1. Optical Coherence Tomography Used $500M of Federally Funded Research Over The Past Decade: How was it Used, What was Accomplished, and What’s to Come?

    Optical Coherence Tomography Used $500M of Federally Funded Research Over The Past Decade: How was it Used, What was Accomplished, and What’s to Come?

    Introduction

    The field of optical coherence tomography (OCT) has blossomed dramatically since some of the first work by various researchers around the world in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Since then, there have been dozens of companies created, hundreds of research groups working on OCT, thousands of research articles published, millions of patients scanned with OCT, hundreds of millions of venture capital and corporate R&D dollars invested, hundreds of millions of dollars in company acquisitions, and billions of dollars of revenue created.  The United States government and other governments around the world have been big supporters of funding for research and development in the area of OCT.  This includes funding for basic science and technology as well as applications of the technology including clinical trials.  It is interesting to analyze the funding data over the past decade to try and see trends such as the growth in funding, the funding recipients, what was accomplished with the taxpayer dollars, and what might lie ahead in the future.  This paper cannot answer these questions with high precision, but does attempt to shed some light on the overall picture.

     10 Years of Government OCT Funding

    Figure 1: 10 Years of Government OCT Funding

    What is OCT funding?

    It is difficult to determine what constitutes OCT funding and it is not easy to get access and compile from all the data from the various government agencies around the world.  Fortunately there are several government funding agencies that do a good job compiling historical grant data and making that data available to the public.  This report pulls data from about 10 different sources in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union.  It is clear that there 100’s if not 1000’s of government funding sources that are not included here (e.g. different states in the USA, individual countries Europe, different provincial funding sources in Canada, etc) and many other countries funding OCT (Japan, Australia, China, Russia, etc).  It is not a goal of this article to imply that the USA is the main government that is funding advances in OCT.  It is quite clear that OCT research, and government funding of that research, in many other countries is equally vibrant and important.  In fact it looks like funding for basic OCT science and technology development outside the USA is much larger than that within the USA.   It’s just that the author of this article is not yet familiar with all the publicly available data bases in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere around the world.  Readers are encouraged to submit information on such data bases to the author for a future update to this article.

    Also it is not easy to determine what an OCT-related grant is.  Does a  grant on laser development that can be used for multiple purposes including OCT qualify as an OCT grant?  Does a grant on a clinical trial of a drug that happens to use OCT imaging along with several other ophthalmic imaging techniques as part of the evaluation protocol qualify as an OCT grant?  The approach used in this analysis is, if the title, abstract, or summary of the grant mentioned “Optical Coherence Tomography” then it was counted as an OCT grant.  Thus, this analysis includes grants that develop OCT technology, as well as any grants where OCT is used as a tool in basic science and clinical investigations.  As such it probably represents an upper bound on OCT funding since there are several examples where OCT is mentioned in abstracts or summaries of clinical trials, particularly ophthalmic clinical trials, where OCT is not the central focus of the work. 

    There are various criteria that often accompany funding from government agencies including criteria such as matching fund requirements, whether or not overhead chargers apply (can vary from 0% to nearly 50%) and whether salaries of PIs and co-PIs can be allocated.   Thus a dollar from one funding agency cannot necessarily be equated one for one with another agency.  This article does not delve into these issues. Also upon comparing the funding data pulled from the government data bases with some data directly from of the principal investigators it is clear that there are some inconsistencies between what the PIs have received and what is in the data bases. In some cases the PIs have received substantially more funding than listed in this article. 

    A Decade of Government OCT Grants

    Figures 2-5 show the yearly and cumulative US funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF); combined UK funding from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC), and Medical Research Council (MRC); and combined Canadian funding from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) in OCT since 2000.  Funding for both academic and for-profit (e.g. SBIR) entities is included.  The NIH funding has grown in an impressive way from about $5M in 2000 to $65M in 2010, while the NSF and UK and Canadian funding have fluctuated from year to year. The UK and Canadian funding show more of an uptrend compared with NSF funding which appears to be a down trend.  The total NIH funding in 2010 was up 25% over the funding in 2009 (2011 is only a partial year).  Figure 2 shows that the total NIH OCT related funding as of March 2011 was $336M whereas the total NSF OCT funding was about $15M and the UK EPSRC/BBSRC/MRC OCT funding was similar a $19M (Note the MRC data base only went back to 2005), and the total Canadian funding was about $7M.  The Canadian funding does not include funding for numerous other sources such as the National Research Council of Canada, NRCC, (a big contributor to OCT research) and various federal and provincial funding. Note that in several cases the various data bases searched allocated all the funding in the year that the grant was started vs spread out and expensed over the duration of the program.  This accounts for some of the odd profiles in the yearly funding plots.  For some of the larger grants this data was spread out over the funded years

    It is important to point out that the NIH and other funding number does not include all the intramural research on OCT related topics, which are substantial.  For the NIH alone, such intramural OCT funding could easily be in excess 10% of $336M (or $34M) over this time frame.  Finally there are many other US Government agencies that fund internal or external OCT research including DOD labs, DOE Labs, DARPA, AFOSR, NIST, NASA, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), and other government labs and programs.  For example, the Medical Free Electron Laser Program had funding requirements tied to it that gave substantial support to many biophotonics research efforts at various universities.  Funding from a program run out of AFOSR was a big enabler to US OCT research, especially in the early days dating back to 1990.  Over $40M of funding was provided by the AFOSR for biomedical optics during the past decade, much of it related to OCT and a large fraction of that funding went to support novel work at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  Based on known OCT-related projects, the total of external and internal US OCT related funding from these sources over the past decade is probably in excess of $100M.  Thus the total US Government funding could easily have easily passed $500M over the past decade.  Worldwide funding would be even higher. 

     Yearly & Cumulative NIH OCT Funding

    Figure 2: Yearly & Cumulative NIH OCT Funding (Note 2011 is a partial year result).  Red line is cumulative and goes with right hand vertical axis.

    Yearly & Cumulative NSF OCT Funding 

    Figure 3: Yearly and Cumulative NSF OCT Funding (Note 2011 is a partial year result).  Red line is cumulative and goes with right hand vertical axis.

     Yearly & Cumulative UK OCT Funding

    Figure 4: Yearly and Cumulative UK OCT Funding (Note 2011 is a partial year result).  Red line is cumulative and goes with right hand vertical axis.

     Yearly & Cumulative Canadian OCT Funding

    Figure 5: Yearly and Cumulative Canadian OCT Funding (Note 2011 is a partial year result).  Red line is cumulative and goes with right hand vetical axis.

    In addition to the EPSRC/BBRSC/MRC grants, the UK has several other OCT funding sources but the access to this data base was limited and not included here.  The European Union also has a have a strong commitment to funding academic research on basic science and technology and for-profit entities for OCT.  For example Peter Andersen, a leading OCT researcher at the Technical University of Denmark is the project coordinator for a program dedicated to functional extensions of OCT (Project www.funoct.eu).  FUNOCT has 6 partner organizations in 3 countries and is backed with $7.7M (5.4 M€) from the European Commission over four years. Dr. Andersen also coordinated the project NANO UB-SOURCES, backed with $3.1M (2.2 M€) from the European Commission over three years, focused on developing novel, low-cost broad-bandwidth light sources for OCT based on quantum dot based SLDs.  The PROPHET (http://www.prophet-itn.eu/) program includes funding for fast tunable laser sources for OCT in Life Science Applications.  There are numerous other examples of EU programs that sponsor OCT research and Table 2 shows a short list of some example programs totalling ~$30M over the past decade.  Note that in Table 2 the PI and organization are not listed, as often these grants are large European consortiums with many partners in many countries (and worked on many things in addition to OCT).  Note that there is a large amount of EU funding not included in this CORDIS data base or elsewhere in this article.  The total EU, European Country, and Regional Government funding is probably far in excess of the $30M listed in Table 2.  

