Quebec City-based Zilia, a developer of medical technologies for the assessment of biomarkers in the eye, has closed a C$4 million seed-stage financing. The round was led by angel network Anges Québec, with participation from Investissement Québec and other investors. The funds raised will support the clinical launch of the startup’s first product, Zilia Ocular.
QUEBEC, Aug. 11, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Zilia, a Quebec-based company developing medical technologies for the assessment of biomarkers in the eye, announced today the closing of a $4 million seed funding round led by Anges Québec. In this round, Zilia notably received support from the Government of Quebec through its new program, Impulsion PME, administered by Investissement Québec as a government agent.
This funding round, which was also supported by other investors, will enable Zilia to complete the regulatory approval process for the clinical launch of its first product, Zilia Ocular, the first retinal camera to measure oxygen saturation in the eye. This revolutionary technology aims to enable early diagnosis and better management of many ocular diseases.
“With this investment, we are one step closer to our goal of helping save the sight and improve the health of millions of people,” said Patrick Sauvageau, co-founder and CEO of Zilia. “This influx of capital will allow us to enter the clinical market and have a major impact on clinical prognosis, healthcare costs and patient quality of life.”
“The Impulsion PME program is designed to propel the growth and innovation of high-potential companies like Zilia. As a result, access to investment capital should no longer be an issue for them at the start-up stage. With our support, Zilia will pursue the development of promising technologies in the health sector. Its advances have the potential to generate significant medical and economic benefits in Quebec,” Lucie Lecours, Minister for the Economy, pointed out.
“Your government wants to encourage the development of innovative and promising companies like Zilia. The Capitale-Nationale will also allow Zilia to grow and benefit from a stimulating life sciences business environment that is conducive to the success of its projects,” said Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Premier, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale Region.
“Zilia is a homegrown company that fits perfectly with our investment approach,” stated Geneviève Tanguay, CEO of Anges Québec. “We were impressed with the talent of its team, the strong growth potential, but also by the immense positive impact its technology can have on people’s health. It is for these reasons that our members decided to invest and, by the same token, to name Zilia our investment of the year.”
More than 2.2 billion people worldwide are visually impaired, and this situation is likely to worsen dramatically by 2050 as the proportion of the World’s population aged 65 or older is expected to double. In this context, the ability to diagnose ocular diseases early and better manage them is a critical clinical need.
Zilia has developed the world’s only retinal camera to measure oxygen saturation in the eye, a crucial biomarker in ocular diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. This groundbreaking technology is bound to redefine the way we prevent, diagnose, and treat these potentially blinding diseases. In addition, because the eye is a unique window into a person’s health, Zilia’s platform technology can be adapted to assess a vast array of biomarkers present in the eye, paving the way for other applications in neurology, cardiology, oncology, and more.