Crédit Agricole Private Equity takes a stake in EyeTechCare

EyeTechCare, a specialist in medical devices, announces the completion of €1.2 million of private equity funding from Crédit Agricole Private Equity, which joins CEA Valorisation with an investment of €600,000.

EyeTechCare, founded in July 2008 and based near Lyon, has patented an innovative therapy for glaucoma, an eye disease caused by an increase in intraocular pressure affecting the retina and optic nerve. This non-invasive therapy uses high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technology to treat the disease in an outpatient procedure.

The EyeTechCare project has been supported since July 2007 by Créalys, a business incubator based in the west Rhône-Alpes area. Having already established an initial in vitro and ex vivo proof of principle, the first prototypes are now being assessed as part of a pre-clinical trial, also in association with the Inserm research unit. The purpose of this first financing round is to finalise development of the prototype and start the first clinical trial. A second financing round will be needed in late 2009 to finalise the clinical trials, obtain EC marking and prepare for market.

Alexia Perouse, Investment Manager with Crédit Agricole Private Equity’s Venture Capital team,  commented: “The EyeTechCare device, which used the very latest technology to develop a miniature HIFU transducer specifically for use in ophtalmological applications, provides an innovative solution to treating glaucoma and certain other eye diseases. EyeTechCare, which has a complementary operational team supported by scientific and clinical experts, has excellent potential and we are delighted to provide our support for this development and initial clinical trial phase”.

Fabrice Romano, Chairman and founder of EyeTechCare, added: “We are very pleased to welcome rédit Agricole Private Equity as a shareholder alongside CEA Valorisation. This funding will provide us with the resources we need to make our company a success. Our two shareholders, with their respective expertise and broad experience in fields similar to our own, will help us accelerate and consolidate our development”.

EyeTechCare meets the investment criteria for innovation funds enabling French tax payers to reduce their wealth tax bill. The deal forms part of Crédit Agricole Private Equity’s strategy of providing seed capital.

Parties involved:
Crédit Agricole Private Equity

Alexia Perouse, Investment Manager, Life Sciences, Venture Capital team
Emmanuelle Coutanceau, Associate, Life Sciences, Venture Capital team
Valérie Blanco, Lawyer, Legal Department

EyeTechCare’s adviser: Marie-Alice Godot-Sorine Avocats – Lyon, France

Press contact
Martine Sessin Caracci, – +33 1 43 23 90 88

About Crédit Agricole Private Equity
Crédit Agricole Private Equity, an AMF-authorised investment management company and whollyowned subsidiary of Crédit Agricole S.A., specialises in direct private equity investment in unlisted companies. A multi-specialist, Crédit Agricole Private Equity has 50 investment teams focusing on different segments of the private equity market (LBO & Expansion, Venture Capital, Mezzanine, Renewable Energy, PPP Infrastructure, Liquidity Solutions, Co-Investment) and manages a total of €2.2 billion in various types of private equity vehicle (FCPR, SICAR, FCPI and SCR). Crédit Agricole Private Equity supports entrepreneurs in their expansion plans.

About CEA Valorisation
Founded in 1999, CEA Valorisation is a private company wholly-owned by the CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission) with capital of €27 million. It focuses mainly on financing business start-ups based around CEA technology.

CEA Valorisation has developed and manages an unusual, broad array of support for technology start-ups, ranging from pre-seed financing (SEMPRIN programme) through to seed and early stage investment.

Since its creation, CEA Valorisation has financed more than 25 start-ups in all areas of the CEA’s expertise, which includes microelectronics and nanotechnology, new energy technologies, new materials, biotechnology and medical instrumentation, and software and systems. The CEA Valorisation team is divided between Grenoble and the Plateau de Saclay in the Ile-de-France region.  Contact: Régis Saleur, Chief Executive Officer –

About Créalys
Créalys, based in the western Rhône-Alpes area, is the leading French business incubator for innovative high value-added projects in life sciences, technology and information, engineering technologies, and human and social sciences. Since its creation in 1999, Créalys has supported 205 incubee projects and 106 business start-ups (including 41 in life sciences), helping create some 550 jobs. It has a five-year survival rate of 76%.
Créalys has built up a network of members and partners who contribute their skills and experience in research and business creation to support its incubees, from the fledgling stage through to business start-up. This strong involvement is undeniably a key success factor for Créalys.