     

    Project URL Acronym Start Date Value ($) Project Title
        $30,394,666  
    CTIAC 04/01/96 $3,600,000 Computational tools and industrial applications of complexity
    None Listed 01/01/01 $1,577,870 Optical methods for medical diagnosis and monitoring of diseases
    None Listed 01/01/02 $288,000 Training on optical devices, configurations and techniques applied in biomedical optics
    UROCT 02/01/02 $589,948 Ultrahigh resolution ophthalmologic optical coherence tomography (UROCT)
    IPC-OCT 02/01/04 $1,377,174 In process control with optical coherence tomography
    SURGICAL IMAGING SYS 01/17/05 $169,344 Optical coherence tomography (OCT) based surgical imaging system
    NANO UB-SOURCES 09/01/05 $3,167,958 Ultrabroad bandwidth light sources based on nano-structuring devices
    INFO-FOCT 04/01/06 $413,353 Information in functional optical coherence tomography and microscopy
    HIRESOMI 05/01/06 $3,323,120 Training in Methods and Devices for Non-Invasive High Resolution Optical Measurements and Imaging
    QUPOM 07/01/06 $360,000 Reinforcing research center for quantum and optical metrology
    FUN OCT 04/01/08 $7,792,875 Functional optical coherence tomography
    HHG-NANOTOMOGRAPHY 05/01/09 $467,338 High-Harmonic tomography and characterization of Nano-structures
    INSIDEFOOD 05/01/09 $4,078,486 Integrated sensing and imaging devices for designing, monitoring and controlling microstructure of foods
    LASERGLASS 05/25/09 $64,800 Laser technologies in the analysis, conservation and restoration of historic stained glass windows
    COGATIMABIO 05/01/10 $2,878,907 Combined time domain and spectral domain coherence gating for imaging and biosensing
    3D3CSI 01/01/11 $245,493 Three-dimensional Clinical Coherent Chemically-sensitive Imaging

     Table 2: European Commission CORDIS OCT Grant Data.

     

    It is clear that the NIH has funding has been substantial.  Much of this may be associated with large and expensive multi-institution clinical trials.  In the absence of NIH funding the US may lag in funding more basis science and technology for OCT.  A closer look at the NIH sub-agency breakdown is shown in Figure 6 (and Table 1 below). The National Eye Institute (NEI), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have been the top three funding institutes with $131M, $52M, and $42M of grants, respectively.  It is not surprising that the NEI is the biggest source of funding, representing almost 40% of funding, since ophthalmology is the most mature OCT application and there are numerous clinical trials directly or indirectly related to the use of OCT.  Some of the grants in this NEI section are not strictly OCT grants, but are grants that utilize or cite OCT as mentioned above. This represents a skew in the data.  What may be a little surprising is that since cardiology and cancer represent much larger fractions of the NIH budget, why are they not a larger fraction of the NIH OCT spending?  The answer is probably a combination of the fact that only recently have commercial cardiovascular and oncology products received FDA clearance and the application of OCT in these fields is still new compared to ophthalmology.  The fraction of NIH expenditure may change in the future and tilt toward these larger clinical areas.

     NIH OCT Funding Breakdown

    Figure 6: NIH OCT Funding Breakdown by Funding Agency

    Where Did The Money Go?

    Figures 7-14 (and Tables 3-10 below) show data on the recipients that have received NIH, NSF, UK EPSRC/BBRSC/MRC, and Canadian NSERC/CIHR/NCIC funding from our simplified search of some of the government data bases.  As noted elsewhere, althought only one funded organization and principal investigator is listed in these charts and tables very often these grants are actually to multiple investigators and multiple institutions and only the institution or principal investigator listed as the point of contact is used here.  For NIH funding, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Southern California, and University of California at Irvine have been the top three recipients with $28M, $24M, and $18M respectively.  The top ten institutions take about 50% of the funding and the top 25 recipients take about 75% of the $336M in funding. For NSF funding, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Duke University represent the top three recipients with just over $1M each.  David Huang, Lihong Wang, Rohit Varma, Michael Ip, Gary Tearney, Mark Brezinski, John Werner, James Fujimoto, Stephen Boppart, and Bruce Tromberg are the top ten NIH OCT funding recipients (listed as PIs on the grants) and all have received in excess of $5M in funding.  Stephen Boppart, James Fujimoto, and Joseph Izatt are the top three NSF OCT Fund recipients (listed as PIs on the grants) and all have received about $1M in funding.  Ralph Tatam, Richard Hogg, Adrian Podoleanu, Ruikang Wang, Harry Coles, Steve Matcher, Rodney Smallwood, and Haida Liang are the top UK funding recipients and all received in excess of $1M.  Note that some of these EPSRC/BBSRC/MRC programs are for more generic technology development (not mainly OCT) but in keeping with the original search criterion they were included.  Alex Vitkin, Victor Yang, Marinko Saurnic, Kostadinka Bizheva, Thomas Tiedje, and Brian Wilson are the top 6 Canadian fund recipients receiving in excess of $0.5M. 

    It is important to point out that this data is based on the PI “Point of Contact” listed on the grant and often the larger grants are collaborative efforts with many co-PIs spread across several institutions.  Therefore the funding levels mentioned do not necessarily represent the funding that a single institution of investigator received. This is particularly true for the large NSF grants and NIH grants that sponsored ophthalmic clinical trial oriented studies which can involve half a dozen or more institutions collecting data over an extended period of time necessary to perform clinical studies.  NSF biomedical engineering programs typically provide smaller amounts of support, except in cases where multiple investigators are collaborating.  Also note that each of the top funded organizations and PIs has a long history of major accomplishments in OCT dating back to the early 1990’s in some cases.  As a result they have built up a strong record of scientific achievement, strong research groups and infrastructure, and credibility with the funding sources which result in a deserved large fraction of the funding pie. It is also important to point out that the the picture is very different in a recent slice of time (e.g. 2010 only) where the funding allocations are quite different across various organizations and PIs.
     
     NIH OCT Funding by Organization

    Figure 7: NIH OCT Funding by Lead Recipient Organization. 

     NSF OCT Funding by Organization

    Figure 8: NSF OCT Funding by Lead Recipient Organization. 

     UK OCT Funding by Organization

    Figure 9: UK EPSRC/BBRSC/MRC OCT Funding by Lead Recipient Organization. 

     Canadian OCT Funding by Organization

    Figure 10: Canadian NSERC/CIHR/NCIC OCT Funding by Lead Recipient Organization. Note that some of these separately listed institutes are actually the same institute.  For example the University Health Network is comprised of the Ontario Cancer Institute and Toronto Western Hospital and both affiliated with the University of Toronto.

     NIH OCT Funding by Principal Investigator

    Figure 11: NIH OCT Funding Breakdown by Listed Principal Investigator.

     NSF OCT Funding by Principal Investigator

    Figure 12: NSF OCT Funding Breakdown by Listed Principal Investigator.

     UK OCT Funding by Principal Investigator

    Figure 13: UK EPSRC/BBRSC/MRC OCT Funding Breakdown by Listed Principal Investigator.

     Canadian OCT Funding by Principal Investigator

    Figure 14: Canadian NSERC/CIHR/NCIC OCT Funding by Principal Investigator.  Note that some of these separately listed institutes are actually the same institute.  For example the University Health Network is comprised of the Ontario Cancer Institute and Toronto Western Hospital and both affiliated with the University of Toronto.

    What Did The Money Accomplish?

    As with all research dollars, it is difficult to determine how effective the investment of taxpayer money has been.  It is clear that OCT has had a major impact in the field of ophthalmology.  OCT was voted as one of the most important advances in ophthalmology over the past 25 years and more importantly, has helped diagnose various eye conditions for millions of people worldwide.  In addition to OCT functioning as a unique, high-resolution, general-purpose ophthalmic diagnostic tool, OCT has played an important role in many other areas of ophthalmology. As an example, intravitreal injection of anti-angiogenesis medications has been a major breakthrough in the treatment of age related macular degeneration in the past 5 years. OCT is the clinical standard for assessing treatment response and the need for re-treatment and the combination has proven to be a major sight-saver.  OCT is also playing major roles in the management of other macular diseases, glaucoma, and corneal disease.  One very important impact of OCT is that it enables non-specialists, such as comprehensive ophthalmologists or optometrists, to detect early disease at a level approaching retinal or glaucoma specialists.  This detection of early disease, at stages where it is still treatable, has had a dramatic impact on patient care.  OCT has imaged ~100M people over the past decade, generated over a billion of dollars in revenue, and created many 1,000’s of man-years of direct jobs (at system and subsystem companies) and probably 10X that number in indirect jobs.  It is clear that the government funding that supported OCT research back in the late 1980s and early 1990s was instrumental in advancing the development of OCT and its application in ophthalmology.  One example, Carl Zeiss Meditec’s highly successful OCT product line can be traced back to a startup company (Advanced Ophthalmic Devices) that was founded and came out of academic sponsored research at MIT.

