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AcuFocus Announces First Commercial Patients Treated With the IC-8® Apthera™ IOL

The First and Only Small Aperture Lens for Cataract Surgery


  • These surgeries by Dr. Vance Thompson kick off the limited commercial release of the Apthera IOL in the United States.
  • Apthera extended depth of focus IOL uses proprietary small aperture technology to filter out peripheral defocused light, allowing only focused light to reach the retina.
  • Results from the U.S. pivotal trial showed that Apthera IOL subjects achieved statistically superior uncorrected intermediate and near vision, and equivalent distance vision and contrast sensitivity compared to control subjects.


IRVINE, Calif., January 6, 2023 — AcuFocus, Inc., a privately held ophthalmic medical device company, today announced that Vance Thompson, MD, of Vance Thompson Vision, Sioux Falls, South Dakota has commercially implanted the first patients with the breakthrough IC-8® Apthera intraocular lens (IOL) for the treatment of cataracts. The first and only small aperture, non-toric extended depth of focus IOL, the Apthera IOL is FDA approved for the 82% of cataract patients who have as much as 1.5 diopters (D) of corneal astigmatism.1

“These initial surgeries mark the start of our controlled limited commercial release of the Apthera IOL,” said Al Waterhouse, president and chief executive officer for AcuFocus. “This is an exciting milestone in our series of firsts: the first small aperture IOL to receive FDA approval, the first lens indicated for implantation with a monofocal or monofocal toric IOL in the fellow eye, the first extended depth of focus lens indicated for monovision, and the first non-toric IOL indicated for cataract patients with low amounts of corneal astigmatism.”

Cataracts are a common condition affecting an estimated 24 million people in the United States. Cataracts can only be treated with surgery in which the cloudy natural lens is removed and an artificial lens, or IOL, is implanted.2 Although most patients receive a monofocal IOL at the time of cataract surgery, a lens that provides excellent distance vision, objects up close remain blurry. The Apthera IOL, with its proprietary small aperture technology, seamlessly provides excellent distance vision as well as clear intermediate and near vision, effectively mitigating the effects of presbyopia. This is unlike other available presbyopia-correcting lens designs, which have complex optics that split, shift, or stretch light to provide clear vision at more than one discrete focal point.

“I am thrilled to have the privilege of treating the first commercial patients with the Apthera IOL and its novel mechanism of action,” said Dr. Thompson. “Featuring its embedded FilterRing™ component, this unique lens mitigates presbyopia’s effects in an elegantly simple way—by filtering out peripheral defocused and aberrated light that degrades image quality to allow only central focused light to be delivered to the retina. Now, even our patients with as much as 1.5 D of corneal astigmatism can enjoy a continuous range of vision from far through intermediate and near.”

FDA approval of the Apthera IOL is based on data from the U.S. Investigational Device Exemption study that evaluated the safety and effectiveness of the Apthera IOL implanted in one eye and a monofocal or monofocal toric IOL implanted in the fellow eye. A total of 453 subjects were enrolled and followed for 12 months. Outcomes for the Apthera IOL group (n=343) were compared to a control group (n=110) receiving a monofocal or monofocal toric IOL in both eyes. Apthera IOL treated eyes maintained 2 D of extended depth of focus and demonstrated 0.91 D of additional distance-corrected range of vision benefit over monofocal IOL eyes at 0.2 logMAR threshold, exceeding the 0.50 D ANSI criterion for extended depth of focus IOLs. Apthera IOL subjects achieved equivalent uncorrected distance vision and statistically superior intermediate and near vision compared to control subjects. Apthera IOL subjects also achieved comparable binocular contrast sensitivity to control subjects in both photopic and mesopic conditions, a first reported for an extended depth of focus lens.

Over the coming weeks, AcuFocus will be expanding its team and training surgeons in advance of the expected full US launch of the Apthera IOL during the second quarter of this year.


Astigmatism is a common eye condition that causes blurry far and/or near vision.3 In a normal eye, the cornea (clear front part of the eye) has a round shape and allows light rays coming into the eye to focus on a single point on the back of the eye (retina) to form a clear image. With astigmatism, the cornea has an oval shape and, as a result, light rays do not focus at the same point on the retina. This may cause some parts of a viewed object to be unclear and may also lead to eye discomfort and headaches.


The IC-8 Apthera IOL is a wavefront-filtering intraocular lens for unilateral implantation in the non-dominant eye in patients who have as much as 1.5 D of corneal astigmatism in the implanted eye. This IOL, compared to a monofocal or monofocal toric IOL, provides an extended range of vision from distance through near. The Apthera IOL is the first extended depth of focus lens indicated for monovision.

As with any cataract surgery, risks of complications exist whether or not the IOL is implanted. The complications of IOL implantation surgery range from minor side effects (usually temporary) to serious complications. Patients with a history of previous illnesses or disorders of the eye may have a higher risk of complications. Patients with a history of retinal disease or those predisposed to retinal disease must not be implanted with the Apthera IOL. As with other extended depth of focus IOLs, further surgical treatment (such as IOL replacement for a different lens) may be needed after implantation of the IOL.

A full list of benefits and risks associated with the IC-8 Apthera IOL are available in the Directions For Use and the Patient Information Brochure.


AcuFocus, Inc., is a privately held ophthalmic medical device company that delivers breakthrough small aperture intraocular products to address diverse unmet needs in eye care and help patients achieve their best personal vision. The IC-8® Apthera™ IOL (known as the IC-8 IOL in global markets) is approved in the United States for the treatment of cataract patients. The lens received CE mark in 2015 and is available in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and select markets across Europe. AcuFocus is based in Irvine, California. For more information about AcuFocus, visit and follow @AcuFocus on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram and @AcuFocusInc on Twitter. For more information about the Apthera IOL visit



1 Prevalence of Corneal Astigmatism Prior to Cataract Surgery. Accessed December 29, 2022.

2 National Eye Institute. Accessed December 29, 2022.

3 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Accessed December 29, 2022.