KeraLink International Provides $2.5 Million in Seed Funding to Enable Development of Bioengineered Corneal Implants

BALTIMORE ~ KeraLink International (KLI) has announced a $2.5 million seed funding for Pantheon Vision (PV), an early-stage ophthalmic medical device company established by KLI, to launch the development of a novel advancement to help eradicate corneal blindness in both developed and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The funding will be used to develop bioengineered corneal implants to reduce reliance on donated corneal tissue – often unavailable in LMICs. This venture philanthropy strategy is part of KLI's PEN approach to eradicating corneal blindness: Prevention of corneal blindness, Early detection and treatment of corneal conditions, and Novel therapies that are effective and affordable for broad use in underserved and under-resourced LMICs.

Douglas J. Furlong, KLI Board Chairman said, "Development of novel therapeutic solutions is costly but critical to fulfilling our mission of eradicating corneal blindness. We are proud to support Pantheon Vision's promising work and anticipate a return on this investment that will allow us to fund additional innovative products, technologies, and services."

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KLI President and CEO David Green added, "Working with generous donors and impact investors, we will fuse the power of market-based solutions with compassionate philanthropy to ensure corneal health in LMICs."

John Sheets, Ph.D., an ophthalmic industry veteran leads Pantheon Vision. He has led companies including Hoya and Elisar, as well as R&D organizations at Alcon, Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson; he also served the Food and Drug Administration heading its Office of Device Evaluation.

More than 12.7 million children and adults are blind because of corneal injuries or infections; millions more are blind in one eye or live with seriously impaired vision. KLI is striving towards eradicating corneal blindness with specific emphasis on low-and middle-income countries by advancing ground-breaking products, technologies, and services.
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