LumiThera raises cash for medical device that uses light to fight vision loss

LumiThera is developing a medical device for people with age-related macular degeneration. Above, a retina with patterns associated with the disease. (National Institute of Health Photo)

Medical device startup LumiThera raised $1.15 million as part of a new fundraising round, according to a new SEC filing.

The Valeda Light Delivery System. (LumiThera Photo)

The Poulsbo, Wash.-based company is commercializing a device for use by ophthalmologists that improves vision and slows its loss, with a focus on patients with dry age-related macular degeneration.

The company’s core product, the Valeda Light Delivery System, uses an approach called photobiomodulation (PBM) that stimulates cells with LED lights. Valeda is in clinical trials in the U.S. and has received regulatory approval for sale in the European Union.

LumiThera did not respond to requests for comment on the funding round.

CEO Clark Tedford has led the company since he co-founded it in 2013. Prior to LumiThera, he was an executive at Omeros and president of Solentix. The company’s investors include the Keiretsu Forum Northwest, a collective of angel investors.

According to the company’s website, “PBM works through the absorption of photons by photoacceptors in the targeted tissue. Once absorbed, secondary cellular effects include increases in energy production and changes in signaling modalities such as reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide and cellular calcium. Cellular changes occur through activation of transcription factors leading to modulation in protein synthesis, proliferation and ultimately improved cell survival.”

Cindy Croissant, a former executive at Vital Therapies, is the company’s vice president of clinical operations. Robert Baird serves as vice president of quality and regulatory affairs, and Scott Bradley is the senior director of product development.

The company’s board of directors includes Tedford as well as:

  • Arthur Taylor, former chairmen of the board at medical device company Transcend Medical;
  • Yang Yigang, founding partner and CEO of WaterStone Capital Limited;
  • Carina Cao, a board observer and co-founder of WaterStar Capital Limited.

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