Next-Gen Avisi Technologies Aims for “One and Done” in a MIGS Device

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Avisi’s MIGS device, VisiPlate, has been designed to lower intraocular pressure in patients with moderate to severe glaucoma, a 2.6 million patient market in the US worth billions of dollars. The company believes it doesn’t make tradeoffs between safety and efficacy; it believes it has created an implant that will achieve a durable and effective treatment, once and for all.

Some medtech start-ups begin with an inventor with a novel idea; others seek out an unmet clinical need looking for a solution. Avisi Technologies began with market research, that is, a direct appeal to glaucoma specialists to determine what they were missing in their tool kits, and specifically, how the current generation of devices for minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) might be falling short.

The start-up was founded in 2017 by students at the University of Pennsylvania. Rui Jing Jiang, CEO and director, was studying finance and management at Wharton, and Brandon Kao, Director, was in a program focusing on material sciences and engineering. Jiang reports that the two had an opportunity to collaborate with Eydie Miller-Ellis, MD, the director of the glaucoma service at UPenn’s Scheie Eye Institute and Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at UPenn’s Perelman School of Medicine, on a possible ophthalmic application of nanotechnology invented in the laboratory of UPenn’s Igor Bargatin, PhD, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics.


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