Oct. 8, 2004
EDITORS: This is a backgrounder about how the University of Michiganís 20-year research on ultra-fast lasers culminated into a company that began offering stock to the public on Wednesday.
Teamwork among scientists and colleges
results in IntraLase IPO
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Researchers at the University of Michigan founded IntraLase in 1997 in conjunction with Escalon Medical Corp. of Skillman, N.J.
The founders are Ron Kurtz, then-associate professor of ophthalmology at the Medical School, and his colleague Tibor Juhasz, associate research scientists in the Kellogg Eye Center and Center for Ultrafast Optical Sciences (CUOS).
As of June 30, the Irvine-Calif.-based company has placed 153 laser units globally. The IntraLase FS uses focused laser pulses rather than a cutting blade to cut the corneal flap in LASIK eye surgery.
Here is a timeline of U-Mís involvement with IntraLase Corp.
• Early to mid-1990s—Research on ultra-fast lasers (femtosecond lasers) at the Center for Ultra-Fast Optical Science (CUOS) in the College of Engineering and a subsequent collaboration with the Kellogg Eye Center produce several patented technologies.
• 1996-1997—Kellogg opthalmology resident Ron Kurtz, M.D., has the idea to use the ultra-fast laser in medical applications. Colleagues from Kellogg work with scientists from CUOS to develop and patent the concept. Kurtz and colleague Juhasz form IntraLase with funding from Ann Arbor-based EDF Ventures.
• 1996-1997—U-M Technology Transfer office licenses several technologies to the newly formed IntraLase.
• 1998-2002—The student run Wolverine Venture Fund, part of the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies within the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, invests in IntraLase. Both the University and Wolverine now hold an equity stake in IntraLase.
• 2003—The U-M Kellogg Eye Center takes possession of an IntraLase FS laser, which is available in just a handful of Michigan eye centers. In addition to surgery, researchers use the IntraLase FS at Kellogg for research.
• 2004—U-M and IntraLase reach an agreement on a fully paid license. The agreement allows U-M Technology Transfer and Wolverine Venture Fund to include its share in the Oct. 7 IPO.
For information about the IPO, see:
Contact: Laura Bailey
Phone:(734) 647-1848 or (734) 647-7087