Tirronen acknowledges that so far, non-damaging laser treatments have already proven to be effective in the field of medicine, but the lack of patient-specific temperature and safety controls significantly limit the efficacy and utilization of the treatments.
“Maculaser has solved the main problem which is the real-time temperature control of the retina during these treatments,” Tirronen says. The Maculaser technology enables ophthalmologists (eye doctors) to perform optimal non-damaging laser therapy without the risk of retinal damage, he adds.
“This is a potential game-changer in the treatment of currently untreatable diseases such as dry AMD.”
Aalto innovation edge
Founded this year by Tirronen and his fellow entrepreneurs Teemu Turunen and Ossi Kaikkonen, Maculaser has roots in an Aalto University research program which started in 2013.
“Business Finland backed a commercialization program started in 2018, and in 2020 the company was set up to bring the technology and novel treatment to the markets,” Tirronen goes over the timeline.
The original Aalto research program sought a treatment for dry AMD and arrived at the conclusion that non-damaging laser treatment offers the most promising solution for managing AMD. There is strong scientific evidence that heating retinal tissue/retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) brings about a range of beneficial effects on unhealthy RPE.
Rooted in research
According to Tirronen, Finland does a good job of creating broad university and research-based innovation platforms.
“Furthermore, there is a rapidly rising positive attitude towards research-based entrepreneurship in Finland.”
In his mind, the society is relatively uncomplicated and stress-free. “Unless you’re running a startup, that is,” Tirronen grins.
Text: Sami J. Anteroinen
Photos and graphics: Maculaser and Unsplash
Health Capital Helsinki