investor Innovestor Ventures with participation from institutional and private investors including business angel Jaakko Ollila and several medical doctors. The funding will be used to accelerate product commercialization and move the company to the clinical trial phase.
Age- and lifestyle-related retinal diseases are the leading causes of blindness, resulting in direct healthcare costs of over €400 billion. Currently, the only treatment available for most patients is end-stage drug injections that are expensive and provide only temporary relief before complete vision loss. Non-damaging retinal laser therapy is an emerging treatment method that has shown efficacy in treating several common retinal diseases. At this time, however, there is a lack of patient-specific temperature and safety controls and this significantly limits the effectiveness and utilization of the treatment.
Maculaser has set out to solve this problem by developing temperature-controlled laser therapy technology. The company aims to treat common retinal diseases already at an early phase in a personalized, safe, and effective manner.
“We aim to be the first in the market with this type of technology and treatment for patients suffering from retinal diseases. Our patented laser device, combined with novel machine learning algorithms, can make early prevention possible and reduce the need for end-stage drug injections, which are expensive, invasive and create a huge burden on the healthcare system”, commented Jani Tirronen, CEO of Maculaser.
The company’s potentially game-changing treatment has its roots in a broad research program started in 2013 at Aalto University. Maculaser has completed preclinical trials and validated that the core technology works, and they have shown that the treatment successfully activates the cellular-level healing response. Next, the company is gearing up for their clinical trials that are expected to start in 2021.
“With the global population rapidly ageing, over 300 million people suffer from age- and lifestyle-related retinal diseases. Current treatments are ineffective for the majority of patients who are left suffering. We are excited to support Jani and his team’s goal of developing this innovative treatment that will have a real impact on the lives of millions of people”, said Wilhelm Lindholm from Innovestor.
Although development cycles are long in the healthcare industry due to rigorous research and development stages, the company believes their timeline is realistic as they keep progressing towards clinical trials.
“Demand for our technology already exists, as partnership discussions with some of the world’s leading retinal laser manufacturers are underway. We are confident that we will change the whole industry and have a significant impact on the treatment market. Commercial success will likely follow after proving our medical excellence. I am extremely proud of the success our team has achieved, and this new funding gives us the boost we need for continued growth”, Tirronen added.
In the media
Talouselämä (10.02.2021) – Startup kehitti laserhoidon, joka voi ehkäistä sokeutumista – Sai miljoonarahoituksen
For additional information
CEO, Maculaser Ltd
+358 45 185 3303
+358 40 581 1051
Maculaser is a clinical phase medical technology company on a mission to prevent blindness by targeting major retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The company’s novel technology enables real-time and personalized control of therapeutic heat dose in the retina during non-damaging ophthalmic laser treatments. Its industry-disruptive goal is to make early disease prevention a reality by providing effective and safe use of lasers for central macular disorders that impact the everyday life of millions of people worldwide. https://maculaser.com/
Innovestor is a Nordic early-stage venture capital investor, who also operates as a direct co-investment syndicator and offers corporate venturing services. Currently the firm manages one of the largest private venture-backed portfolios in the Nordics, consisting of close to 100 high-tech companies in multiple fields of technology. Their aim is to be the best home for future new Nordic success stories. At its core, they boost the success and growth of portfolio companies by giving access to capital, know-how, and networks by utilizing their unique ecosystem of co-investors and partners.
Image credit to Maculaser