Vision firm eyes US sales

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A MEDICAL device maker has been given the green light to sell its eye-testing equipment in Europe and the United States, less than a year after the firm was spun out of Edinburgh University.

I2eye Diagnostics’ machine is the first in the world that can examine the vision of children, the elderly and patients with brain injuries. Up to 30 per cent of the population fall into these categories, valuing the market at more than $800 million (£500m).

Chief executive Peter Estibeiro, a veteran of Scotland’s life sciences sector, said: “Over the past ten months, our three staff have done more than two years’ worth of work, gaining CE mark approval for Europe and FDA approval in America.

“We’ve put in place the same quality manufacturing systems you get in a fully-fledged medical device maker.”

I2eye has already sold its first devices – to clinics in Germany and the US – and chief technology officer Charlie Wardrop is travelling to America to speak to armed forces veterans groups.

Wardrop is a former product manager at Dunfermline-based eye scanner maker Optos, which last year posted sales of nearly $200m, primarily from the US.

“I would love to replicate the success that Optos has had,” said Estibeiro. “Optos is a shining examples for Scottish life science companies.”

I2eye has also closed a second funding round, with Glasgow-based Kelvin Capital, Edinburgh University’s Old College Capital investment arm, Scottish Enterprise’s co-investment fund and the firm’s founders and directors pumping in a total of £600,000.

Estibeiro said the funding will last two years and see the firm through to profitability.

Kelvin Capital founder John McNicol added: “I’m delighted to be supporting such an innovative technology company.”