    The NEI NIH budget was approximately $131M over the past decade (See Table 1).  Was that a good investment of taxpayer dollars?  It would seem the answer is unquestionably yes from both a healthcare perspective and a business return-on-investment perspective (over $1B in revenue generated).   Current and future government funding associated with ophthalmology may be equally important to better understand the progression of diseases and to sponsor high-risk technology development for new instrumentation with advanced capabilities for treatment of blinding diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

    Cardiology is another clear area where OCT seems destined to have a major impact on the medical device industry and on health care.  Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer in the industrialized world.  Approximately 1M people die in the USA every year from various complications related to cardiovascular disease.  Intravascular OCT may play an important role in identifying and guiding the treatment of coronary artery disease and providing a key diagnostic tool for performing clinical studies on critical technologies for cardiovascular care, such as stents and drugs.  Today, there are three companies with major intravascular OCT product efforts: LightLab Imaging/St. Jude Medical, Volcano Corporation, and Terumo.  Currently Lightlab Imaging/St. Jude Medical has the only FDA approved product. Lightlab received that clearance in 2010 and shortly afterward was acquired by St. Jude Medical for ~$90M.  Already, over 40,000 patients have been imaged with Lightlab clinical instruments.  While none of these companies have received significant direct US Government funding, all three of them can be clearly traced back to government sponsored research in academic institutions.  Lightlab was founded and associated with MIT, the Volcano OCT product was associated with founders at the University of Texas, and Terumo’s OCT effort traces its IP back to research dollars awarded to the Massachusetts General Hospital.  Again, it seems government funding has played a critical role in advancing OCT in cardiology and it is probably equally important for the government continue to sponsor work in this area. As with ophthalmology, the government investment is poised to pay back in large multiples from a business perspective and a job creation perspective and, most importantly, from the perspective of improving healthcare for millions of people. 

    OCT is poised to make important scientific contributions in dermatology, pulmonology, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, gynecology, developmental biology, dentistry, as well as non-medical applications.  There are numerous examples of government-sponsored research leading to academic advances related to improved understanding in medicine and better patient care.  While determining the impact of research dollars for the academic institutions is difficult, it is a little easier to make estimates of impact on Government funding that traces its way from academic institutions to for-profit business or funding that is given directly to for-profit business by looking at the impact commercial products (or lack thereof) have or may have on the market place. 

    Snap-Shot of For-Profit Companies and Government Grants

    A sampling of some of the commercial OCT for-profit companies is listed in Table 9 along with some conjectures of their revenue (small 0-$10M, medium $10M-$100M,  and large $100M+), estimates of their equity financing, and connections to sources of government funding.  Note there are some smaller OCT system companies and many many more subsystem and component companies supplying the OCT market that are not listed in Table 9.  On the commercial side, it is clear that government-sponsored academic research is seeding important, for-profit entities including: Lightlab/MIT, Bioptigen/Duke University, NinePoint Medical/MGH, Diagnostic Photonics/UIUC, Imalux/Institute of Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Oncoscope/Duke University, and others.  As shown, the amount of venture investment is well in excess of $125M and the current yearly world-wide OCT capital equipment and disposable market is on the order of $300M and is expected to grown to $1B/year in the not-too-distant future as many of the companies obtain FDA and CE approvals and begin to sell their OCT products (including companies such as Terumo and Volcano which appear to be getting close to FDA approvals for their cardiovascular products).  The R&D investment would be substantially higher than $125M of Venture Capital money listed in Table 9, if R&D investment dollar data for all the companies were shown and even much higher if companies that manufacture OCT components or sub-systems rather than instruments as well as internal R&D dollars were considered.  So far there has been almost $200M in exits for OCT startup companies ($90M Lightlab acquisition by St. Jude Medical, $21M Axsun acquisition by Volcano Corporation, $63M Cardiospectra acquisition by Volcano Corporation, $94M Optopol acquisition by Cannon Medical Systems, $10M Ophthalmic Technologies Incorporated (OTI) acquisition by OPKO Health).  The total OCT instrument and sub-system revenue integrated since the first product became commercial in the mid 1990’s is in excess of $1B.  If only the funding from other government programs such as the controversial recent US stimulus “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” could pay current and on-going dividends like the governments investment in OCT seems to have accomplished!

    While grants invested in for-profit companies can still be for fundamental research just as in academic institutions, funding from the US Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and similar grants are mandated to advance businesses, create jobs, and move products into the market place.  It is interesting to note that the majority of what are now some of biggest OCT companies on the planet (e.g. Carl Zeiss Meditec, Optovue, Lightlab, Volcano, etc.) have received a relatively small amount or no direct government funding at all.  But as noted above, with the exception of Optovue, their OCT products were the offspring of money invested by the US Government into academic institutions.  It is also clear that there are a few examples of repeated government investment in for profit companies that are not leading to positive for-profit results and conversely there are for-profit OCT companies that have not taken any direct government money and are doing extremely well.  Optovue is one such success story.  Optovue is an impressive ophthalmic OCT system company that was founded in December of 2003, raised ~$14M in equity financing, and was the first to commercialize a spectral domain OCT system. It has rapidly grown market share and had ~$50M in revenue in 2010.  The company was equity financed and received no direct or indirect government funding for financing or growth of the company.  Optovue has announced plans to enter the optometry markets with an innovative “pay per use” model and has ambitions to bring OCT CapX costs to a point where it can thrive through the developing world.  According to CEO Jay Wei “It is clear that academia continues to need government funding, but what would best benefit companies like Optovue are tax incentives”.

    Bioptigen is another example of a successful OCT startup that spawned out of OCT academic research dollars of co-founder Joseph Izatt at Duke University and Case Western Reserve University (~$10M funding OCT-related research) and grew with the aid of for-profit government funding (~$4M).  According to Bioptigen CEO Eric Buckland, “Grant funds have been invaluable to Bioptigen and allowed us to explore underserved and niche applications, including preclinical research and pediatric ophthalmology that may not have found funding otherwise, but are never-the-less important markets.  The rules for winning the grants are clear and the open competitive nature of the process allows good ideas to get through.  They are particularly valuable as seed financing, particularly in a financial environment where risk capital (e.g. corporate and venture capital) moves up stream to more developed technologies and larger addressable markets. Furthermore, SBIRs are accessible to geographic areas with much less well developed pools of risk capital. The major problem with building a company with SBIRs is it is a very slow process.”  Due to the US government budget battles, SBIRs have been on life support for the past year and without reauthorization, they will expire or substantially change 2011. 

     

    In the UK, startup company Michelson Diagnostics has received substantial assistance from the regional and central UK government (~$800k) and Michelson Diagnostics has introduced an impressive OCT product for dermatology and other markets.  The UK government has a program called “Enterprise Investment Scheme” which promotes early stage investment by providing tax relief to angel investors. This program, and others like it, has created an environment in the UK favorable to 'angel' investment in seed-stage and very early stage investments. According to Michelson Diagnostics CEO Jon Holmes, “The Enterprise Investment Scheme has been critical to Michelson in enabling us to raise finance in early years”.  It seems many programs in the UK and EU are required by law to have grants to companies be matched, or more than matched, by privately sourced funding.  Although there are US government grant programs that have matching requirements (e.g. NIST ATP/TIP), some people have suggested that more matching of private capital on for-profit government grants would be a good idea for the US to avoid repeatedly providing for-profit funding to companies that do not transition to real products and profitability, or the US to avoid funding commercial entities for projects that are academic not commercial oriented. 

    Dr. Felix Feldchtein, one of the early OCT pioneers at the Institute of Applied Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Imalux (along with Alexander Sergeev, Valentin Gelikonov, and Grigory Gelikonov), stated that “early support by the Russian Foundation of Fundamental Research was instrumental for early technology development of OCT in Russia prior to founding Imalux”.  Dr. Feldchtein, a long time resident of the US and serial entrepreneur, has the opinion that much of the US SBIR and equivalent programs are often not sufficiently business oriented.  He stated, “Programs are often judged mainly by academically minded panels focusing on academic merit.  As a result, scientifically innovative proposals with very questionable commercial potential are winning over innovative technologies which are ready for the market but have already lost academic attractiveness.”  This seems to ring true to many as there is no shortage of for-profit companies (within the OCT market and outside the OCT market) that have repeatedly won government SBIR or similar money over the years that are taking advantage of imperfections in the funding system and never produced a successful product.

