Lumetrics Announces SBIR Phase I Grant Award

April 10, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lumetrics Announces SBIR Phase I Grant Award For FUNDIS Camera

Rochester NY, (Month, Day, Year) -- Lumetrics, Inc., a Rochester, NY manufacturer of precision thickness measurement systems for industrial, scientific, and medical use, today announces the receipt of a Phase I research grant award from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for development of it’s FUNDIS camera system. The $100,000 grant will be used to develop a laboratory prototype of the new device. FUNDIS is being developed in collaboration with Eyeon Therapeutics, Inc., ASE Optics, Inc., and the Flaum Eye Institute at University of Rochester.

FUNDIS is an extraordinary new medical technology that will encapsulate a room full of opthomological diagnostic equipment into a small, lightweight, hand-held device. Using highly advanced optical and semiconductor technology, the FUNDIS camera will quickly and accurately provide a detailed image of the interior surface of the human eye -- information that is critical in the early detection and diagnosis of opthamalogical disorders. Addressing the technical challenges of such a small form factor is the primary goal of this phase of the project.

“Rochester is well known as one of the most important regions of the world where expertise in precision optics and tremendous clinical expertise in ophthalmology converge in the development of cutting edge new products, says Filipp Ignatovitch, Principle Scientist at Lumetrics. “We have engaged an outstanding, interdisciplinary team of local optical engineers and scientists, along with the world-renowned clinical expertise of the University of Rochester. This is the perfect team to develop a robust prototype capable of capturing high-quality retinal images for practical, affordable medical use.”

Today, retinal photography is a time-consuming, expensive, uncomfortable process requiring the use of large, cumbersome devices and extensive patient cooperation. Pupils must be dilated, and several captures of the retina from different angles are typically necessary to overcome the optical limitations of the instruments. Examinations often exceed an hour in length, and patients must cope with the physiological after-effects for hours afterward.

The FUNDIS camera, by contrast, will be non-dilatory and minimally invasive, requiring only a few seconds of surface contact with the iris. FUNDIS’ small physical size, wide optical field of view, low cost of ownership, and extraordinary ease of use will permit eye care professionals to offer retinal examinations on a rapid, routine, preventative basis, without the need for long visits and tens of thousands of dollars worth of specialized equipment. Third world countries lacking the funds and infrastructure for advanced opthamalogical technologies will now find access to leading-edge preventative and diagnostic eye care to be practical and affordable. Overall, medical costs for eye care will diminish as examinations become routine, and opthamalogical disorders are caught early.

“Anyone who’s had a serious eye examination knows how difficult the process can be,” said Todd Blalock, Chief Technology Officer for Lumetrics. “We’re going to change that. Our FUNDIS camera represents an extraordinary leap forward in routine, preventative eye care technology. We think it will drive down medical costs, improve early detection of retinal disorders, and help to shift best practices in the direction of preventative care.”

Lumetrics was previously the recipient of both Phase I and Phase II SBIR grants for it’s Fiber Optic Eye Measurement System (FEMS) technology. FEMS is now under development in pursuit of a commercial prototype.

About Lumetrics 

Lumetrics, one of the emerging growth companies located in the Lennox Tech Center, designs, manufactures, and markets advanced optically-based test instruments that provide unique measurement solutions for a variety of industrial, scientific, and medical applications. Lumetrics technology employs the power of light for accurate and routine analysis of materials such as specialty tubing and film, flexible packaging, plastics, coatings, and optics. For more information about Lumetrics, visit www.lumetrics.com.

About Eyeon Therapeutics, Inc.

Eyeon Therapeutics is a Rochester, NY-based startup firm that is developing a number of over-the-counter eye care products for conditions such as dry eye syndrome.

About Flaum Eye Institute

The Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center develops and applies advanced technologies for the preservation, enhancement and restoration of vision through a partnership of academic medicine, private industry, and the community they serve.

About ASE Optics, Inc.

ASE Optics is a Rochester, NY-based optical engineering firm providing world-class engineering talent for advanced optical systems development. ASE Optics specializes in lens design, and holds several patents in a variety of optical technologies.

About SBIR

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Technology administers the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. Through this program, SBA ensures that the nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government's research and development efforts. Eleven federal departments, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), participate in the SBIR program, awarding billions to small high-tech businesses. The U.S National Science Foundation administers the SBIR.GOV site on behalf of the federal government.

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