TVA Makes Second Investment in Glaucoma Therapy Company Camras Vision
The Triangle Venture Alliance (TVA), an investment alliance among angel networks at Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University, today announced an investment in Camras Vision, its second investment as an alliance. Camras has developed a glaucoma therapy that not only circumvents the complications of current glaucoma surgery methods, but can provide ophthalmologists with the first tool that can set specific pressures for patients.
Glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, is traditionally treated by lowering the eye pressure to stop vision loss. No current drug or surgical treatment exists that provides a predictable target pressure control, leaving physicians to use an imprecise combination of multiple therapies to attempt to reach the necessary pressure range. The Camras device is the first treatment to drain aqueous humor externally, avoiding the scarring within the drainage site and potential failure of all other incisional/shunt surgeries.
“The Camras Shunt has the potential to change the way ophthalmologists perform glaucoma surgery,” said Ray Krauss, CEO of Camras. “With the support of the TVA, we have raised the funds necessary to accelerate the development of this device. This is an enormous step forward for the company and its technology.”
The company’s founders, Lucinda Camras, Chief Scientific Officer and Inventor, and Roberto Alfaro, COO/CFO, attended Duke University for their PhD in biomedical engineering and MBA, respectively. The company also has ties to UNC and N.C. State through its Vice President of Manufacturing, Kevin Leite, who completed his bachelor’s degree at NC State and his MBA at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.
“Researchers and scientists from universities across the Triangle region often join forces to collaborate on innovations,” said John Glushik, managing director of the Duke Angel Network. “Through the Triangle Venture Alliance, angel and investor networks from all these universities can also team up to provide critical support and funding for these disruptive technologies.”
“Traditionally, patients with moderate to severe glaucoma have had few choices of treatment, and those treatments came with risks,” said Randy Myer, managing director of the Carolina Angel Network. “The early trial results for the Camras device showed that ocular pressure was significantly reduced for patients with severe glaucoma, which convinced us that we could impact lives with our investment.”
“The entrepreneurial ecosystem within the Triangle region is continually growing, and the formation of the Triangle Venture Alliance occurred at a crucial time,” said Joe Sinsheimer, managing director at Wolfpack Investor Network. “Investing in local companies will enable them to remain in the Triangle long-term, continuing to grow our local entrepreneurial ecosystem and our economy.”
About Triangle Venture Alliance
Triangle Venture Alliance, a partnership among Duke University, the University of North Carolina, NC State University and NC Central University, is a network of angel groups created to fund early-stage private companies founded or managed by alumni, students, parents, staff and faculty. Combining the power of these Triangle university alumni angel investors gives groundbreaking ideas and innovations the best chance at success.
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