BELKIN Laser from Israel has completed a $12.25M financing round, led by Rimonci Capital and Santen Ventures. The company has developed a 1-second, non-invasive glaucoma laser treatment based on technology invented by Prof. Michael Belkin. The CEO, Daria Leman-Blumenthal, said the capital raised will be used to conduct further trials in GLAUrious project, supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
The European consortium was established to advance Belkin’s technology, which is designed to address a specific problem: glaucoma is a chronic disease that affects about 140 million people worldwide. It causes vision loss to the point of total blindness, usually due to high intraocular pressure. Belkin also plans to initiate trials in Asia.
Automatic treatment, once a year, lasting only one second
Although it cannot be cured, the process can be delayed by treating it with eye drops. The problem lies in the fact that it is a lengthy treatment that requires discipline, and so about half of the patients stop it within the first year. BELKIN Laser employs automated process lasting only one second: a projection of 120 short laser pulses to the border of the limbus, which accelerates the fluid drainage from the eye, thereby reducing intraocular pressure.
The process is performed once a year, automatically and without contact: the laser beam is directed to its target using a camera with image processing algorithm. The technology is protected by two patents: focusing electromagnetic energy at a target area in the eye, and automatic detection and tracking the eye in motion.
Commercial Activity in 2021
2020 is a critical transition year for the company. Belkin Laser was founded in 2013 and has been engaged in technology development ever since. This year the technology reached maturity, and the company began developing a commercial version of the system. Simultaneously, in January of this year, it presented the first results of a clinical trial held among 120 patients, which was conducted in London as part of the GLAUrious consortium.
The next phase of GLAUrious experiments will be used for submitting an FDA approved marketing application, probably toward the end of 2020, as well as for applying for approvals in China in early 2021. Following this, it will start sales.