Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms Vital for Ophthalmic Device and Drug Delivery Innovation

The aging of the population around the world will consequently lead to a rapid increase in the 65-and-over population by 2030, a population that accounts for the highest incidence and prevalence of eye conditions and diseases. This sets the stage for increased research and development activities, speedy market approvals, and higher awareness through education. The industry has been dominated by a few big players, however there are many small players/startups who have interesting ideas. This Research Service is focused on the shift in technologies and materials, regulatory platform, IP strength and funding scenario prevalent in the stent industry.

Scope of Research

This research service (RS) is a study on the funding prospects in the ophthalmic device and drug delivery technologies. The aging of the population around the world will consequently lead to a rapid increase in the 65-and-over population by 2030, a population that accounts for the highest incidence and prevalence of eye conditions and diseases. This sets the stage for increased research and development activities, speedy market approvals, and higher awareness through education. The industry has been dominated by a few big players, however there are many small players/startups who have interesting ideas. This RS is focused on the shift in technologies and materials, regulatory platform, IP strength and funding scenario prevalent in the stent industry.

This research service will cover the following key sections in the ophthalmic devices and drug delivery industry:
• Technology trends evidenced in the industry
• Governmental grants and stimulus funding
• Investor networks and recent investment climate
• Key investors, investments, and technology partners
• Assessment of Funding sources
• Smart scouting and procurement strategies for developers

Research Methodology

Primary Research
• Engineers
• CTOs/ CEOs/ CIOs
• Technical Architects
• Research Heads
• Strategic Decision Makers
• Technology Policy Heads

Secondary Research
• Technology Journals
• Periodicals
• Market Research Reports
• Technology policy information sites
• Internal databases
• Thought Leader Briefings

Step 1: To provide a thorough analysis of each topic, Technical Insights’ analysts perform a review of patents to become familiar with the major developers and commercial participants and their processes.
Step 2: Building on the patent search, the analysts review abstracts to identify key scientific and technical papers that provide insights into key industry participants and the technical processes, on which they work.
Step 3: The analysts then create a detailed questionnaire with content created to address the research objectives of the study, which functions as a guide during the interview process. While the analysts use structured questionnaires to guarantee coverage of all the desired issues, they also conduct interviews in a conversational style. This approach results in a more thorough exchange of views with the respondents, and offers greater insight into the relevant issues than more structured interviews may provide.
Step 4: The analysts conduct primary research with key industry participants and technology developers to obtain the required content. Interviews are completed with sources located throughout the world, in universities, national laboratories, governmental and regulatory bodies, trade associations, and end-user companies, among other key organizations. Our analysts contact the major commercial participants to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of processes and the drivers and challenges behind technologies and applications. Our analysts talk to the principal developers, researchers, engineers, business developers, analysts, strategic planners, and marketing experts, among other professionals.
Step 5: The project management and research team reviews and analyzes the research data that are gathered and adds its recommendations to the draft of the final study. Having conducted both published studies and custom proprietary research covering many types of new and emerging technology activities as well as worldwide industry analysis, the management and research team adds its perspective and experience to provide an accurate, timely analysis. The analysts then prepare written final research services for each project and sometimes present key findings in analyst briefings to clients.

Key Findings

1. The aging of the population around the world is rapidly increasing the 65-and-over population, a population that accounts for the highest incidence and prevalence of eye conditions and disorders. This sets the stage for increased research and development activities in the field of ophthalmic devices, speedy market approvals, and higher awareness through education. The industry is likely to experience a burst of new products and heavy competition amongst key players.
2. There are 5 major stakeholders in the ophthalmic device and drug delivery segment: research centers , pharmaceutical players, medical imaging players, patients and doctors as end-users and the regulatory authorities. There is a need for collaboration between the various stakeholders. Strategic and business partnerships, scientific and clinical education and a number of confidence building measures have to be developed to win the trust of regulatory authorities, investors and end-users.
3. Private equity investors, venture capitals and VC division of corporate companies are the major financial contributors. Private equity and venture capital funding are playing a key role in technology innovation in this segment. The current in towards developing technologies which focus on treating age related disorders. Technology incubators also play a significant role in this field as many there have been quite a few spin-offs from such incubators.
4. By promoting creativity among physicians and high potential technology advances by small device companies, transformative innovation will definitely see rapid progress. Initiative should be taken to address funding for investigator-directed research and enhanced seed funding from government backed and VC sources to develop small private businesses based on these ideas.

