Elenza Closes $24 Million in Series B Financing to Fund Development of New Electronic AutoFocal Intraocular Lens
New Equity to Fund Expansion of Management, Development and Facilities
Roanoke, VA, Feb. 8, 2011 -- ELENZA Inc. (formerly Ocular Optics, Inc.), today announced the completion of a $24 million Series B round of financing which will be used to support the clinical development and technology commercialization of ELENZA's patented Electro-active AutoFocal Intraocular Lens (IOL) to address the cataract extraction market and future opportunities associated with the correction of presbyopia. This capital placement is also expected to fund clinical and regulatory activities required to obtain CE mark in Europe and other international markets.
The Series B placement represented investments from the Company's original investors, The Carlyle Group (Washington, DC) and Delphi Ventures (Menlo Park, CA), as well as new investors, the Itochu Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) and a strategic corporate investor from the ophthalmic industry.
"We see great promise in ELENZA's next generation Accommodating IOL technology and we are pleased to follow on our initial investment with strong corporate strategic and financial partners to fund product development, while ultimately setting the course for clinical approvals and future commercialization," said Jim Bochnowski, General Partner of Delphi Ventures. "It is also our privilege to recognize the leadership of Rudy Mazzocchi as President and Chief Executive Officer of ELENZA, an experienced medical device entrepreneur who was recruited to secure this financing and to develop the structural organization of ELENZA, along with Amitava Gupta, PhD as Chief Technical Officer, who will be responsible for the achievement of their product design and development program."
Rudy Mazzocchi brings 25 years of senior management and financing experience in the medical technology industry. He has founded and led four early-stage medical device companies from development through successful acquisitions in fields ranging from cardiology to neurosurgery. He started his career as Founding CEO of MICROVENA Corporation, now a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: EVVV), and later served as a General Partner of Accuitive Medical Ventures (Duluth, Georgia).
"I am excited to be a part of ELENZA as President and CEO and I believe that ELENZA's patented IOL technology will give rise to the world's first Electro-active AutoFocal IOL that will provide patient benefits beyond those of existing implantable lenses," said Mr. Mazzocchi. "I look forward to leveraging my expertise in financing, operations, product and clinical development to bring this product to market as efficiently as possible."
As ELENZA's Executive Vice President and CTO, Dr. Gupta most recently was a Senior Principal Research Fellow, then VP of R&D at Johnson & Johnson Vistakon followed by being Executive VP of R&D at Innotech from 1991 to 1997, which was later sold to Johnson & Johnson in 1997. Prior to Innotech, Dr. Gupta was VP of R&D at another intraocular lens company, Ioptex, which sold to Smith and Nephew and was recently appointed a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Vision at Oxford University. Dr. Gupta received his Ph.D. in chemical physics from Caltech in 1975.
ELENZA's initial technology was developed by PixelOptics (Roanoke, VA), the developer of the world's first electronic focusing spectacles: www.emPowerEyeWear.com. ELENZA secured exclusive licensing rights to this implantable lens technology from PixelOptics and now holds a significant and growing patent portfolio. In 2008, the company received its initial Series A financing from The Carlyle Group, Delphi Ventures and other private investors.
ELENZA, Inc. is developing the world's first Electro-active AutoFocal Intraocular Lens (IOL) to compete in the multi-billion dollar IOL market for the correction of near, intermediate and distance vision. These Electro-active Accommodating IOLs use a proprietary combination of chemistry, electricity, and integrated-circuitry to create smart optics, which will provide patients with the ability to see more naturally and clearly over a range of vision. The technology includes an Electro-active switchable optical element that automatically adjusts focusing power electronically, in milliseconds, to maintain constant in focus vision for various working needs and/or light environments. The lens is controlled by a micro-sized powercell with an expected 50+ year rechargeable cycle life. ELENZA is based in Roanoke, Virginia and intends to establish a European office in Zürich, Switzerland in the Spring of 2011.
President & CEO