Irvine, Calif. – September 9, 2016 – AcuFocus, Inc., a privately held ophthalmic medical device company, announced today a private investment of approximately $66 million in a financing round led by KKR, a leading global investment firm.
AcuFocus develops and markets breakthrough small aperture technologies for the improvement of near vision. The investment follows several key milestones for AcuFocus, including the successful controlled commercial launch of its first-of-its-kind flagship product, the KAMRA® corneal inlay, in the U.S. and CE Mark approval for its second product, the IC-8® intraocular lens. Both technologies utilize the small aperture effect to treat presbyopia, the natural loss of near vision that eventually affects everyone over the age of 40, as well as cataracts, the clouding of the eye’s natural lens.
The financing round led by KKR will allow AcuFocus to accelerate its commercialization plans for the KAMRA inlay and IC-8 lens as well as further advances in research and development projects that continue to leverage its small aperture expertise.
“We are honored that KKR has chosen to make AcuFocus its first investment in the ophthalmic space,” said Bill Link, PhD, AcuFocus Chairman of the Board. “Through this partnership, and the continued support of our current investors, we look forward to driving the company into a global market leadership position in presbyopia and cataract surgery.”
“This investment is a critical catalyst for the company,” said Al Waterhouse, AcuFocus President and Chief Operating Officer. “KKR’s confidence in our technology, along with its track record in successfully scaling businesses, will allow us to execute aggressively on growth plans to bring our disruptive small aperture technologies to full commercialization.”
“AcuFocus is a unique ophthalmic device platform with a differentiated set of products, strong patient outcomes and an accomplished management team,” said Arjun Arora, Principal on KKR’s Americas Health Care investing team. “We are confident that these technologies will play an important role in the way in which surgeons treat presbyopia and cataracts. We look forward to supporting the management and employees of AcuFocus in bringing these products to patients worldwide and accelerating the Company’s growth plans.”
For KKR, the investment is part of the firm’s health care growth equity strategy, which is focused on high-growth companies for which KKR can be a unique partner in helping reach scale. Since 2004, KKR has invested over $4.5 billion in health care-related companies in the Americas, including ~$3.6 billion from the Firm’s flagship private equity funds. Since 2014, the Firm has invested or committed over $200 million in health care growth companies in the Americas, including recent investments: Spirox (medical device company focused on developing minimally invasive technologies in the ear, nose and throat space), Signostics (leader in handheld ultrasound devices and bladder scanners) and Cohera Medical (developer of absorbable surgical adhesives and sealants).
AcuFocus Inc. is a privately held ophthalmic medical device company that develops and markets breakthrough technologies for the improvement of near vision. The Company’s proven, proprietary technology platforms use a small aperture – or pinhole – effect to allow only focused light rays to reach the retina and bring objects into clear focus. The result is unique, reliable and long-lasting performance. Using the small aperture concept, two products have been developed: the Company’s flagship product – the KAMRA® corneal inlay – and the innovative IC-8™ IOL. The KAMRA inlay helps presbyopic patients restore their near vision while maintaining their distance vision. It is commercially available in 50 countries, including the United States. The IC-8 IOL provides a range of vision across various distances, from near to far, and is specifically designed for patients with cataracts. The IOL is CE Marked and currently available in select markets. It is not yet approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. In addition to these products, AcuFocus also distributes the AcuTarget HD diagnostic and surgical planning instrument. This instrument is essential for the optimal treatment and technology selection for a broad range of patients, including LASIK, cataract, dry eye and presbyopes. Founded in 2001, AcuFocus is based in Irvine, Calif. For additional information about the KAMRA inlay or the IC-8 lens, visit www.acufocus.com.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world‐class people and driving growth and value creation at the asset level. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners’ capital and brings opportunities to others through its capital markets business.
References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.