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Elka Nir Joins VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies Board of Directors


2/7/2011 7:13:03 AM

SARATOGA, Calif., Feb. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc., a developer of advanced visual prosthetic devices for the treatment of end-stage age-related macular degeneration, today announced Elka Nir of Giza Venture Capital has joined VisionCare's Board of Directors. Ms. Nir expands the company's Board to seven.

Ms. Nir heads the life sciences sector for Giza and serves on the board of directors of five medical device companies in Israel and the US. Prior to Giza, she led large multi-disciplinary teams (R&D, supply chain, quality & regulatory, marketing) at a division of Johnson & Johnson managing multi-million dollar budgets and delivering innovative market leading products, resulting in over $400 million in yearly revenues and double-digit annual growth.

Ms. Nir holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science, from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, a B.S. from the University of Haifa, and completed the Senior Executive Education program at Stanford University School of Business.

Allen W. Hill, VisionCare's President and CEO, commented, "VisionCare welcomes Elka to our Board. She was instrumental in helping VisionCare raise $31.4 million in the recent Series E financing. Elka's extensive experience in executive roles and raising funds for the development of new state of the art solutions, via business collaboration with global market leaders, will be of great assistance to VisionCare."

On joining the VisionCare Board, Elka Nir commented, "VisionCare has made tremendous progress in developing, clinically testing, and obtaining FDA approval for its implantable telescope prosthesis in patients with advanced forms of macular degeneration, which disables hundreds of thousands of individuals in major markets. VisionCare's products show significant promise of improving vision and quality of life for these individuals who now have no other surgical option. I am looking forward to working with the Board and the company as it begins US commercialization of this breakthrough product later this year."

About the Telescope Implant

The Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz) is designed to improve vision and quality of life in patients with end-stage AMD. Smaller than a pea, the telescope is implanted in one eye in an outpatient surgical procedure.

CentraSight Treatment Program

The first-of-kind telescope implant is integral to a new patient care program, CentraSight, for treating patients with end-stage AMD. The CentraSight treatment program involves a patient management process and access to reimbursement resources for patients and physicians. Patients and physicians can find more information about the telescope implant and related treatment program at www.centrasight.com.

About End-Stage Macular Degeneration

AMD is a disorder of the central retina, or macula, which is responsible for detailed vision that controls important functional visual activities like recognizing faces and watching television. The National Eye Institute estimates that over 1.7 million Americans over age 50 suffer vision loss from advanced AMD, which frequently culminates as end-stage AMD (visual impairment due to untreatable advanced AMD in both eyes). These patients often experience a loss of independence and quality of life, and have difficulty with activities of daily living. Approximately half of the individuals living with advanced AMD are affected in both eyes.

About Giza Venture Capital

Located in Tel Aviv, Giza is a leading venture capital firm investing in seed and early-stage technology companies. Giza currently manages five funds totaling $600 million. Founded in 1992, the firm's professionals have extensive experience and expertise in life sciences, communications, semiconductor, information technology, enterprise software, clean tech, media, and entertainment sectors. Giza has invested in ninety-seven companies with thirty-two successful exits. Information on Giza can be found at www.gizavc.com.

About VisionCare

VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Saratoga, CA, with facilities in Petah Tikva, Israel, is a privately-held company focused on the development, manufacturing, and marketing of implantable ophthalmic devices and technologies that are intended to significantly improve vision and quality of life for individuals with untreatable retinal disorders. VisionCare's Implantable Miniature Telescope was invented by company founders Yossi Gross and Dr. Isaac Lipshitz. Information on VisionCare can be found at www.visioncareinc.net and www.centrasight.com.

SOURCE VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.


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