UConn Spinout Wins CT Bioscience Innovation Fund Investment Award For Retinal Implant

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New funding will support development of LambdaVision’s implant aimed to cure vision impairment and blindness

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This university spinout is a prime example of the value UConn’s researchers provide for the state’s citizens and economy.

LambdaVision, the UConn spinout, today announced that it was awarded $500,000 in Series A Equity from Connecticut Innovations, the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies, through the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF).

Led by Co-Founder and CEO, Nicole Wagner, PhD, LambdaVision is developing a retinal implant to cure vision impairment and blindness for more than 30 million people worldwide. Using a protein grown in the laboratory and implanted behind the retina, this promising new procedure offers hope for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other retinal diseases. The protein is in pre-clinical trials across the country to determine the stability and efficacy of the implant.

LambdaVision’s novel implant can restore high-quality vision to those patients who are no longer candidates for traditional treatments and have end-stage retinal degeneration. Current treatments only succeed in slowing the progression of disease.

LambdaVision was founded through support from UConn’s Technology Commercialization Services in 2009. Dr. Robert R. Birge, distinguished professor of chemistry at UConn, led a research group that included Wagner.

“LambdaVision has been incredibly fortunate to have the continued support of UConn and the State of Connecticut, and we owe much of our success to the incredible mentors that have helped us to propel the research and development and commercialization of the technology,’’ Wagner said. “In the early stages of development, they were the believers.’’

The Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF) is a $200 million fund that makes investments in biotechnology. The new funding from CBIF will support continued R&D and expansion of the LambdaVision team in order to bring on more critical expertise for commercialization. To date, LambdaVision has secured $2.4 million in funding from state and federal sources.

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

LambdaVision is currently located in UConn’s Technology Incubation Program (TIP) in Farmington, CT.

About UConn’s Technology Incubation Program (TIP)
UConn’s Technology Incubation Program (TIP) is the only university-based technology business incubation program in Connecticut. Established in 2004, TIP couples UConn's world-class research resources, facilities, and business support services with a network of experienced investors and entrepreneurs to help launch high-potential startups. Since 2004, the program has helped over 90 companies that have raised more than $50 million in grants and $135 million in equity and debt. https://tip.uconn.edu/

About Connecticut Innovations Inc.
Connecticut Innovations is Connecticut’s strategic venture capital arm, providing funding and strategic support to early-stage technology companies. In addition to equity investments, CI provides grants that support innovation and collaboration through CTNext, and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. To learn more, visit http://www.ctinnovations.com.

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Nicole Wagner
LambdaVision
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