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BioLattice Ophthalmics, Inc.
Restoring the gift of sight
Funding to Date*
* Data source: Crunchbase
Amelia Zellander, PhD, founder and CEO of BioLattice
“We’re developing alternatives to donated tissues and organs. So many people either have low quality of life or unnecessarily short lives because the system in place just doesn't work for everyone. So, I want to do something in my career that fixes this altogether.”
Worldwide, there’s only one donor cornea for every 70 people who need a corneal transplant to restore their vision.

Every year, 2 million people develop corneal blindness, but only about 200,000 undergo a corneal transplantation to regain their vision. Almost 13 million people are on waiting lists for donor tissue, and even if they obtain it, the rejection rate for corneal replacements climbs from 10% in the first two years to almost 50% by year 15. Existing corneal alternatives (keratoprostheses) are last resort options for sight restoration. None are standard of care treatments due to complications including inflammation, infection, extrusion, opacification, and glaucoma. 

BioLattice Ophthalmics, Inc. is developing CorneaClear™, a synthetic, room-temperature-stable, biocompatible material that could expand access to corneal replacement surgery and outperform donor tissues and existing keratoprostheses. BioLattice’s cross-linked polymeric membrane is optically transparent and can be modified with additives to maintain clarity over time. Its design mimics nature to ensure that surrounding tissues recognize CorneaClear as self and reduces the risk of immune rejection.

BioLattice was founded by tissue engineer and pharmaceutical scientist Amelia Zellander, PhD. Over a decade ago, Zellander began designing corneal replacements for her dissertation at the University of Illinois Chicago. She subsequently worked in R&D at Janssen. Today, Zellander and BioLattice COO Linda Alunkal, who previously directed a Johnson & Johnson startup accelerator, are collaborating with corneal surgeons on an anatomically proper CorneaClear prototype to be used in animal trials in late 2024. Following FDA approval and clinical trials, BioLattice could help restore vision for millions of people – and then begin to engineer replacement tissues for other vulnerable organs.