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 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."
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.