Advanced Refractive Technologies

Cataract Detection Device

The Company has acquired another company, OptiMetrix Technologies, Inc., which has exclusive worldwide rights to a novel device, currently known as the Lens Opacity Threshold System, and will be used in detection of cataract formation in the eye. This device, which can be used by both optometrists and ophthalmologists to quickly and objectively determine the formation of a cataract.  Since cataract surgery is the number one procedure paid for by Medicare in the United States, the Health Care Financing Administration may likely use the results obtained from the use of this device to generate a milestone reading which will allow cataract surgery to be paid for by Medicare. This could, in fact, be the monitoring device to prevent unnecessary cataract surgeries.

OptiMetrix Technologies, Inc., Inc. holds the exclusive license to a patented technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory that takes the application of fiber-optic, OMA-based instrumentation as an in vivo diagnostic tool for the human ocular lens.  This results in the first simple and effective device for use by ophthalmologists and optometrists in detecting cataract formation.

“The focus of our research is the development of minimally-invasive diagnostics and therapeutics based on optical and photonic technologies.  We often collaborate with clinical researchers who test the new technologies on animals or human subjects.  With noninvasive optical measurements there is minimal risk to the patient, but significant medical benefits are possible,” said Inventor Irving J. Bigio, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University, and former scientific staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

This device is a non-invasive product, which in seconds will determine the level of cataract formation in an eye. The device measures the optical properties of the human lens to determine the onset of a cataract threshold.

When the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, darkened or opaque, the condition is called a cataract. The Lens Opacity Threshold System consists of a console, a handpiece optical probe with a disposable, sterile end cover and a footswitch. The purpose of the System is to measure the ocular opacity based upon optical scattering properties of the lens. This will result in a quality objective, codifiable referrals from the optometrists to the ophthalmologists and reduce the subjective element in referrals for cataract surgery.

Glaucoma Therapeutic Treatment

The Company has purchased another company, Advanced Glaucoma Technologies, Inc., which holds the exclusive worldwide rights to a patent pending technology developed by W. Daniel Stamer, Ph.D., Associate Head for Vision Research and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, and Ronald Heimark, Ph.D., Head of Surgical Research and Professor of Surgery at The University of Arizona. The primary goal in the treatment of people with glaucoma is to reduce intraocular pressure either by decreasing inflow or increasing outflow of aqueous humor (transparent fluid in the eye). Current pharmacological treatments in most cases insufficiently reduce intraocula pressure. Second, no commonly used method targets the primary outflow structures of the eye; a location of pathology in most glaucomas. Third, laser trabeculoplasty, the most common surgical intervention, involves damaging trabecular meshwork tissue that results in increased remodeling and increased outflow that lasts for a short time (usually 1-2 years). Fourth, if all of the above do not lower intraocular pressure, a major surgical procedure, trabeculectomy, is commonly performed. This surgical procedure has many complications associated with it and has limited success in most cases, lasting 1-5 years.

The invention is a novel strategy for reducing pressure buildup in the eye using specific monoclonal antibodies. This non-surgical treatment of glaucoma can be administered to patients in all stages of glaucoma. It lowers intraocular pressure and thus may slow the damage to the retinal cells. Patients might require only biannual treatment on an outpatient basis during routine check-ups, and potentially no longer may have a need for eye drops or risky surgeries, hopefully avoiding common side effects associated with current therapies. This method may be an effective alternative to available drugs and it is currently anticipated that visual acuity would not be adversely affected after treatment. Applications may include glaucoma treatment and adjuvant therapy with other common eye surgeries such as cataract removal.  

“The goal of this technology is to specifically target the diseased tissue with therapeutics to more effectively lower intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma,” said W. Daniel Stamer, Ph.D.  Dr. Stamer is a recognized expert in glaucoma research, having many awards and publications in the area of intraocular pressure regulation.

The issue of patient compliance is of fundamental importance here since studies show that after only six months roughly one-half of all glaucoma patients are not using their eye drops to control their glaucoma.

Age Related Macular degeneration Therapeutic Treatment

The Company has purchased another company, Ocular Therapeutics Inc., which holds the exclusive license to a patent pending technology developed by Eugene Levin, Ph.D. while at The Scripps Research Institute. Ocular Therapeutics, Inc., has licensed this small protein therapeutic (LD22-4) from Motility, Inc. for the treatment of the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Wet AMD is one of the leading causes of severe vision loss and blindness in the adult population. Because LD22-4 directly targets a fundamental requirement for the proliferation of blood vessels, i.e. cell migration, we believe that its mode of action is distinct from other drugs that are on the market or that are in development by other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies.

“We have already demonstrated in several different animal models that angiogenesis is dramatically suppressed in the presence of LD22-4,” said Eugene Levin, Ph.D., He added, “The proposed method of administration of LD22-4, intravitreal injection, is commonly used to administer ophthalmic drugs and generally accepted by patients facing the prospect of blindness and other serious back of the eye complications. However, we believe that a therapy that offers a less invasive method of administration may have a competitive advantage over one administered by intravitreal injection.”

The Company is currently in preclinical studies of LD22-4 and a patent application has been filed for the therapeutic use  of this product.



UTEK is a specialty finance company focused on technology transfer. We enable companies of all sizes to acquire innovative technologies from universities and research laboratories worldwide. Our unique U2B® process enables publicly traded firms in a wide range of industries to rapidly acquire university discoveries in exchange for their equity securities. Since its inception, UTEK has completed more than 60 technology transfers and currently owns stakes in approximately 50 publicly traded companies.






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Advanced Refractive Technologies

1062 Calle Negocio, Suite D

San Clemente, California 92673

P: 949.940.1300   F: 949.940.1301