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New eye test brings venture capital and promise of jobs for Hummelstown’s MacuLogix

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of adult blindness, affecting an estimated 13 million in the U.S. and 30 million worldwide. It’s also an insidious disease, asymptomatic for years until it suddenly ravages vision. 
 
Now MacuLogix in Hummelstown has raised $3.6 million in funding to accelerate manufacturing and commercial sales of the first practical diagnostic tool for early detection of AMD. The AdaptDx test can be easily incorporated into a routine eye exam and will enable early treatment to slow or halt the progression of AMD.
 
Greg Jackson developed the technology at the University of Alabama and founded MacuLogix in 2008 after joining the ophthalmology department at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey. “And as it ends up,” says CEO John Edwards, “Pennsylvania is a great place to launch a small company, especially in the life sciences.” 
 
Edwards says the startup was greeted with enthusiastic support from the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania and the Hershey Center for Applied Research, where it continues to be located. About $1.4 million of the financing is convertible debt from BFTP and Greenhouse investments; the rest is new venture capital. 
 
After three generations of prototypes, AdaptDx is on target for commercial release in June, says Edwards, manufactured in Eagleville by Inteprod, a contract manufacturer. The target market will be optometrists and general ophthalmologists, initially in the Philadelphia region. 
 
MaguLogix currently employs five and Edwards projects another 10 hires over the next 18 months for sales and marketing. MacuLogix R&D is focused on next generations of the test and software that will enable researchers to fully analyze AdaptDx results.
 
Source: John Edwards, MacuLogix
Writer: Elise Vider
 
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