    Optiphase is a private company in the OCT space (and other spaces) primarily doing OEM business and is located in California and was founded in 1990.  Optiphase did not take equity financing in its early years.  Optiphase won several SBIR grants and a NIST TIP grants exceeding $1M that functioned like venture capital funding but without dilution.  Optiphase business is up in 2011 and over the past three years.  Optiphase still reviews the various government solicitations, but is cautious not to pursue ideas that are not aligned with fundamental corporate needs. CEO and founder Jeff Bush cautions “Grants and similar R&D government sponsored funding vehicles are generally hazardous to your bottom line.  However, for startups with little or no external funding, they are the essential ingredients to future livelihood, which I fully condone and encourage.”  Many successful businessmen would agree with the insight of Mr. Bush on being very selective on if and how to chase government funding because it can put companies a risk of running like a government vs being the nimble, efficient, creative, and profit driven entities they need to be to survive in today’s globally competitive markets.

    LLTech is startup company with offices in France and the USA.  LLTech is focusing on full-field OCT microscopy system with sub-micron resolution in 3D and recently introduced its Light-CT product for applications in digital pathology and other markets.  The company has raised ~$1M in equity and about $3.2M in direct and indirect grants from the French Government.  Founder and CEO, Bertrand Le Conte de Poly stated that “It is hard to access private capital in France for early stage startups without a proof-of-concept completed.  Access to grants for LLTech directly or access for grants from 3rd parties that use LLTech equipment have been greatly beneficial for moving our vision of digital pathology forward.  For the future it would be beneficial to reduce the amount of paper work and the long process.”

    As mentioned above, it is clear that many OCT system companies have been founded directly by researchers who were funded by government grants at universities.  But there are also very successful examples of companies that were founded and funded independent of OCT, but acquired OCT technology from universities.  This includes Volcano Corporation acquiring intravascular OCT technology from startup Cardiospectra for $63M in 2007,  Cardiospectra was founded out of government sponsored OCT research at the University of Texas at Austin.  In Europe, Cannon Medical Systems acquire Optopol for $94M in 2009.  Optopol was originally a private small company in Poland founded in 1992 and most of the income was from resale of some smaller ophthalmology and dermatology equipment of well known brands (e.g. Topcon, Haaghstreit, etc) as well as some in house production of perimeters and topographers for ophthalmology.  Optopol wanted to create more corporate value and move their position from services to “high-tech production” of an industry leading product.  Optopol happened to have access to a world leading OCT research group also in Poland, the Nicolaus Copernicus University (NCU).  NCU researchers have published leading research papers in OCT in general, and ophthalmology in particular, for many years.  Over the past decade they have received ~$4.2M (~$11M Zloty) of public sponsored research (Polish Government, European Science Foundation, and European Commission).  NCU worked to transfer critical technology “know-how” across a wide range of engineering and manufacturing fronts from NCU into Optopol.  It resulted not only in a $94M acquisition of Optopol from Canon but created important high-tech jobs in Poland.  According to Dr. Maciej Wojtkowski one of the leading researchers at NCU, “For our group at NCU it was more about having an industrial partner, which in the long term could give job opportunities for MSc and PhD students and PhDs from our group.  One of the conditions of our collaboration was creation by Optopol of an R&D office at NCU.”  Many people would agree that this seems an excellent decision on the part of Dr. Wojtkowski and created a wining situation that hopefully will continue to pay dividends for Poland and future NCU alumni.

    Of course, other system, subsystem, and component companies listed and not listed in Table 9 may be on their way to bringing important products to the market place or have commercial products now and a bright future.  One example is Praevium Incorporated, which just demonstrated an impressive high-performance OCT swept source based on optically pumped VCSEL technology that will soon be commercialized, was supported in part by NIH and other US government agencies for-profit oriented funding.  Currently there is a dearth of choices for commercially available high performance, low cost, compact swept light sources.  Another example of government dollars transitioning to commercial dollars includes Goodrich/Sensors Unlimited which is turning defense dollars into high-speed NIR camera systems that appear imminently useful for spectral domain OCT imaging.

    Summary

    There has been, and continues to be, tremendous scientific and commercial progress in the field of OCT technology and its application.  Over the past decade, funding from the US Government has totaled on the order of $500M and, if funding in Europe, Asia, Russia, China, Japan and elsewhere were included, this number would be significantly higher.  Government funding has not only helped spur that progress, it appears that it was instrumental and that the payback to society has been exceptional in terms of advancing clinical care to millions of people, creating new businesses, and jobs.  This Government funding has directly or indirectly assisted in attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital and corporate R&D dollars, yielding accumulated revenues to date well over a billion dollars, and directly employed many 1,000’s of man-years of jobs (perhaps over 10,000).

    Within the USA and elsewhere there will be increased economic pressure on allocation of Government funding and it is unlikely that that the funding base will grow by 25% per year as it did last year.  The competition for government funding is already fierce and it will be getting harder for institutions and principal investigators to keep the funding levels they currently have.  A significant fraction of the sponsored research that is not high impact will probably get weeded out.  Funding pressure will be especially difficult on weaker, for profit companies that do not transition from red ink to black ink soon.  It is clear from the comments of a sampling of some of the successful CEOs in the OCT space that continued funding is important, but there are ways to improve the funding process.

    It would be interesting to compare the funding and impact on other fields outside OCT or medical diagnostic equipment.  Fields such a Nanotechnology are often viewed as over-hyped, make the cover of everyday popular magazines and are in the mind of the public.  In contrast, the field of OCT is not well known to the public and probably not well known at the highest levels of funding agencies.  But OCT has clearly made major fundamental scientific and clinical advances and appears to continue to pay back handsomely in terms of creation of for-profit companies and jobs and is growing mostly due to its widespread utility rather than hype.  The future still looks bright as OCT begins to have major impacts in clinical fields in addition to ophthalmology and gets integrated with other diagnostic imaging modalities and therapeutic procedures.  Although there will be increased pressure on government OCT funding, the use of OCT most likely will continue to grow as it will increasingly be used in many clinical studies in many medical and surgical specialties.  A strong argument could be made to funding agencies around the world that OCT is not a place to cut funding as there is still strong potential for growth and impact and return-on-investment.

    Acknowledgements

    I would like to thank Russell Cox at Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the UK for assistance retrieving data from the EPSRC databases; Nancy Mendoza at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in the UK for assistance retrieving data from the BBRSC database; Tiffany Lay at the Medical Research Council for assistance retrieving data from the MRC database and permission to reproduce the data; CORDIS Support Services for assistance on the European Commission CORDIS database; Howard Schlossberg and Yvonne Mason from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for providing funding data on the Medical Free Electron Laser Program; and James Fujimoto at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for reviewing and discussing this market research.  An exchange rate of 1.64$/lb was used to convert UK pounds to dollars, 1.44$/E was used to convert from Euros to dollars, and of $1.025$/Canadian-$ was used.

     

     Total

    $336,120,649 

    National Eye Institute (NEI)

    $131,393,227

    National Cancer Institute (NCI)

    $52,376,336

    National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

    $41,494,843

    National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

    $34,901,046

    National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)

    $14,503,379

    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS)

    $11,600,608

    National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease (NIAMS)

    $10,895,412

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

    $10,549,245

    National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

    $8,253,746

    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK)

    $5,976,899

    National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

    $5,694,416

    Office of The Director (OR)

    $2,703,089

    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

    $1,622,521

    National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

    $1,209,662

    National Institute on Aging (NIA)

    $1,167,687

    National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

    $751,939

    National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

    $376,000

    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

    $242,747

    National Institute on Drug Abuse  (NIDA)

    $219,750

    National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD)

    $188,097

     Table 1: NIH OCT Funding Breakdown by Funding Agency

      

    Organization Name

    Dollars

     

    Organization Name

    Dollars

    Total

    $336,120,649

     

    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA RIVERSIDE

    $709,296

    MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL

    $27,757,173

     

    OCT MEDICAL IMAGING, INC.

    $693,204

    UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

    $24,263,726

     

    KING'S COLLEGE

    $614,346

    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE

    $18,858,887

     

    UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS LAWRENCE

    $602,082

    UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

    $14,449,387

     

    CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL BOSTON

    $578,194

    UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON

    $13,420,676

     

    RICE UNIVERSITY

    $561,673

    CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY

    $12,587,684

     

    SLOAN-KETTERING INSTITUTE FOR CANCER RES

    $539,965

    WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

    $12,303,945

     

    NATIONAL HEART, LUNG, AND BLOOD INSTITUTE

    $508,791

    UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH AT PITTSBURGH

    $9,902,622

     

    UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

    $497,955

    DUKE UNIVERSITY

    $9,306,425

     

    UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS OF CLEVELAND

    $481,345

    BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL

    $9,011,248

     

    RESEARCH TRIANGLE INSTITUTE

    $471,378

    STARPHARMA, LTD

    $8,969,850

     

    WEILL MEDICAL COLLEGE OF CORNELL UNIV

    $459,001

    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DAVIS

    $8,273,015

     

    SOUTHEAST TECHINVENTURES, INC.

