EyeYon Medical Determined To Cure Corneal Edema

EyeYon Medical Determined To Cure Corneal Edema
The cornea, a transparent dome overlying the iris, is essential for sharp vision. Cells along the inner surface of the cornea continuously pumps fluid from it, keeping it clear. If these cells are injured, they cannot regenerate and fluid accumulate in the cornea, resulting in swelling and progressive clouding of vision. Mild cases may only require the use of concentrated saline eye drops to draw fluid from the affected eye, but if swelling progresses and vision is substantially impaired, a cornea can be transplanted from an organ donor. However, vision may only be partially restored, and risk of complications and cornea rejection continues for years after the transplant.

The Israel-based startup EyeYon Medical is developing innovative medical ophthalmic devices, with their first product being a contact lens for treating corneal edema. In the contact lens, there is a groove and fenestrations, enabling it to capture and deliver hypertonic drops that are applied to its surface. The drops migrate through the fenestration into the space between the lens and the cornea, extending the contact time and improve extraction of excess fluids from the cornea by osmosis. The prolonged contact period enhance the drug effectiveness, leading to better symptom relief and improved healing. In fact, in clinical studies of about 100 patients, the lens has shown to relieve corneal pain, decrease the cornea’s thickness, and increase visual acuity. In addition, patients felt comfortable wearing the lens, not causing any side effects, and no adverse events where observed or reported during the study. The disposable contact lens needs to be replaced every two weeks, but can throughout this period be removed, cleaned and reinserted at any time.

Hyper-CL has received CE Mark and FDA 510(k) clearance, and the startup is working to expand the indications for which it may be used. In addition, the startup is also working on a second product, EndoArt, an artificial endothelial layer that cures corneal edema using an implant made of silicon film attached to the posterior corneal surface. Although still early, it has demonstrated promising results in animal trials and could cure the disease entirely.

Millions of people are diagnosed with corneal edema every year, a condition causing blurred vision, discomfort, and sometimes severe eye pain. Treatment requires a transplant, but results varies and there are not enough corneas available. As a result, until the patient’s conditions deteriorates to the point where a transplant is needed, salt water is used to help pull fluid from the cornea. EyeYon has developed a unique contact lens that acts as a pump and together with hypertonic drops help extract fluid from the cornea. The simple, yet innovative solution help relieve pain, enhance the effectiveness of drops to improve healing of the corneas, and potentially slow and even stop the progression of disease to further delay the need for a transplant. In addition, they are developing a groundbreaking implant that could cure corneal edema, eliminating the need for a corneal transplant.

EyeYon was founded by ophthalmologists Arie Marcovich and Daphna Ofer, together with CEO Nahum Ferera, and emerged from the Van Leer incubator. They have since gone through multiple funding rounds and raised over $13 million, with investors including Sagam Group, Docor International Management, Rimonci Capital, Gauss Group, Triventures and Pontifax.