InterWest is proud and privileged to partner with visionary management teams who are shaping the future of Information Technology and Healthcare. The companies they have started are vital parts of the portfolio of industry-leading startups that InterWest has helped over the last four decades.
Avedro is the pioneer of a first-of-kind procedure to treat keratoconus with corneal crosslinking. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that affects young people, which causes distortion of the cornea leading to visual impairment and blindness. Prior to Avedro’s innovative technology, there was no prevention therapy available. The Avedro KXL system uses a drug/device combination in a non-invasive office-based procedure to halt the progression of the corneal distortion from the disease, allowing patients to wear conventional corrective lenses for restoration of stable normal vision. The procedure was FDA approved in 2016 and has been rapidly adopted by ophthalmologists around the world. Avedro’s success allowed them to go public in February 2019 (NASDAQ: AVDR) and their novel technology was so compelling, they were acquired by InterWest portfolio company Glaukos (NYSE: GKOS) in November 2019 in a public-to-public merger. This resulted in a very successful integration, with Avedro’s technology becoming a key part of Glaukos’ product portfolio, representing a large percent of their current annual revenue. Gil Kliman led InterWest’s investment in Avedro in 2015, recruited Reza Zadno as CEO and Orbimed as a co-investor, and served on the board until 2019 when the company was acquired.