I am a founding investor in Ace Vision and I am honored to be part of a company that is developing such an innovative and minimally invasive therapy to treat the loss of vision that occurs with aging. I invested in Ace Vision immediately after receiving the LaserACE® procedure myself when I was 47 years old. I was able to read a menu within one hour after having the surgery and after over 10 years have passed I am still enjoying the effects that this procedure has had on my quality of life. This kind of technology is urgently needed with the ever growing aging population and will have a huge impact on the industry of ophthalmology.
Robert M. Picerne
Board of Director, Ace Vision Group, Inc.
Founder & Managing Director Picerne Group
Presbyopia is one of a very few conditions that is universal across gender and ethnicity, impacting almost 90% of every single human being around the age of 40-45. There are over 1 billion people who suffer from presbyopia worldwide and this total is expected to reach 2.2 billion by the year 2020. Out of these, there are at least a half a billion who do not have access to reading glasses1. AVG’s technology has an impact not only on quality of life factors but also the socioeconomic burden of age-related vision loss.
The worldwide Market Opportunity is truly Massive and there is a totally UNMET need for therapeutic or surgical presbyopia treatment. AVG’s target market spans presbyopic pre-cataract patients generally age 40-60. The potential market exceeds 100M patients in the US alone with approximately 4M new patients annually as the population ages2, Treating a 5% share of just the US presbyopic population between 40–60 years of age (approximately 100 million people), creates a multi-billion dollar market opportunity.
China is not just the world's leading manufacturer of spectacles but is also the largest potential consumer of such products. Children and elderly people alike are consumers. Euromonitor International estimated that China's spectacles market grossed nearly Rmb56.7 billion with a 15% growth in 2013. Its market for contact lenses also grew by 14% to Rmb3.4 billion. In addition, according to data from China’s population census and statistical yearbooks, China is faced with the challenge of an aging population. During the 13 years from 2000 to 2012, the percentage of people aged 45 and above rose from 26.2% to 35% and the growth is expected to continue. Based on the experience that most middle-aged people begin to wear presbyopic glasses at the age of 42, the market potential is not to be underestimated.
AVG has established its Laser Scleral Microporation or “LSM” brand in the core primary markets of Taiwan & China and has had partnerships in both countries for almost 8 years. AVG will leverage its relationships in Taiwan & China to build seed markets in Asia –its core target market for commercialization of its Gen II technology.
AVG has already established human clinical data in Taiwan, China, Mexico, Western Europe, South America and Canada with compelling results establishing early safety and general efficacy of procedure as a treatment of presbyopia. This preliminary data suggests that the LSM treatment can potentially delay need for reading glasses by 5 to 10 years or potentially longer while patients experienced NO LOSS in pre-treatment distance vision.
AVG’s technology has a unique competitive advantage over other presbyopia solutions in that other surgical procedure provides an increase in near vision without the “trade off” of negatively impacting some other aspect of vision since they are performed on the visual axis. LSM is a truly disruptive technology paving a new genre of Eye Laser Therapy that does not touch the visual optics of the eye. This unique feature to LSM rejuvenation procedure has created a large wave of excitement about the potential of this type of procedure in ophthalmology as the podium presence of Ace vision has progressed with the long term study data. To see what doctors are saying about LSM click here.
AVG has adopted the same well established economic model with LASIK as precedent of high-margin per-procedure fees in conjunction with purchase or lease of laser. This financial platform provides for a compelling ROI for doctors to drive adoption of this short duration, high volume procedure. LASIK has long ago achieved the acceptance in the market for laser eye surgery so this model is a low obstacle high ROI model for Ace Vision.
e. Ace Vision is the only company pursuing an laser eye therapy approach for treating presbyopia. Ace Vision is confident that clinical trials with the next generation automated (Gen II) system will continue to demonstrate that the LSM therapy is an ultra -minimally invasive safe treatment to address the presbyopia problem without affecting the eyes normal distance vision or utilizing artificial implants.
AVG has a clear exit strategy with multiple, high valuation comparable transactions. Ace Vision has raised approximately $20MM to date in Private Equity for its initial research development and early clinical trial work. Ace Vision is currently actively raising $10MM in its first Series A financing to develop its next generation “Gen II” automated OCT guided commercial system and early Gen I clinical trial work to validate the automated procedure. To view our milestone progress to date click here.
1Global Vision Impairment Due to Uncorrected Presbyopia’, Archives of Ophthalmology, Vol 126 (No. 12), Dec 2008.
2US Census Data 2014.
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