SARATOGA, Calif., Jan. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc., a developer of advanced visual prosthetic devices for the treatment of end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), today announced the closing of expansion of the Series E financing, with Agate Medical Investments leading the expansion round. Agate's Managing General Partner, Chanan Schneider, will join the VisionCare team as a board observer.
The company also announces that David Israeli, M.D., Pitango Venture Capital, and Yuval Avni, M.D., Giza Venture Capital, have joined VisionCare's Board of Directors. Dr. Israeli replaces current Pitango board member, Bruce E. Crocker, who is retiring. Dr. Avni replaces current Giza board member, Elka Nir.
"We sincerely appreciate the many contributions Bruce Croker has made to our company during his tenure as Pitango's representative on our Board," said Allen W. Hill, VisionCare's CEO. Mr. Hill also commented, "We thank Elka Nir for her insights, advice and direction over the last year. We are excited about the addition of Agate Medical Investments to our team of investors and welcome Chanan, David, and Yuval. The expansion financing, led by Agate with the participation of Pitango, Infinity Fund LP and others, provides resources to accelerate the commercial launch of our telescope implant for treating end-stage macular degeneration."
Chanan Schneider, Managing General Partner, joined Agate Medical Investments in 2008. Previously, he was CEO of Beta-O2, a bio-device company, and Managing Director at Discount Capital Markets where he led medtech and other technology investments. Chanan was part of the management team at Horizon Fund, a diversified private equity fund. He has a BA and MBA degree from Bar Ilan University and currently is member of the Board of Directors of several companies in the Agate portfolio.
Dr. Israeli joined Pitango in 2010 as a Venture Partner in the life sciences team, focusing on the medical device and biopharmaceuticals sectors. Prior to Pitango, Dr. Israeli was the Director of Business Development and Marketing at Medtronic Ventor Technologies and Vice President, Medical Affairs at Rythmia Medical, Inc. He also held positions in corporate and market development at Medtronic, Inc. Dr. Israeli holds a medical degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves as a board observer at APOS Medical and Sports Technologies.
Dr. Avni is a Partner at Giza Venture Capital joining the firm in 2008. He focuses on investments in life science and cleantech sectors. Dr. Avni holds bachelor and medical degrees from Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel and is a medical practitioner with clinical experience in general and vascular surgery. He conducted clinical research in the area of human genetics prior to entering the venture capital field. Dr. Avni serves on the Board of Directors of Navotek, Mitralign, LifeBond, and IceCure and co-lead the investments in Solapoint, Danen, and Aleees.
Agate Medical Investments LP, Tel Aviv, is a leading Israeli investor in advanced stage medical devices technologies, with nine portfolio companies, and a pioneer investor in specialized healthcare services in emerging markets. Agate was established in 2007 by Dani Naveh former Israel's Minister of Health and Cabinet Secretary. www.agate-invest.com/.
About VisionCare's 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.
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 investors include Saints Capital, Pitango Venture Capital, Three Arch Partners, ONSET Ventures, Generali/BSI, Infinity, Giza Venture Capital, and Agate Medical Investments. 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.