Acuity Medical raises $1.5 million for macular degeneration device

Acuity Medical Systems Inc. has raised $1.5 million from the sale of equity, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Overall, the Minneapolis-based startup is seeking $2.9 million, the documents say.

Acuity is developing neurostimulation technology to treat dry macular degeneration, a chronic eye disease that primarily affects older patients, causing blurred vision and even blindness in central vision.

There are two types of macular degeneration — wet and dry. The former is caused by swelling from leaky blood vessels in the back of the eye. The latter concerns the deterioration of macula — the layer of tissue on the inside back wall of the eyeball that forms the center of the retina.

By shooting low levels of electricity into the retina, Acuitive says its device can restore the normal balance of blood and oxygen flow in the area, and proper disposal of metabolic waste.

Founded in 1998, Acuity is led by CEO Blair Mowery, a top executive with The M&A Group, an investment bank in Minneapolis.

Acuity is not the only Minnesota startup exploring this technology. ScyFIX Inc., based in Chanhassen, also is working on neurostimulation therapies to treat a range of degenerative eye diseases, including macular degeneration, glaucoma and retinitis.

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