Halifax-based medtech company Eadie Technologies has received a $153,000 loan from the federal government to help finance the design and development of its device for testing glaucoma patients.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency issued a statement Thursday saying it had lent the company money via the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program – a nationwide program that backs innovative companies and the ecosystem.
Headed by glaucoma specialist Dr. Brennan Eadie and his father Frank, Eadie Technologies is developing a wearable headset that will simplify the standard testing glaucoma patients undergo to manage their disease. The company built a proof-of-concept device last year and is now working on a functional prototype that could be used in clinical trials. The company hopes to have a product in the marketplace by the end of 2020.
“It means a great deal to the company in terms of being able to leverage up the investment capital we have in order to do the things that are necessary to bring this product to market,” Frank Eadie said in an interview. “The onus is on us to make sure this is a dependable product, which is what we intend to do.”
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness around the world, and people suffering from it should undergo visual field tests once every four to six months, depending on the severity of their illness. These tests are currently conducted on a large, clunky desktop device in a doctor’s office, with each test taking about a half hour, Eadie said
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Eadie Technologies, which employs five people including the co-founders, aims to replace the clunky machine with a headset, which would speed up the process and allow for remote testing.
“By reducing the margin of error in current vision tests, Dr. Eadie’s game-changing technology has the potential to impact how glaucoma and other eye diseases are diagnosed and treated around the world,” said Halifax MP Andy Fillmore in a statement. “Not only will this device help with the accurate detection of eye disease, it will also improve the lives of thousands of Canadians suffering from existing conditions for which frequent tests are vital to properly manage their disorders.”
Frank Eadie said the company is still assessing how it will proceed with applying for regulatory approval. The company so far has raised $300,000 in equity investment, mainly from ophthalmologists, and will likely try to raise a further $300,000 this year.
The company is working closely with Dalhousie University’s Glaucoma Research Group, and has contracted out work in developing the product to the engineering company Enginuity and the software development company T4G.
Disclosure: ACOA is a client of Entrevestor.