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High tech for eye patients: start-up team develops a new kind of diagnosis tool for glaucoma therapy

Recently established Implandata Ophthalmic Products GmbH, based in Hanover, has come up with a convincing, innovative piece of medical technology and will be launching a system for monitoring the chronic eye disease glaucoma. High-Tech Gründerfonds, hannover innovation fonds (hif), a Munich ophthalmologist as private investor as well as the two founders have invested about EUR 700,000 in this new technology business.

Implandata Ophthalmic Products GmbH (IOP) has developed a new kind of system that makes it possible to continuously measure the intraocular pressure of glaucoma patients. This enables the disease to be recognised in good time and to protect the patients against blindness. It is a new kind of diagnosis tool that can even be used telemedically. Frequent visits to the doctor will consequently no longer be absolutely necessary.

The IOP system consists of a minimally invasive micro-sensor and a hand-held unit.  The patient can thereby easily measure his or her intraocular pressure at home as often as he or she wants. Patients and doctors alike are convinced by the easy and safe handling – acceptance of the IOP system was already high during the test phase. This is because the precise and constant monitoring of intraocular pressure is expected to yield initial therapy successes after a brief period of use already. Moreover, patients feel safe and well looked after with the system, even outside the medical practice. When the IOP system is used continuously the therapy can be entirely adapted to the patients’ individual needs. There is consequently little danger of either excessive or insufficient medication.

The Company has already proven the system’s functionality and safety in-vitro and in-vivo on animals and humans, and with the invested funds is now aiming for CE approval and market entry at the latest by the end of 2011.

“Now that we have succeeded in realising the technology and in securing worldwide leading glaucoma expects to work with us, the finance provided by High-Tech Gründerfonds and hif constitutes the most important step for targeted marketing of the IOP system,” says Max G. Ostermeier, co-founder and [managing] director of IOP. “Furthermore, the expertise and networks of our investors form good preconditions for setting up our business in such a way that we can extend our technological lead further and thereby contribute to a paradigm shift in glaucoma treatment as well as building up a substantial business,” Ostermeier adds.

Implandata’s technology makes it possible to recognise glaucoma early and to prevent blindness. The findings of the first-in-man operation and cooperation with leading ophthalmology professors suggest that these patented sensors will also be able to realise their blockbuster potential,” Dr Matthias Dill, investment manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds, emphasizes.

“The joint High-Tech Gründerfonds and hif investment in Implandata is a farsighted decision and will take Hanover further forward as a life science hub,” Sven Klose, project manager at the hannoverimpuls business development company, is confident in saying and adds: “IOP fits exactly into our portfolio of strategic requirements aimed at further strengthening the excellent, existing life science cluster in the area and will further enhance Hanover’s excellent reputation as a research base, especially also in implant research.”

Glaucoma is a common and chronic eye disease where increased intraocular pressure leads to irreversible damage to the optic nerve and ultimately to blindness of the patient. Present diagnostic methods permit only inadequate monitoring of intraocular pressure, which is why the primarily pressure-lowering treatment methods frequently fail.

Contact Implandata:
Implandata Ophthalmic Products GmbH
Max G. Ostermeier
Vahrenwalder Straße 7
30165 Hannover
Phone: +49 511 – 9357213
Fax: +49 511 – 9357217
mostermeier@implandata.com

Contact hannoverimpuls:
hannoverimpuls GmbH
c/o EnjoyVenture Management GmbH
Sven Klose
Vahrenwalder Str. 7
30165 Hannover
Sven.Klose@hannoverimpuls.de
www.hannoverimpuls.de/investimpuls

About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, high-opportunity technological companies implementing promising research results in an entrepreneurial manner. The start-up companies are planned to lead their R&D projects to the production of a prototype or a “proof of concepts” or market launch by means of the seed financing of up to 500k EUR. The High-Tech Gründerfonds has a fund volume of around 272m EUR. Investors of the public-private partnership are the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, the KfW bank group as well as the six industrial groups BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss.

Contact
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Matthias Dill
Investmentmanager
Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2
53175 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 96568500
Fax: +49 228 96568550
m.dill@high-tech-gruenderfonds.de
www.high-tech-gruenderfonds.de

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