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2 November 2017

LambdaVision grows with series A

The University of Connecticut spinout has received $500,000 from state-owned firm Connecticut Innovations, and will now advance R&D on its protein-coated implant for eye diseases.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

LambdaVision, a US-based ophthalmology developer spun out from University of Connecticut (UConn), has obtained $500,000 in series A funding from state government-owned VC firm Connecticut Innovations.

Connecticut Innovations invested through its Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund, a $200m vehicle that supports Connecticut-based startups in the bioscience, cleantech, computing, photonics and advanced materials segments.

Founded in 2009, LambdaVision has developed a protein-coated implant that can be positioned behind the retina. The protein, bacteriorhodopsin, is light-activated and could potentially repair vision loss from diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

The money will help LambdaVision recruit commercialisation experts and pursue further research and development on its technology, which is currently in pre-clinical trials.

The business was spun out by Technology Commercialisation Services, UConn’s tech transfer office, and is based on research conducted in the Department of Chemistry by assistant research professor Nicole Wagner and professor emeritus Robert Birge.

LambdaVision has received $2.4m from state and federal government programs, including $1.5m in funding from Connecticut Innovations over four rounds, according to deals database Pitchbook.

University of Connecticut’s philanthropic investment arm, UConn Foundation, contributed $40,000 of seed capital in 2009.

Radenka Maric, vice president for research at University of Connecticut, said: “This university spinout is a prime example of the value UConn’s researchers provide for the state’s citizens and economy.

“We are thrilled to support these high-potential startups to propel UConn technologies from the lab to the clinic where they can have life-changing impacts for patients.”

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