Bernie’s Quarterly Update – December 2022

Bernie’s Quarterly Update – December 2022

December 19, 2022

As we near the end of a very strong quarter and wrap up yet another year, all of us at CorneaGen pause to wish all of you the happiest of holidays. The collaboration and team spirit, both internal and external, are what made 2022 successful. Together, we reflect on what we’ve achieved and look to the year ahead, preparing to take advantage of ongoing and new opportunities to deliver sight-restoring corneal care to patients.

Here are just a few reasons to celebrate.

Product innovations this year and next…

CorneaGen launched the EndoSerter-PL at ASCRS, and we had another impressive showing of this FDA approved DSAEK solution at AAO—our best AAO ever. We had record booth attendance, meeting up with more surgeons and key opinion leaders than at any previous event. The EndoSerter-PL has been used in hundreds of surgeries and counting, as we get it in the hands of more and more surgeons. We’re also very excited for a couple of new product launches planned for 2023. Much more to come soon.

Teams who worked tirelessly…

With shortages in storage media and subsequent uneven tissue supply, we all faced a lot. Yet despite the issues, I saw endless can-do and creativity in working to solve these challenges. In the end and in collaboration with of all our Eye Bank and OPO partners, we finished Q4 very strong, delivering at yearend a high volume of sight restoring grafts to surgeons and patients.

Partnering with surgeons and industry leaders…

It was rewarding to reignite our Eye Bank Experience Program and host fellows again in person, helping educate our future leaders in cornea/anterior segment. We’ll keep offering and promoting educational pathways in the year ahead. Also, we’re happy to welcome Jane Rady back to our board. Her wisdom and experience in corporate ophthalmology greatly enhances our board and CorneaGen governance. Finally, I want to celebrate the gratis tissue CorneaGen provided for our surgeon partners’ mission trips this year—176 tissue donations from the beginning of 2022 through Nov 30, including for the WakeECHO mission below.

After a long hiatus due to COVID, WakeECHO Brigade #10 traveled to Honduras in October to provide cataract, cornea, and subspecialty surgery, as well as ophthalmology consultations to those in need.

 

Challenges surmounted in the industry at large…

We have been engaging eye banks and donation partners in new and meaningful ways. Consolidation continues, and it’s by strengthening relationships with these partners that we raise awareness and expand access to our innovative services and technologies for surgeons and their patients around the country. We’re developing best practices to shine a brighter light on corneal transplant reimbursement. We will expand this impactful program in 2023. And as always, I expect there will be many more prospects to partner on in 2023, improving awareness, education, and tissue supply for everyone.

On a closing note, I want to highlight the reason we do what we do. At CorneaGen, we remain committed to providing the highest quality donor tissue, unparalleled service, and superior products—all the while, we never forget the donors, their families and their final gifts, honoring the sacred process of eye, organ, and tissue donation.

Here’s to 2022, a Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Year to all!

 

Sincerely,

Bernie Iliakis, President and CEO

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