    $454,667

    OREGON HEALTH AND SCIENCE UNIVERSITY

    $7,588,624

     

    CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

    $423,637

    PHYSICAL SCIENCES, INC

    $7,501,693

     

    MASSACHUSETTS EYE AND EAR INFIRMARY

    $422,339

    UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

    $7,492,033

     

    NEW ENGLAND COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY

    $412,628

    MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

    $7,029,277

     

    UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AT ANN ARBOR

    $407,804

    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO

    $6,275,021

     

    UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COLLEGE PK

    $407,652

    UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

    $6,072,263

     

    STANFORD UNIVERSITY

    $405,236

    STATE UNIVERSITY NEW YORK STONY BROOK

    $5,822,421

     

    RIVERSIDE RESEARCH INSTITUTE

    $401,049

    TEXAS ENGINEERING EXPERIMENT STATION

    $5,822,234

     

    FAIRWAY MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

    $374,365

    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO

    $4,885,118

     

    LOUISIANA STATE UNIV A&M COL

    $364,228

    INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON

    $4,463,140

     

    ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

    $360,870

    EMMES CORPORATION

    $4,074,027

     

    PHYSICAL OPTICS CORPORATION

    $353,252

    UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AUSTIN

    $3,955,334

     

    OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

    $331,625

    BOSTON UNIVERSITY

    $3,941,461

     

    CLEMSON UNIVERSITY

    $306,064

    UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

    $3,794,916

     

    SUNY DOWNSTATE MEDICAL CENTER

    $306,000

    UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

    $3,603,696

     

    UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HLTH SCI CTR HOUSTON

    $294,983

    COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCES

    $3,129,259

     

    MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

    $276,563

    LPATH THERAPEUTICS, INC.

    $3,000,000

     

    VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT

    $264,516

    MICRON OPTICS, INC.

    $2,843,255

     

    GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

    $253,299

    PURDUE UNIVERSITY WEST LAFAYETTE

    $2,839,964

     

    UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI CORAL GABLES

    $227,994

    UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BR GALVESTON

    $2,827,788

     

    MISSOURI UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOL

    $227,250

    WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCES

    $2,591,089

     

    ARCHER OPTX, INC.

    $207,455

    UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER

    $2,493,918

     

    PTAC, INC.

    $199,925

    UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

    $2,458,740

     

    UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA

    $196,851

    IMALUX CORPORATION

    $2,408,998

     

    STI OPTRONICS, INC.

    $184,745

    SOUTHWEST SCIENCES, INC.

    $2,374,639

     

    OCULAR PROTEOMICS, LLC

    $177,367

    BIOPTIGEN, INC.

    $2,314,406

     

    UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA (UGA)

    $168,615

    UPSTATE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

    $2,161,575

     

    UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS

    $165,526

    CORNELL UNIVERSITY ITHACA

    $2,143,277

     

    OPTICAL BIOSPY TECHNOLOGIES, INC. (OBTI)

    $154,581

    CLEVELAND CLINIC LERNER COL/MED-CWRU

    $2,113,152

     

    VISDEX CORPORATION

    $153,908

    PRAEVIUM RESEARCH, INC.

    $2,095,541

     

    LASER DIAGNOSTIC TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

    $150,320

    UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE

    $2,075,223

     

    INTELLIGENT FIBER OPTIC SYSTEMS CORP

    $149,871

    JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

    $1,972,398

     

    TISSUETECH, INC.

    $131,928

    EMANUEL HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CENTER

    $1,820,249

     

    PHOTON MIGRATION TECHNOLOGIES CORP

    $112,797

    MEDICAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN

    $1,676,764

     

    NATIONAL EYE INSTITUTE

    $111,788

    UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM

    $1,650,554

     

    MICROSCALE, INC.

    $100,277

    EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER NICHD

    $1,622,521

     

    POLARONYX, INC.

    $100,081

    NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

    $1,546,955

     

    LASERSONIX TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

    $100,000

    JOSLIN DIABETES CENTER

    $1,408,046

     

    MEMSCEPT

    $100,000

    VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INST AND ST UNIV

    $1,382,952

     

    AGILTRON, INC.

    $99,982

    VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

    $1,379,662

     

    LICKENBROCK TECHNOLOGIES, LLC

    $99,958

    HARVARD UNIVERSITY (MEDICAL SCHOOL)

    $1,314,605

     

    INTELLIGENT OPTICAL SYSTEMS, INC.

    $99,942

    UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

    $1,286,650

     

    OPTOSPACE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

    $99,935

    BIOTEX, INC.

    $1,072,334

     

    TECHEN, INC.

    $99,254

    NRC--INSTITUTE FOR BIODIAGOSTICS

    $1,049,283

     

    GENEX TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

    $98,991

    SCHEPENS EYE RESEARCH INSTITUTE

    $971,796

     

    OPTIPHASE, INC.

    $97,972

    UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS ARLINGTON

    $956,235

     

    AZNA CORPORATION

    $96,525

    TUFTS UNIVERSITY BOSTON

    $950,719

     

    AHURA CORPORATION, INC.

    $96,514

    CARL ZEISS MEDITEC, INC.

    $911,756

     

    LUMINIT, LLC

    $64,425

    BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE

    $889,869

     

    HUGO W. MOSER RES INST KENNEDY KRIEGER

    $43,460

    IRIS AO, INC.

    $849,096

     

    GORDON RESEARCH CONFERENCES

    $36,000

    YALE UNIVERSITY

    $825,746

     

    HOWARD UNIVERSITY

    $21,373

    UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO

    $821,503

     

    POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY

    $20,000

    UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TWIN CITIES

    $720,619

     

    OPTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA

    $10,000

     Table 3: NIH OCT Funding Recipient Organizations.

       



    Organization Name

    $15,282,070

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    $1,518,238

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    $1,375,320

    Duke University

    $1,090,766

    University of Texas at Austin

    $921,379

    University of California-Los Angeles

    $880,501

    California Institute of Technology

    $823,851

    Micron Optics Inc

    $642,342

    Vescent Photonics Incorporated

    $609,245

    University of Florida

    $603,380

    Newton Photonics, Inc.

    $577,226

    Purdue University

    $510,000

    University of Pittsburgh

    $466,748

    University of California-Irvine

    $449,796

    Northwestern University

    $400,000

    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    $400,000

    University of Washington

    $400,000

    Vanderbilt University

    $400,000

    Case Western Reserve University

    $310,000

    University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

    $297,264

    Georgia Tech Research Corporation

    $279,999

    University of Arizona

    $277,810

    University of Michigan Ann Arbor

    $274,673

    University of California-Santa Barbara

    $252,000

    Southwest Sciences Inc

    $249,999

    Johns Hopkins University

    $236,546

    MEMX, Inc.

    $220,305

    Microscale, Inc.

    $180,000

    WiOptix, Inc.

    $149,809

    Aerius Photonics, LLC

    $149,703

    Cornell University

    $140,000

    FP Technology

    $96,586

    University of St. Thomas

    $88,584

    Gordon Research Conferences

    $5,000

    Optical Society of America

    $5,000

     Table 4: NSF OCT Funding Recipient Organizations.

      

    Organization Name

    $19,021,954

    University of Sheffield

    $4,788,890

    Cranfield University

    $3,051,140

    University of Kent

    $2,340,477

    University of Cambridge

    $1,417,014

    The Nottingham Trent University

    $1,084,727

    Keele University

    $1,039,619

    Cardiff University

    $1,026,599

    University College London

    $632,505

    The University of Manchester

    $513,751

    Imperial College London

    $497,064

    University of Oxford

    $479,538

    University of Kent

    $396,030

    Loughborough University

    $345,469

    University of Birmingham

    $324,384

    University of Southampton

    $306,806

    University of Edinburgh

    $280,041

    University of Exeter

    $259,277

    Institute of Food Research

    $238,620

     Table 5: UK EPSRC/BBSRC/MRC OCT Funding Recipient Organizations (MRC funding only since 2005).

