More than three million people in the United States, and 60 million people globally, are affected by glaucoma. In 2012 Dr. Malik Kahook set out to create a surgical tool, the Kahook Dual Blade (KDB), to help ophthalmologists treat patients that suffer from the disease. KDB gave surgeons the opportunity to open clogged drainage pathways in the eye with an approach that is accessible to surgeons across the globe.
The breakthrough tool was brought to market by New World Medical (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) in 2015 in partnership with the University of Colorado Anschutz, CU Innovations.
Not long after taking his device to market, Kahook sought to make it even better through modifications and enhancements.
“The original KDB was really good for the majority of patients, but there were outliers in the tails of the bell curve where the procedure itself could have been made smoother,” Kahook says.
With an eye on innovation, Kahook created the KDB Glide and the CU Innovation office continued its long-standing relationship with Kahook to ensure the newly imagined device would remain covered under the original intellectual property rights.
As a stand-alone procedure or in combination with cataract surgery, more than 4.5 million glaucoma patients in the U.S. could benefit from the new and improved KDB Glide, which was made commercially available in February 2021.
The KDB Glide’s versatilely navigates each patient’s unique anatomy to improve surgical precision and control and is available for use in patients who’s glaucoma ranges from mild to severe.
On a global scale, the number of potential beneficiaries, and the need for versatile, cost-effective, minimally invasive devices, is even greater. Just as with the original KDB, KDB Glide is made available all around the world for humanitarian use through Sidra Tree Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of New World Medical.
Some of the most notable improvements have been in patients that may have smaller or irregular anatomies. The early success of the new KDB Glide model, and eagerness of his colleagues at home and worldwide to support the modifications, inspires Kahook to continue gliding in the right direction through the next decade.
“The dream of any inventor in the medical field is to change the lives of patients and provide the best possible methods for restoring health,” Kahook says. “I feel lucky to partner with a mission-driven organization like New World Medical and to be part of this supportive environment and innovative culture within the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center at CU Anschutz.”
This story was originally published in 2022.
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