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Confluent Surgical Inc.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Amar Sawhney has worked with biomaterials several times in his career, as a founder of Focal Inc. and a co-inventor of the technology used by Neocrin Co. and Infimed Inc. Nevertheless, he wants it known that his latest company, Confluent Surgical, is not focusing on biomaterials, but rather on the prevention of surgical adhesions.

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I-Therapeutix Inc.

I-Therapeutix is developing a hydrogel-based surgical sealant for ophthalmic surgery, and hydrogel-based formulations of existing ophthalmic drugs. To get to early revenues, I-Therapeutix will debut with an ocular bandage designed to improve outcomes in corneal and retinal surgeries. But an enormous market lies ahead for the start-up: there's a need to improve the delivery of drugs for glaucoma, today, the largest ophthalmic drug market, affecting 70 million people worldwide, and constituting a US market worth $1.7 billion.

Glaucoma Start-Ups Reach Critical Mass

Having validated high intraocular pressure as a certain target for intervention, the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study spurred on a new wave of innovation in medical devices for glaucoma. Numerous start-ups formed five or six years ago are now beginning to run their devices through clinical trials. Indeed, the field seems to have gained a critical mass of attention. Start-Up has identified more than a dozen emerging device companies treating glaucoma, and the disease remains a target for development programs and acquisitions on the pharmaceutical side as well.

Biomaterials Start-Ups

A broadly enabling technology can be almost a problem for a biomaterials start-up. The challenge is finding and exploiting the killer application.


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