      

    Institute

    Amount ($)

     

    $6,696,920

    University Health Network

    $956,556

    University of Waterloo

    $904,742

    Ryerson University

    $836,620

    Simon Fraser University

    $812,598

    University of British Columbia  

    $743,746

    Ontario Cancer Institute

    $458,447

    École Polytechnique de Montréal

    $421,314

    University of Manitoba

    $371,968

    University of Victoria

    $248,025

    Queen's University

    $212,130

    McMaster University

    $208,479

    Sunnybrook Research Institute

    $153,750

    University of Toronto  

    $104,550

    B.C. Cancer Research Centre

    $86,361

    MIT

    $43,050

    Toronto Western Hospital  

    $38,950

    University of Ottawa

    $30,750

    McGill University

    $26,650

    Dalhousie University

    $20,500

    UCLA

    $17,733

     Table 6: Canadian NSERC/CIHR/NCIC OCT Funding Recipient Organizations.  For example the University Health Network is comprised of the Ontario Cancer Institute and Toronto Western Hospital and both affiliated with the University of Toronto.

      

    Contact PI

    $333,278,556

    Contact PI

     

    Contact PI

     

    HUANG, DAVID

    $15,476,678

    MILLER, DONALD T

    $1,383,575

    HENRICHS, P MARK

    $474,365

    WANG, LIHONG

    $11,912,004

    WANG, GE

    $1,382,952

    GREGO, SONIA

    $471,378

    VARMA, ROHIT

    $11,644,820

    RUGONYI, SANDRA

    $1,331,475

    WHEAT, JOE LEONARD

    $470,579

    IP, MICHAEL S

    $11,543,058

    KANE, DANIEL J

    $1,328,785

    CHARLSON, MARY E

    $459,001

    TEARNEY, GUILLERMO J.

    $10,802,009

    EMELIANOV, STANISLAV Y

    $1,316,205

    BROWN, WILLIAM J

    $454,667

    BREZINSKI, MARK E

    $9,635,563

    KINNUNEN, TARU

    $1,314,605

    SKALA, MELISSA C.

    $445,778

    WERNER, JOHN S.

    $8,273,015

    CHEN, WEILIAM

    $1,312,414

    JOOS, KAREN MARGARET

    $426,463

    FUJIMOTO, JAMES G

    $6,301,162

    SONKA, MILAN

    $1,286,650

    SANDBERG, MICHAEL A

    $422,339

    BOPPART, STEPHEN A

    $6,292,038

    YUN, SEOK H

    $1,259,603

    GWIAZDA, JANE E

    $412,628

    TROMBERG, BRUCE J

    $6,037,443

    ESENALIEV, RINAT O.

    $1,208,139

    CABRERA DEBUC, DELIA

    $412,326

    BARTON, JENNIFER K.

    $5,249,210

    TANG, CHA-MIN

    $1,205,004

    BOWD, CHRISTOPHER

    $407,388

    IZATT, JOSEPH A

    $5,089,952

    KIM, KANG

    $1,178,356

    FELEPPA, ERNEST J.

    $401,049

    CHU, CONSTANCE R

    $4,998,773

    BEX, PETER JOHN

    $1,174,982

    STEIN, JOSHUA D

    $397,804

    CHEN, ZHONGPING

    $4,954,366

    DICKINSON, MARY E

    $1,171,867

    SMITH, SETH A

    $396,943

    DALE, ANDERS M

    $4,769,834

    HOOD, DONALD C.

    $1,171,702

    WOLLSTEIN, GADI

    $387,620

    DE BOER, JOHANNES F

    $4,460,976

    GILMORE, GROVER C.

    $1,167,687

    YANG, CHANGHUEI

    $382,530

    ROLLINS, ANDREW M.

    $4,427,590

    SWANSON, WILLIAM H.

    $1,154,170

    CHO, ZANG-HEE

    $376,000

    PAULL, JEREMY

    $4,216,503

    CARROLL, JOSEPH

    $1,146,143

    BURGOYNE, CLAUDE F

    $374,016

    NUTTALL, ALFRED L

    $4,051,061

    MCNICHOLS, ROGER J

    $1,125,970

    MAHADEVAN-JANSEN, A.

    $371,307

    DUERK, JEFFREY L.

    $3,975,053

    EFIMOV, IGOR R

    $1,125,635

    ROWE, STEVEN MARK

    $367,550

    CRONIN-GOLOMB, ALICE

    $3,941,461

    LIN, LIH Y

    $1,124,777

    GULSEN, GULTEKIN

    $365,875

    FRIED, DANIEL

    $3,880,252

    NGUYEN, QUAN DONG

    $1,102,972

    HAIDEKKER, MARK A

    $365,466

    VAN VELDHUISEN, PAUL C

    $3,784,274

    YANG, XINMAI

    $1,087,745

    FELDMAN, MARTIN

    $364,228

    PORCIATTI, VITTORIO

    $3,692,255

    JIAO, SHULIANG

    $1,070,394

    KANG-MIELER, JENNIFER J

    $360,870

    KNIGHTON, ROBERT W

    $3,495,928

    ZHOU, QIENYUAN

    $1,062,076

    RICHARDS-KORTUM, R.

    $360,638

    HUXLIN, KRYSTEL R

    $3,351,176

    CHOO-SMITH, LIN-P'ING

    $1,049,283

    FREEMAN, DENNIS M.

    $355,709

    SCHUMAN, JOEL S

    $3,188,919

    BRENNER, MATTHEW

    $1,043,100

    RICHDALE, KATHRYN

    $331,625

    GILLIES, ROBERT J.

    $3,139,012

    BERNSTEIN, STEVEN L

    $1,034,119

    GMITRO, ARTHUR F

    $329,510

    SABBADINI, ROGER ALLEN

    $3,000,000

    FERGUSON, R DANIEL

    $1,005,210

    YANOVITCH, TAMMY LYN

    $326,592

    ZANGWILL, LINDA M

    $2,883,264

    DU, CONGWU

    $999,833

    SRINIVASAN, MANDAYAM

    $316,366

    HSU, KEVIN

    $2,843,255

    BURNS, STEPHEN A.

    $915,360

    WAX, ADAM

    $307,897

    WEI, ALEXANDER

    $2,839,964

    ALTAWEEL, MICHAEL M

    $894,908

    JIANG, HUABEI

    $306,064

    NELSON, JOHN STUART

    $2,775,805

    KANG, JIN U

    $882,721

    BARBOUR, RANDALL L.

    $306,000

    BOAS, DAVID A

    $2,758,372

    HELMBRECHT, MICHAEL A

    $849,096

    HAMM-ALVAREZ, SARAH

    $303,750

    MCCARTHY, THOMAS D

    $2,681,623

    NATH, RAVINDER

    $831,778

    CURCIO, CHRISTINE A

    $293,000

    HAMMER, DANIEL X

    $2,672,047

    SHAHIDI, MAHNAZ

    $821,503

    CULVER, JOSEPH P

    $292,302

    CARR, JOHN JEFFREY

    $2,591,089

    WANG, RUIKANG

    $818,282

    KIMMEY, MICHAEL B

    $283,825

    AMAZEEN, PAUL G.

    $2,408,998

    APPLEGATE, BRIAN E.

    $815,433

    ABLONCZY, ZSOLT

    $276,563

    TABER, LARRY A

    $2,366,459

    GEORGE, STEVEN CARL

    $802,812

    PITTLER, STEVEN J

    $274,940

    RYLANDER, HENRY GRADY

    $2,343,341

    GLUCKSBERG, MATTHEW

    $782,224

    MILNER, THOMAS E.

    $267,650

    IFTIMIA, NICUSOR

    $2,203,087

    XIA, YOUNAN

    $777,839

    BELLAMKONDA, RAVI V

    $253,299

    HYMAN, LESLIE G.

    $2,145,862

    BACKMAN, VADIM

    $764,731

    CSAKY, KARL G.

    $252,661

    WISE, FRANK W

    $2,143,277

    DEMIREL, SHABAN

    $761,175

    FRIED, DANIEL

    $245,584

    LI, XINGDE

    $2,127,485

    OTIS, LINDA L.

    $746,149

    CIDECIYAN, ARTUR V

    $230,863

    JAYARAMAN, VIJAY

    $2,095,541

    AKKIN, TANER

    $720,619

    AWDEH, RICHARD M

    $229,500

    BALCER, LAURA

    $2,088,213

    YAO, XINCHENG

    $715,064

    WILSON, DAVID L

    $228,866

    KIMURA, WAYNE D.

