ITOCHU Announces Investment in ELENZA Inc., a US Venture Developing AutoFocal Intraocular Lens

- Development of an Electronically Focusing Intraocular Lens -

April 25, 2011

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter referred as “ITOCHU”) announced today that on February 7, 2011, it invested in ELENZA Inc. (headquartered in Virginia, USA; Rudy Mazzocchi, CEO; hereinafter referred as “ELENZA”) through a private placement. ELENZA conducts the technology development for commercialization of its patented AutoFocal Intraocular Lens (*1), (hereinafter referred as “IOL”), and ITOCHU will consider collaboration for application of the technology to various other products.

The currently marketed Multifocal IOLs have multiple zones of focus at the same time, therefore, it is said that halo and blurred image is a problem. In addition, such a lens is unable to adjust the focus at variable distances. The IOL being developed by ELENZA is able to adjust its optical power with its integrated onboard processor that is implanted within the lens that controls the imaging properties of a liquid crystal. Therefore, focus adjustment is possible without moving the embedded IOL. Furthermore, the miniature battery for this autofocusing technology utilizes inductive charging elements that are already commercialized in other implantable device throughout Europe and the U.S..

In addition to ITOCHU, ELENZA’s private placement of shares on this occasion was also subscribed to by existing shareholders, including The Carlyle Group and Delphi Ventures. ELENZA intends to develop this novel IOL in time to complete clinical trials and approval in Europe by the end of 2013. ELENZA will also investigate the sales opportunities in Japan in the future.

ITOCHU, as an equity partner through this private placement, aims to assist in applying the technology to other products and sales expansion in Asia, initially in Japan and China. Itochu deals with early stage medical device with cutting-edge technology so that Itochu could cover the wide range of areas in healthcare. ITOCHU continues to develop the high potential industry such as healthcare and promises to create new businesses through business investment and development.

  1. Intraocular lens (IOL)
    An artificial lens implanted in the cataract patients’ eyes. A monofocus lens is generally used. Multi-focus IOLs are used in the field of highly advanced medical treatment with private pay basis.

Profile of ELENZA Inc.

Company name ELENZA Inc.
Representative Rudy Mazzocchi
Headquarters 5238 Valleypointe Drive, Roanoke, VA 24019, U.S.A.
Established March 5, 2008
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