News Article

Stealthy Livionex Has an Eye on Early Cataract Treatments
Date: Mar 07, 2011
Author: Timothy Hay
Source: Wall Street Journal ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Livionex Inc of Los Gatos, CA

People usually began struggling with cataracts while they're in their 50s, yet insurance companies typically don't reimburse cataract surgeries unless the patient is aged 72 or older.

In an attempt to brighten this picture for cataract patients, stealthy start-up Livionex Inc. has attracted $11 million in funding for eye drops that help the lenses of the eye fight off early stages of cataracts, an investor told VentureWire.

"There's nothing on the market at all for early-stage cataracts," said this investor, James Burness, whose firm, Inovation Ventures, provided some of the funding. "There's nothing going on for a 20-year period, when your doctor just tells you it's a function of aging, and there's not much you can do."

Livionex is in stealth mode, and does not yet have a website. The company could not immediately be reached for comment. According to an online resume, the chief executive of Livionex is Amit Goswany, formerly of Internet-enabled personal broadcasting service SpotLife Inc., which was acquired by Logitech in 2002, according to VentureWire records.

Several venture-backed companies are working on various technologies and treatments for patients with cataracts.

Roanoke, Va.-based Elenza Inc., for example, has raised about $30 million from investors, and is making implantable replacement lenses for the eye that feature electronic components, the company has said.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based OptiMedica Corp. recently changed direction from developing products for retinal diseases to concentrating exclusively on cataract surgery, the company has told VentureWire.

Livionex may find itself without a good deal of competition in treating cataracts before such time as surgery is required, Burness said.