ExSight Ventures ("EV") is pleased to announce our investment in ELT Sight, Inc. ("ELT"). ELT is focused on safe and effective microinvasive glaucoma surgery with its next generation ELIOS™ procedure. The funding will enable the company’s United States FDA clinical trial. ELT’s innovative ELIOS™ procedure uses an excimer laser to lower eye pressure in people with glaucoma and has already received a CE mark in Europe. The ELIOS™ excimer laser system is a unique approach to minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (“MIGS”) with significant advantages over current technologies.
The Glaucoma Research Foundation estimates that by the year 2040, 111 million people will have glaucoma. MIGS has revolutionized the glaucoma treatment and management paradigm to treat patients whose IOP is not controlled by medications and those requiring surgery. Consequently, MIGS technologies have been an area of high interest for EV since our founding in 2014. However, many of the opportunities we reviewed did not present a clear advantage to approved and existing procedures. “We have been searching for a MIGS procedure that would improve the treatment paradigm in early and moderate glaucoma in a meaningful way for patients,” said EV partner Dr. Nissen.
The ELIOS™ system expands on what it means to be truly minimally invasive, which we believe will have a significant clinical and therapeutic advantage over existing technologies. Current popular MIGS procedures involve inserting an implant while ELT’s technology uses a precision laser and leaves no implant behind. The ELIOS™ system creates new microchannels in the trabecular meshwork while preserving tissue integrity and avoiding scarring. “ELT’s novel procedure has all the attributes that will make it highly attractive to cataract surgeons and glaucoma specialists alike: efficacy, simplicity, speed, reproducibility, and a lack of hardware left in the eye, among others,” added EV partner Dr. Rahhal.
Our investment in ELT is unique in that we were able to review numerous clinical studies containing data on more than 800 human eyes. A recent review article that undertook a comprehensive analysis of 10 clinical studies. “Current Review of Excimer Laser Trabeculostomy” was published in the BioMed Central journal Eye and Vision and authored by Georges M. Durr, Marc Toeteberg-Harms, Richard Lewis, Antonio Fea, Paola Marolo, and Iqbal Ike K. Ahmed.
“In the review article of non-industry funded studies from independent investigators at more than a dozen centers across multiple countries including Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain, use of the IOP-lowering device following an established method in open-angle glaucoma patient populations demonstrated a degree of IOP lowering equal or superior to those achieved with other MIGS. The results were reproducible across the centers, with significant, durable IOP reduction that in some studies lasted to 5–8 years. Complication rates were low, both when used as a stand-alone procedure and in combination with cataract surgery.” (press release)
ELT is a unique opportunity to invest in a company with clinically proven technology and an exceptional team of ophthalmic professionals and clinical advisors at an early stage.
“We’re thrilled to have ExSight Ventures as ELT’s first institutional investor. Their unique expertise investing in early-stage ophthalmic companies provides meaningful validation of our ELIOS™ technology,” said Elliot Friedman, CEO of ELT. “We’re excited to partner with them in our pursuit of U.S. regulatory approval.”
The ELT team has developed a safe and effective procedure that embodies the "minimally invasive" part of MIGS. We're excited to partner with ELT and their exceptional team of ophthalmic professionals and clinical advisors to help bring this critical therapeutic technology through the regulatory approval process to patients.
 Glaucoma Research Foundation
 Current review of Excimer laser Trabeculostomy