Breaking ground in cataract surgery: Q&A with OptiMedica CEO Mark Forchette

July 9, 2012 by Arezu Sarvestani

OptiMedica CEO Mark Forchette tells MassDevice why femtosecond laser technology is changing the game in cataract surgery and how the promise of the technology lured him away from steady path at the largest ophthalmology company.

Updated: July 18, 2012 11:30 a.m.

OptiMedica CEO Mark Forchette

OptiMedica Corp. is making waves and challenging the leaders in global eye care with its Catalys Precision Laser system for cataract surgery and CEO Mark Forchette isn't shy about extolling his company's potential.

The Catalys system, which won FDA clearance in December 2011 and CE Mark approval in the European Union in August 2011, performs key incisions during cataract removal using image-guidance and a next generation femtosecond laser clinically proven to be "an order of magnitude" more precise than manual cataract surgery. *

"In the cataract space this is an incredible breakthrough that ultimately has tremendous potential to change the procedure not only now but for the future as well," Forchette told MassDevice. "And that sort of disruptive change process is in our corporate DNA."

Sign up to get our free newsletters delivered right to your inbox.

In an exclusive interview, Forchette told us about his extensive background in eye care, how femtosecond laser technology is changing the game and why he veered from steady path at the largest ophthalmology company in the world to join OptiMedica.

MassDevice: Tells us about your background, how you came to occupy the corner office at OptiMedica and why it was a good fit for you.

Mark Forchette: This August I will celebrate my 28th year in ophthalmology. I've had a fantastic career within this space. I started with a company called Grieshaber, a Swiss surgical instrument company that was in retina, glaucoma and cataract surgery. I started as a sales rep carrying a demo bag and I covered from Miami to Washington, D.C., all over the southeast.

That company was a tremendous place to start because we had a great track record of developing products with physicians. So I started as a sales rep and wound up ultimately in charge of the U.S. organization with Grieshaber. We built quite a reputation for ourselves. In 1998 Alcon Laboratories, the largest company in ophthalmology, acquired us to add to their retinaportfolio.



Blame the medical device tax and the U.S. regulatory environment for the slump in investment in early-stage medical technologies, Silicon Valley Bank's Ben Johnson tells

Halyard Health, the publicly traded, $1.6 billion spinout of Kimberly-Clark's medical device business, is slated to go live in November, soon-to-be COO Chris Lowery tells

David Green tells about the decision to split Harvard Bioscience and Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, his choice to move over to the new entity and why regenerative technologies are poised to transform medicine.

Medtech veteran Dave Johnson has been with Alliqua Biomedical for less than 2 years, during which time he's overseen a major hiring spree, 3 business development deals and the company's 1st acquisition. In an interview with, Johnson talks about his step-by-step perspective and where he hopes Alliqua will be in 5 years. brought together 4 of the most influential leaders in medtech to discuss the future of the industry on July 15, 2014 at DeviceTalks Boston.