CORE-Affiliated Start-Up Developing Sophisticated In Vitro Eye Models for Accelerated Ophthalmic R&D
WATERLOO, Ontario, August 9, 2018—OcuBlink, Inc., which is developing sophisticated in vitro eye models for ophthalmic testing, has received funding from two prominent business accelerators. The company will use the funds and associated entrepreneurial coaching to scale its business, focused on assisting research centers, pharmaceutical and medical device companies validate ocular products more rapidly and cost-effectively.
AC JumpStart, funded by FedDev Ontario, awarded OcuBlink CAD$30,000 in seed capital and CAD$10,000 of in-kind mentorship. The accelerator helps technology start-ups establish and grow their business in Southern Ontario. OcuBlink was also named one of four winners in the annual Velocity Fund $5K competition, an entrepreneurship program at the University of Waterloo and the most productive start-up incubator in Canada.
OcuBlink began as an initiative of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) and now operates as an affiliate, utilizing CORE’s staffing, counsel and laboratories.
“We’ve been developing our novel in vitro platforms since 2014, working with industry partners and researchers to validate our technology. Now it’s time to bring our innovations to market, with the invaluable assistance of AC Jumpstart and the Velocity Fund,” said OcuBlink Chief Executive Officer Hendrik Walther, PhD, MSc, BSc Optom.
Traditional testing uses a vial or a test tube for early stage research, with later pre-clinical studies performed using an animal model. However, vials and test tubes do not remotely resemble the complex structure of the eye, leading to variable outcomes, and increasing regulation and public opinion is limiting animal experimentation. Incorporating OcuBlink to test concepts and prototypes at an earlier stage will minimize costs, reduce animal experimentation, and create deeper understanding of the underlying science of how new and existing products interact with the eye.
For more information, visit OcuBlink.com.
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About OcuBlink Inc.
OcuBlink develops sophisticated in vitro eye models for ophthalmic companies to accelerate research and development of products for the eye. These include devices for studying anterior and posterior eye disease and contact lens offerings, and its platforms have already been the subject of six conference abstracts and seven papers highlighting the technology. Ocublink is affiliated with the Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE), based at the School of Optometry & Vision Science, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit OcuBlink.com.
About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)
The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.