Visioneering Technologies, a US based medical device company, has announced the opening of its fully underwritten Initial Public Offering (IPO) to raise $33.3 million.
The IPO proceeds will provide capital as VTI broadens its US launch of its NaturalVue Multifocal (MF) daily disposable contact lenses for adults with presbyopia (age-related loss of near vision) and children with myopia (near-sightedness).
VTI is offering for issue approximately 79.4 million CHESS Depositary Interests (CDIs), each representing an interest in one share of VTI’s Class A common stock. The offer is priced at $0.42/CDI, with an indicative market capitalisation of approximately $88.2 million (on a fully- diluted basis). The CDIs will be quoted on the Australian Securities Exchange following the IPO.
The NaturalVue MF contact lens has been cleared by the US FDA and a pilot launch in the US market commenced in 2015 generated strong interest.
The company said within 12 months of the pilot launch commencing, demand for the NaturalVue MF contact lenses far outpaced VTI’s ability to supply product with its then limited infrastructure, and 90 per cent of patients who had been using the lenses long enough to use up their supplies reordered, indicating strong repeat purchasing.
"This led to a raise of US$10.3 million from US, Asian, and Australian institutional and sophisticated investors to prepare VTI for a rapid post-IPO expansion of sales, including expansion of its sales team and building up its inventory," said the company.
The sales team expansion included the addition of Tony Sommer, who will lead the growth of the sales force. Mr Sommer was the head of sales for the US Vision Care division at Bausch & Lomb, one of the largest multi-national contact lens companies.
The funds raised in the IPO are intended to further build out the US sales force to approximately 45 direct sales representatives over the 12 months following listing, and to further build inventory that will support the expanded sales effort.
VTI believes its NaturalVue MF contact lenses represent one of the most significant
innovations in the optical design of multifocal contact lenses in over 20 years. It is designed to overcome some of the major challenges associated with several existing presbyopia solutions by providing superior near, intermediate, and distance vision, and is easy for eye care professionals to fit to their patients.
'Clinical trials have shown NaturalVue MF to be strongly preferred over other widely used presbyopia solutions," said the company.
“NaturalVue MF delivers clear benefits to patients and eye care professionals, which has resulted in a very strong pilot launch in the US. A successful IPO will provide the capital needed to deliver our products to more patients and to rapidly build on our current momentum by expanding the US sales team. We also intend to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals and enter into distribution agreements in additional geographies, including Australia,” said VTI’s CEO, Dr Stephen Snowdy.
Additionally, NaturalVue MF contact lenses are being used by some eye care professionals in the US to treat children with myopia.