TearLab Announces Issuance of Core U.S. Patent
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 13, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TearLab Corporation (Nasdaq:TEAR) (TSX:TLB) today announced that it has been granted U.S. Patent No. 7,810,380, entitled "Systems and methods for collecting tear film and measuring tear film osmolarity." This patent provides the company with broad and blocking intellectual property regarding the measurement of genetic and protein biomarkers within the tear film.
The patent, which will expire in 2029, allows TearLab to build upon its non-invasive tear collection platform to explore biomarkers across a wide range of disease states. This includes, but is not limited to, the Company's initial commercial target of Dry Eye Disease.
"The key to this patent is that it covers the simultaneous measurement of tear osmolarity, which represents the fundamental piece of information needed for high-quality quantification of components of tears," commented Benjamin Sullivan, Ph.D., TearLab's Chief Scientific Officer. "As people age, their tear film becomes more porous, and the concentration fluctuates significantly at each blink due to water loss through an unstable tear film. For instance, if an individual's glucose measurement is twice as concentrated because of evaporation through an unstable tear film, it does not necessarily mean they have high blood sugar. It could just be that their lacrimal gland isn't producing enough tear fluid. And because normal tear osmolarities are held within a very tight range, the simultaneous measurement of osmolarity allows us to set a baseline to which we can accurately compare patient to patient, without the significant variance induced by biological osmolarity variance."
Dr. Sullivan concluded, "TearLab's expertise in performing assays in 50 nL of fluid has also shown that the real-time measurement of tear osmolarity allows our lab-on-a-chip approach to compensate for the effects of evaporation during sample transfer, which can change the value of a diagnosis in less than five seconds at such a small volume."
Elias Vamvakas, TearLab's Chief Executive Officer, said, "As awareness and acceptance of tear film as an ideal source for a number of diagnostic biomarkers continues to grow, it is important that this opportunity is well protected. The issuance of this foundational patent is an important achievement that strengthens our emerging leadership position in the rapidly-growing point-of-care diagnostics space."
About TearLab Corporation
TearLab Corporation (www.tearlab.com) develops and markets lab-on-a-chip technologies that enable eye care practitioners to improve standard of care by objectively and quantitatively testing for disease markers in tears at the point-of-care. The TearLabTM Osmolarity Test, for diagnosing Dry Eye Disease, is the first assay developed for the award-winning TearLabTM Osmolarity System. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, TearLab Corporation's common shares trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol 'TEAR' and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol 'TLB'.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions about the Company. These statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and projections about future events. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Actual events or results may differ materially. Many factors may cause our actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement, including the factors detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities regulatory authorities, including but not limited to our Forms 10-K and 10-Q. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements.