The Beacon Aqueous Microshunt is an investigational device. This website will give a preview of what we hope Beacon will do for glaucoma sufferers after we’ve completed our clinical trial work and other testing.

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Our Mission

MicroOptx is a medical device company that is building a platform technology to shunt aqueous humor from the anterior chamber to the surface of the eye. Our mission is to change the way the world treats glaucoma – halting the devastating effects of this progressive disease. MicroOptx is led by recognized medical, industry, and financial veterans who are dedicated to preventing blindness.

Our Team

Roy Martin, DVM

Scientific Consultant

Roy is a medical device industry veteran who has spent more than 30 years supporting the development of class 1-3 medical devices. Most recently he was co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of The Integra Group Preclinical Services and Vice President for NAMSA Preclinical Studies. Roy has over 20 U.S. patents filed or under review. He has a BA from the University of St. Thomas and DVM from the University of Minnesota.

Aaron Cohen

Vice President of Engineering & Manufacturing

Aaron has led the engineering of the Beacon Aqueous Microshunt since early prototyping began at the University of California, Davis. He was most recently a co-founder and the CTO of TacSense, where he managed the research, development, and manufacturing of microfluidic and pressure sensor technologies. Prior to that, Aaron helped launch several novel electrochemical sensors for both the medical and agricultural sectors. Aaron has a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Davis.

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Mike Kasner

Chief Financial Officer

Mike serves as CFO through his employment with Growth Operators, a service business committed to assisting companies with their growth plans. Mike has previously served as CFO for a number of Twin Cities companies including Pro Staff, Medical Arts Press and Ancillary Care Management. Mike began his career with ten years at an international public accounting and consulting firm as a licensed CPA. Mike has a BA in Accounting from the University of St. Thomas.

Our Board Members

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Keith Bares

Co-Founder of MicroOptx, Managing Partner at Convergent Capital

Keith is a Co-Founder of MicroOptx, and Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Convergent Capital, a Minneapolis based private equity firm formed in 1998. Through its three funds totaling $400 million, Convergent has made investments in 86 companies located across the United States and he has served on the boards of numerous public, private and non-profit organizations. Keith was also a Co-Owner and Board Chair of BreathableBaby, LLC, a baby products company, until its sale in 2014 and Co-Owner, Director and Chairman of the Compensation Committee of Wealth Enhancement Group, a financial planning and advisory firm with 4,300 clients and $2.5 billion under management until its sale in 2007. Prior to founding Convergent, he spent 13 years working for the Wall Street firms Salomon Brothers, Inc. and Merrill Lynch and Co. Keith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas and a Master of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Brad Swatfager

CEO/President of Surgical Information Sciences

Brad is the CEO/President of Surgical Information Sciences, a company focused on improving the visualization of brain structures to determine the target for deep brain stimulation surgery. Most recently, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Zyga Technology, where his responsibilities included Finance, Clinical Affairs, Regulatory, Quality, Operations and R&D. Zyga was acquired by RTI Surgical in 2018. Prior, Brad served as CFO of Atritech, where his responsibilities included Finance, Clinical Affairs and Regulatory. Atritech was sold to Boston Scientific in 2011 after which Brad served as Vice President/General Manager of the Atritech WATCHMAN business for two years. Before Atritech, Brad’s work experience included positions at Velocity Express and Ernst & Young, LLP. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota with a degree in Accounting.

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Andrew Chang

Head of Global Sales/Ophthalmic Devices at Carl Zeiss Meditec

Andrew (Andy) is Head of Global Sales/Ophthalmic Devices at Carl Zeiss Meditec, which includes Ophthalmic Diagnostics, Surgical Ophthalmology and Refractive Lasers. Carl Zeiss Meditec has the broadest line of diagnostic and surgical products in the industry and has been an innovative leader in medical technology for over 100 years.

Prior to joining ZEISS, Andy was General Manager and Senior Vice President for Bausch + Lomb Surgical where he led the sales, marketing, operations and business development for the US. Previously at Optimedica Corporation / Abbott Medical Optics, Inc., Andy led the marketing and launch of new laser systems and new indications globally. At ISTA Pharmaceutical / Bausch + Lomb, Andy held various marketing, sales and product development roles and led the market introductions of ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.

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Dave Therkelsen

Co-Portfolio Manager of the First Light Prism Life Science Fund/Principal for First Light

Dave is a Co-Portfolio Manager of the First Light Prism Life Science Fund and Principal for First Light. In addition, as a Senior Research Analyst, he plays a significant role in the execution of the firm’s investment processes, identifying and analyzing prospective and existing portfolio investments for all First Light strategies. Dave is a 22-year veteran of health care investing with experience across various types of investment strategies and both buy- and sell-side investment firms. He earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Minnesota.

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Thomas Thaler

Investment Advisor in Medical Technology at HBM Partners AG

Since 2006, Dr. Thaler has served as Investment Advisor in Medical Technology at HBM Partners AG. He has over 25 years of experience in the investment management, financial research and in the biotechnology and medical technology industry. Dr. Thaler holds a PhD in Life Sciences, MS in Biochemistry, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from ETH Zurich. He has previously served as a Senior Equity Analyst at Bank Julius Baer and in senior management positions with Sulzer Orthopedics, Schneider and Boston Scientific.

Our Board Observers and Advisors

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J. David Brown

Board Observer and Inventor

J. David Brown, M.D., invented and patented the Brown Glaucoma Implant, the predecessor of the MicroOptx Beacon Aqueous Microshunt (BAM).

Dr. Brown did a Glaucoma Fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, England, 1981-82. At various points in his career, he has been the Director of the Glaucoma Service at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Director of the Glaucoma Service at HealthPartners (a large Minnesota HMO), and was most recently Chief of Ophthalmology at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center. Dr. Brown has served as the President of the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology. At one point, he was the highest volume glaucoma implant surgeon in the state of Minnesota.

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Thomas Letscher

Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP

Tom is Co-Chair of the Fox Rothschild Medical Technology Practice. Mr. Letscher is a veteran Medtech Counselor and Transaction Attorney who has represented early stage and middle market public companies in dozens of financing, acquisition and sale transactions for more than 25 years. He assists Medtech companies with formation, capital raising, technology acquisition and licensing, as well as mergers and acquisitions and related matters. Mr. Letscher also advises boards of directors on fiduciary duties in connection with financing and sale transactions.

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Matt Todorow

Founder and Managing Partner at Todorow Capital Partners

Matt is Founder of Todorow Capital Partners (TC Partners), a boutique investment firm focusing on public and private equites specializing in medical technology companies. Prior to TC Partners, Matt was a Portfolio Manager and Partner of Bluefin Investment Management, LLC from 2007 to 2013. He also served as a Portfolio Manager and Vice President at Delaware Investments from December 2003 to February 2007 with primary coverage responsibility for the Healthcare sector. Prior to that, Matt was a Portfolio Manager and an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management where he covered the Healthcare and Consumer sectors from 1997 through 2003. Mr. Todorow holds a BBA from Temple University and an MBA from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

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