    $2,044,826

    HUNTER, BOYD VERN

    $709,779

    WANG, JIANHUA

    $228,001

    HARWERTH, RONALD S

    $1,988,161

    RAMALINGAM, T.

    $693,204

    WANG, MICHAEL R

    $227,994

    BUCKLAND, ERIC L.

    $1,962,334

    FORTUNE, BRAD

    $685,058

    XIAO, HAI

    $227,250

    SMITH, ROLAND T.

    $1,957,557

    BESHARSE, JOSEPH C

    $680,120

    MUJAT, MIRCEA

    $216,383

    WONG, BRIAN

    $1,848,089

    JO, JAVIER ANTONIO

    $667,758

    HSIEH, ADAM H

    $208,262

    JAFFE, GLENN

    $1,816,380

    ROMANOWSKI, MAREK J

    $653,010

    TKACZYK, TOMASZ S

    $208,035

    DAVE, DIGANT P

    $1,752,787

    LAVAIL, MATTHEW M

    $634,272

    SHNITSER, PAUL

    $207,838

    PARK, BORIS HYLE

    $1,691,599

    NAISMITH, ROBERT T

    $616,634

    TANG, SHAO-JUN

    $202,988

    BARTSCH, DIRK-UWE G

    $1,662,365

    PERTSOV, ARKADY M

    $589,439

    KUO, ANTHONY NANLIN

    $201,428

    PAN, YINGTIAN

    $1,638,964

    FULTON, ANNE B

    $578,194

    SAYERAM, SUNITA

    $201,230

    MOTAMEDI, MASSOUD

    $1,636,895

    GRUNWALD, JUAN E

    $575,121

    TROFIMOV, IGOR E

    $199,925

    HASAN, TAYYABA

    $1,622,528

    VANNASDALE, DEAN A.

    $565,307

    CHEN, YU

    $199,390

    GANDJBAKHCHE, AMIR H

    $1,622,521

    STETTEN, GEORGE D.

    $546,797

    MARTIN, DANIEL F

    $182,031

    BARLOW, ROBERT B

    $1,572,136

    HRICAK, HEDVIG

    $539,965

    MANDELLA, MICHAEL J

    $181,072

    HUANG, XIANGRUN

    $1,537,440

    MCLELLAN, GILLIAN JANE

    $524,200

    SRINIVASAN, VIVEK JAY

    $180,000

    ROCKMAN, HOWARD A

    $1,524,820

    THOMPSON, DARBY

    $517,760

    GLASER, BERT

    $177,367

    PETERSON, KRISTEN A

    $1,523,134

    KNUTSON, JAY R

    $508,791

    LI, GUOQIANG

    $165,526

    SIVAK, MICHAEL V

    $1,460,542

    WOLF, MATTHEW J

    $504,900

    FRASER, SCOTT E

    $153,908

    FERRANTE, ANTHONY A

    $1,411,636

    LEWIN, ALFRED S

    $497,955

    REZAI, ALI R

    $153,000

    FEENER, EDWARD P

    $1,408,046

    ELSNER, ANN E

    $493,435

    HU, ZHILIN

    $151,000

    BOUMA, BRETT E

    $1,394,930

    BLODI, BARBARA A

    $477,134

    BOWER, BRADLEY A.

    $150,842

     Table 7: NIH OCT Funding Principal Investigators.

     


    Principal Investigator Name

    $15,282,070

    Boppart, Stephen

    $1,200,000

    Fujimoto, James

    $1,042,799

    Izatt, Joseph

    $926,497

    Hsu, Kevin

    $642,342

    Anderson, Mike

    $609,245

    Wu, Ming

    $607,501

    Xie, Huikai

    $603,380

    Richards-Kortum, Rebecca

    $589,879

    Melman, Paul

    $577,226

    Li, Xingde

    $556,395

    Webb, Kevin

    $510,000

    Gray, Martha

    $475,439

    Wax, Adam

    $474,269

    Farkas, Daniel

    $466,748

    Chen, Zhongping

    $449,796

    Bruno, Oscar

    $423,851

    Tolk, Norman

    $400,000

    Yang, Changhuei

    $400,000

    Yao, Xincheng

    $400,000

    Zhang, Hao

    $400,000

    Welch, Ashley

    $336,500

    Motamedi, Massoud

    $297,264

    Trebino, Rick

    $279,999

    Barton, Jennifer

    $277,810

    Munson, David

    $274,673

    Ratsch, Christian

    $273,000

    Gibou, Frederic

    $252,000

    Peterson, Kristen

    $249,999

    Rodgers, Steven

    $220,305

    Wu, Xingtao

    $180,000

    Do, Minh

    $175,320

    Wu, Lei

    $149,809

    MacDougal, Michael

    $149,703

    Gaeta, Alexander

    $140,000

    Hogan, Josh

    $96,586

    Green, Adam

    $88,584

    Kang, Jin

    $80,151

    Faris, Gregory

    $5,000

     Table 8: NSF OCT Funding Principal Investigators.

     

    Principal Investigator Name

    $19,021,954

    Professor RP Tatam

    $2,487,190

    Professor RA Hogg

    $2,074,912

    Professor A Podoleanu

    $2,004,606

    Professor R Wang

    $1,603,569

    Professor HJ Coles

    $1,417,014

    Dr S Matcher

    $1,284,279

    Professor R Smallwood

    $1,155,031

    Professor H Liang

    $1,084,727

    Professor J Morgan

    $690,786

    Dr TA Waigh

    $513,751

    Dr S Popov

    $497,064

    Professor A Cowey

    $479,538

    Professor D Jackson

    $396,030

    Professor JC Hebden

    $370,350

    Professor J Cockburn

    $347,009

    Dr PD Ruiz

    $345,469

    Dr G Dobre

    $335,870

    Dr J Morgan

    $335,813

    Dr W Palin

    $324,384

    Professor RW Eason

    $306,806

    Dr PO Bagnaninchi

    $280,041

    Professor F Fitzke

    $262,156

    Dr B Hills

    $238,620

    Dr KM Groom

    $186,937

    Table 9: UK EPSRC/BBRSC/MRC OCT Funding Principal Investigators (MRC funding only since 2005).

     

    Name

     

     

    $6,696,920

    Vitkin, Alex

    $956,556

    Yang, Victor

    $733,608

    Sarunic, Marinko V 

    $711,995

    Bizheva, Kostadinka

    $661,301

    Tiedje, Thomas

    $646,652

    Wilson, Brian

    $458,447

    Choo-Smith, Lin-P'Ing

    $281,479

    Tang, Shuo

    $251,766

    Cambel Melanie

    $234,216

    Kashyap, Raman

    $227,750

    Cassidy, Daniel

    $208,479

    Fraser, James

    $189,580

    Foster, F. Stuart 

    $153,750

    Boudoux, Caroline

    $137,702

    Tibbits, Glen Findlay 

    $100,604

    Kolios, Michael

    $98,400

    Lane, Pierre 

    $86,361

    Khurana, Mamta 

    $82,000

    Maculay, Calum Eric

    $70,804

    Maciejko, Romain

    $51,250

    Sherif, Sherif

    $51,250

    Adler, Desmond

    $43,050

    Major, Arkady

    $39,239

    Dracopoulos, Aphrodite 

    $33,825

    Anis, Hanan

    $30,750

    Boulet, Benoit

    $26,650

    Adamson, Robert

    $20,500

    Leung, Ben

    $17,938

    Leung, Michael Ka Kit 

    $17,938

    Lewis, Ryan

    $17,938

    Burnes, Daina

    $17,733

    Hudson, Christopher 

    $5,125

    ElFalou, Ahmad

    $4,613

    Forbes, Peter

    $4,613

    Goulamhoussen, Nadir

    $4,613

    Hassan, Anisah

    $4,613

    Iolov, Alexandre

    $4,613

    Luk, Timothy

    $4,613

    Pan, LiJia(Leo)

    $4,613

    Table 10: Canadian NSERC/CIHR/NCIC OCT Funding Principal Investigators.

      


    Company

    Field

    Status

    Estimated Yearly OCT Revenue

    OCT Equity
    Finance

    Connection to Government OCT Funding

    Avinger

    Cardiology

    Startup

    0

    ~$25M

    ?