Background - Ophthalmic Disorders

Refractive Disorders
A normal human eye creates a clear and distinct visual image because the cornea and lens bend or refract the incident light rays and focuses them on the retina. The shape of the cornea remains fixed, but the lens changes its shape to suitably alter the focal length and hence focus objects at various distances and perspectives. In refractive disorders, an error occurs when the cornea and lens cannot focus the image of an object sharply on the retina. Because of this, defects in vision are caused. They can either be short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia), presbyopia or astigmatism.

Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism
Myopia/near-sightedness arises when the eyeball may be too large for the optical power of the focusing system. Hence, the light rays are focused in front of the retina, rather than directly on it. The patient thus, cannot see distant objects clearly. Alternatively in long-sightedness or hyperopia, the eyeball can become too small for the optical power of the focusing system, and hence the light rays are focused behind the retina. An imperfectly shaped cornea causes objects to appear blurred from any distance or from the sides. This leads to a condition called astigmatism. With increasing age, the lens becomes stiffer; it does not change shape easily, hence it cannot focus on nearby objects, resulting in a condition called presbyopia.

Retinal Disorders
Usually the cornea and lens focus light on the retina, which is found on the interior surface of the back of the eye. Macula is the central region of the retina and is primarily consisted of high density of colour-sensitive photoreceptor cells. Among the older people, age-related macular degeneration causes damage to the macula resulting in gradual loss of vision. In older people, premacular formation occurs over the retina which interferes with vision. Likewise, when the retina detaches, it separates from part of its blood supply, that prevents it from functioning properly for which retinal detachment is the term used. Another rare, progressive degeneration of the retina that eventually causes blindness is often inherited and called retinitis pigmentosa.

Optic Nerve Disorders
Small photoreceptors in the inner eye sense light and transmit impulses to the optic nerve. This nerve carries impulses to the brain. A common cause of damage to the optic nerve arises from a tumour of the pituitary gland that presses on the nerve. Papilledema is a rare condition in which increased pressure in or around the brain causes the optic nerve to swell intensely where it enters the eye. Optic neuropathy is a similar damage of the optic nerve due to a blockage of its blood supply, to nutritional deficiencies, or to toxins. Optic neuritis that may be caused by a viral infection refers to the inflammation of the optic nerve

Corneal Disorders
The cornea represents the domed covering in the front of the eye that protects the iris and lens and helps focus light on the retina. Among the chief corneal diseases, superficial punctate keratitis is one in which death of cells on the surface of the cornea occur. In this disorder, the eyes are generally painful, watery, sensitive to bright light, and vision could be slightly blurred. Corneal ulcers which are open sores on the cornea lead to complications like deep-seated infections, perforation of the cornea, displacement of the iris, and deconstruction of the eyes. Peripheral ulcerative keratitis is another inflammation and ulceration of the cornea that often occurs in people who have connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Bullous keratopathy or swelling of the cornea is most common corneal disorder older people and can be treated by reducing the amount of fluid in the cornea.

Cataract and Glaucoma
Currently, the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide can be attributed to cataracts which are clouding of the natural crystalline lens of the eyes. This clouding arises due to a number of factors like aging process, eye trauma, heredity, diabetes, and even some medications. Glaucoma is another sight-threatening optic nerve disease which is often related to elevated intraocular pressure. Damage to the eyes caused by infection, inflammation, tumor, surgery for cataracts, or other conditions keeps the fluid from draining freely and leads to increased eye pressure along with optic nerve damage, otherwise called as secondary glaucoma.

Disorders of the Conjunctiva and Sclera
The thin, transparent lining that covers the back of the eyelid and loops back to cover the sclera, till the edge of the cornea is named as the conjunctiva. This lining protects the eye by keeping small foreign objects and infection-causing microorganisms away and by contributing to the maintenance of the tear film. Conjunctivitis is the most common disorder of the conjunctiva which can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Trachoma or granular conjunctivitis is believed to be the leading preventable cause of blindness in the world which results from chronic infections with certain non-sexually transmitted strains of Chlamydia trachomatis. Episcleritis or the inflammation of tissues lying between the sclera and the conjunctiva occurs in younger adults often. Scleritis is the most common corneal disorder among people in their 30s through 50s wherein a deep, extremely painful inflammation and purple discoloration of the sclera occurs that may severely damage vision.

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 3
Sectoral Analysis 8
Assessment of Investor Ecosystems 16
Analyst Insights and Recommendations 31
Patents 38
Key Contacts 42
Decision Support Database 45
About Frost and Sullivan 50

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