Azalea Vision, a joint spinoff of Imec and Ghent University, has announced the closing of its Series-A funding round. In all, the health-tech developer pulled in 8 million euros. 6.2 million came from a group of investors, led by Imec.xpand, along with Elaia, Sensinnovat and Shigeru. The remaining 1.8 million euros came from the Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund, in the form of a non-dilutive research grant.
Azalea Vision develops an IP-protected medical device that integrates an active light management system inside a contact lens. This smart contact lens can adjust the brightness of incoming light automatically and dynamically, specifically tailored to each patient’s needs, while also performing the functions of a traditional contact lens. The product aims to significantly improve the quality of life of millions of patients by reducing their light sensitivity and increasing their visual acuity, and is specially designed to aid patients suffering from ocular disorders such as aniridia, coloboma, ocular albinism and neuro-ophthalmic conditions with light sensitivity as a co-morbidity.
“Our smart contact lens filters incoming light in real-time by using a thin liquid crystal cell combined with a custom-made microchip. It’s a solution that, for the first time, will be able to improve both visual acuity and light sensitivity in patients by dynamically adjusting light levels in a personalized, non-invasive, and user-friendly manner,” says Prof. Andrés Vásquez Quintero, CTO of Azalea Vision. “This technology is based on years of academic research at Imec and Ghent University, supported through public funding. We are very pleased to now be taking the next step towards bringing this product to the patients.”