PulseMedica gets closer to 'revolutionary solution' to eye disease


PulseMedica is making progress in its quest to provide a "revolutionary solution" for patients suffering from major eye diseases.

The Edmonton company is developing technology that will treat afflictions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with lasers instead of injections, to put it simply, though it goes much further than that.

"We're commercializing a fully automated diagnostic and treatment platform," founder and CEO Nir Katchinskiy told the Great Alberta Pitch Marathon on Aug. 19. "We also developed a machine learning platform that has a stand-alone value, which simplifies clinical workflow while providing more accurate diagnosis in a much quicker and simpler manner."

PulseMedica has been growing fast since it spun out of the University of Alberta. Katchinskiy said the company's key commercial milestone this year is to raise a seed round that will allow it to start manufacturing by 2023.

In the meantime, it is finishing preclinical studies with the help of the University of Alberta and University of Calgary. "These studies will help support our application to Health Canada to obtain regulatory approval to perform our first in-human studies, which is planned for the beginning of 2022," Katchinskiy told Taproot.

PulseMedica and Edmonton's True Angle Medical are among the finalists in the Science Startups/Venture category at Falling Walls 2021, an annual science event in Berlin in November.

"This puts PulseMedica, Edmonton, and the University of Alberta on the map as a place that is recognized for technological innovation," Katchinskiy said.

A man in blue wearing glasses looks at equipment in a lab

Under the leadership of founder and CEO Nir Katchinskiy, PulseMedica is developing a new medical platform to treat major eye diseases. (Courtesy of folio)

In Canada, about eight million people suffer from eye diseases. According to Fighting Blindness Canada, vitreoretinal diseases like AMD are the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 50 years and older, affecting 1.4 million Canadians.

Katchinskiy said PulseMedica's new technology is the only platform in the world to visualize and treat any region within the eye.

"PulseMedica plans to improve on the current standard of care by combining advanced machine learning technology, state of the art imaging technology, and cutting edge technology into a single treatment platform that can allow clinicians to diagnose, plan treatment, surgically treat, and evaluate patients all within a single device," he said.

"With this technology, more patients can be treated, monthly intraocular injections will be used less, and there will be significant savings to the Canadian health-care system."