    Axsun Technologies

    OCT Systems

    Acquired by Volcano

    Medium

    0

    Axsun's OCT effort is believed to be mainly internally funding from revenue and VC money from other markets.  Axsun was acquired by Volcano Corporation for $21M.

    Bioptigen

    Ophthalmology

    Startup

    Small

    ~$4M

    Co-founded by Dr. Joseph Izatt at Duke University.  Also Bioptigen raised direct government funds of  ~$4M

    Carl Zeiss Medtech

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Large

    N/A

    Zeiss Acquired Advanced Ophthalmic Devices in 1994 that was founded by Dr. James Fujimoto, Dr. Carmen Pulifiato, and Mr. Eric Swanson at MIT, NEEI, and Tufts Medical.  AOD received no direct government funding nor did Zeiss for many years.

    Cannon / Optopol Technology

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Medium

    ?

    Optopol had connections to leading researchers at Nicolaus Copernicus University which had received ~$4M of government funding over past 10 years. Cannon medical acquired Optopol for $94M in 2010.

    D4D Technologies

    Dentistry

    Established Company

    0

    ?

    ?

    Diagnostic Photonics Incorporated

    Oncology

    Startup

    0

    ~$1.7M

    Co-founded by Dr. Stephen Boppart and Dr. Scott Carney at University of Illionis at Urbana Champaign.

    Hagg-Streit

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Small

    N/A

    ?

    Heidelberg Engineering

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Medium

    N/A

    ?

    Heliotis AG

    Microscopy

    Established Company

    Small

    ?

    Heliotis was a spin-off of CSEM a government sponsored research institution in Switzerland.

    Imalux

    Oncology, guiding biopsy and surgery

    Startup

    Small

    ~$7M

    Imalux was co-founded by Dr. Felix Feldchtein Alexander Sergeev, Valentin Gelikonov, and Grigory Gelikonov from the Institute of Applied Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Imalux received about $2.5M of direct government funding from NIH and other funding from the Edison Biotechnology Fund.

    Lantis Laser

    Dentistry

    Startup

    0

    ~$2.5M

    Licensed IP from MIT, Lawerence Livermore, and others universities of OCT work supported by Government funding.

    Lightlab Imaging / St. Jude Medical

    Cardiology

    Established Company

    Medium

    ~$10M

    Founded by Dr. James Fujimoto, Dr. Mark Brezinski, and Mr. Eric Swanson at MIT.  Lightlab received a NIST ATP grant in 1998 for $2.6M but not much other government funding for many years.  Lightlab was acquired by St. Jude medical for ~$90 M in 2010 just after receiving FDA clearance  of its FD-OCT product.

    LL Tech

    Digital Pathology

    Startup

    Small

    ~$0.6M

    LL Tech was Co-Founded by Dr. Claude Boccara Laboratory at CNRS in France which receives Government funding.  In addition LL Tech has received about $3.2M in direct and indirect government funding.

    Michelson Diagnostics

    Dermatology

    Startup

    Small

    ~$7.5M

    The UK government has been very supportive to Michelson Diagnostics supplying over several years ~$800k.  Also licensed OCT Patents from University of Toronto.

    MicroTomography Inc.

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Small

    ?

    ?

    Newton Photonics

    Glucose Sensing

    Startup

    0

    ?

    Newton Photonics received SBIR grant for $480k.

    Nexus Imaging Systems

    Endoscopy

    Startup

    0

    ?

    ?

    Nidek

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Medium

    N/A

    ?

    Nikon Instruments

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Small

    N/A

    ?

    NinePoint Medical

    Endoscopy

    Startup

    0

    ~$33M

    NinePoint Medical Licensed numerous patents and other IP and receives assistance from the MGH research group of Dr. Brett Bouma, Dr. Gary Tearney, and others.

    NovaCam Technologies

    Microscopy

    Startup

    Small

    ?

    NovaCam works closely with National Research Council Canada.

    OCT Medical Imaging Inc

    Oncology

    Startup

    0

    ?

    Co-Founded by Dr. Zhongping Chen from UC Irvine.  Company has also received direct government funding ~$1M

    Oncoscope

    Oncology

    Startup

    0

    ~$3.5M

    Oncoscope was founded by Dr. Adam Wax out of Duke University.

    OptiMedica

    Ophthalmology

    Startup

    Medium

    N/A

    ?

    OptiPhase

    OCT Systems

    Established Company

    Small

    0

    Optiphase won a $1.1M NIST TIP Award in 2008 and a few other SBIR’s but most were not related to OCT

    Optovue

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Medium

    ~$14M

    Optovue progress in the OCT market was purely with equity  funding but Optovue did and does participate in Government sponsored clinical trials of its product.  Optovue did ~$50M in revenue in 2010

    OPKO / OTI

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Medium

    ?

    OPKO acquired OTI for $10M in 2007.

    Physical Sciences Incorporated

    R&D Contractor

    Established Company

    N/A

    ?

    Physical Sciences has received ~$7.5M in Government OCT funding

     P&P Optica

     High Performance Spectroscopy

    Startup 

    Small 

    <$500k

    P&P Optical has no direct government funding for OCT research, but does support several university projects via in-kind and cash matching contributions.

    Santec

    OCT Systems

    Established Company

    Medium

    ?

    ?

    Shenzhen Moptium Imaging Co

    OCT Systems

    Startup

    Small

    ?

    ?

    Solianis Monitoring AG

    Glucose Sensing

    Startup

    Small

    ?

    ?

    Terumo Cardiovascular Systems

    Cardiology

    Established Company

    Not yet FDA cleared

    N/A

    Terumo licensed numerous patents and other IP and receives assistance from the MGH research group of Dr. Brett Bouma, Dr. Gary Tearney, and others.

    Thorlabs

    OCT Systems

    Established Company

    Medium

    N/A

    While Thorlabs collaborates with numerous universities the majority of Thorlabs OCT effort is believed to be internal funded.

    Tomey

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Small

    ?

    ?

    Tomophase Corporation

    Pulmonology

    Startup

    Small

    ~$5M

    ?

    Topcon Medical Systems

    Ophthalmology

    Established Company

    Medium

    N/A

    ?

    Tornado Medical Systems

    Oncology

    Startup

    0

    ~$7M

    Won Substantial Canadian Provincial Government Grant.

    Volcano Corporation

    Cardiology

    Startup

    Not yet FDA cleared

    N/A

    Volcano Acquired Cardiospectra for $63M for its start in OCT.  Cardiospectra was founded by Dr. Marc Feldman and Dr. Thomas Miller from University of Texas at Austin.

     TOTAL

     

     

    ~$300M+

    ~$125M+

     

     Table 11: Listing of Some OCT System and Subsystem Companies.

     

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  2. Quotes

    1. Grants and similar R&D government sponsored funding vehicles are generally hazardous to your bottom line. However, for startups with little or no external funding, they are the essential ingredients to future livelihood, which I fully condone and encourage.
      By Jeff Bush
    2. SBIR programs are often judged mainly by academically minded panels focusing on academic merit. As a result, scientifically innovative proposals with very questionable commercial potential are winning over innovative technologies which are ready for the market but have already lost academic attractiveness.
      By Felix I. Feldchtein
    3. It is hard to access private capital in France for early stage startups without a proof-of-concept completed. Access to grants for LLTech directly or access for grants from 3rd parties that use LLTech equipment have been greatly beneficial for moving our vision of digital pathology forward. For the future it would be beneficial to reduce the amount of paper work and the long process.
      By Bertrand de Poly
    4. For our group at NCU it was more about having an industrial partner, which in the long term could give job opportunities for MSc and PhD students and PhDs from our group one of the conditions of our collaboration was creation by Optopol a R&D office at NCU.
      By Maciej Wojtkowski
    5. The Enterprise Investment Scheme has been critical to Michelson in enabling us to raise finance in early years.
      By Jon Holmes
    6. Grant funds have been invaluable to Bioptigen and allowed us to explore underserved and niche applications, including preclinical research and pediatric ophthalmology that may not have found funding otherwise, but are never-the-less important markets. The rules for winning the grants are clear and the open competitive nature of the process allows good ideas to get through. They are particularly valuable as seed financing, particularly in a financial environment where risk capital (e.g. corporate and venture capital) moves up stream to more developed technologies and larger addressable markets. Furthermore, SBIRs are accessible to geographic areas with much less well developed pools of risk capital. The major problem with building a company with SBIRs is it is a very slow process.”
      By Eric L. Buckland
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