Tuesday, October 4, 2011

TearScience lines up $15 million in debt financing for expansion efforts

Excerpt from WRAL

TearScience, a venture capital backed firm, has secured $15 million in debt financing to fund commercialization of its eye care products. Silicon Valley Bank and Oxford Finance provided the funding.

TearScience has raised more than $70 million in venture funding. The company has recently begun ramping up its sales efforts. It has designed treatments for evaporative dry eye disease. The company received marketing approval recently to sell its LipiFlow product in the U.S. It is designed for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), also known as evaporative dry eye. LipiFlow is available on a limited basis in the U.S. through the end of 2011.

“We are pleased to engage Oxford Finance and Silicon Valley Bank as our newest partners supporting our commercialization efforts,” said Nicole Wicker, vice president of finance for TearScience, in a statement. “Having both a premier banking institution and a debt firm that focuses exclusively on the healthcare industry as our partners makes good business sense as we begin our next stage of growth.” TearScience offers a LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System and LipiView Ocular Surface Interferometer devices to eye care practices. LipiView assists physicians to examine a patient’s eye producing system. LipiFlow is the treatment system, one that is completed in 12 minutes, according to the company.

“Given TearScience’s recent FDA clearance for its LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System, we feel confident about the company’s future success,” said Christopher A. Herr, managing director for Oxford Finance, in a statement. “TearScience’s advanced solutions have great potential to improve the well-being of dry eye sufferers.”

According to TearScience, more than 100 million people suffer from dry eye worldwide, and of those 65 percent are afflicted with evaporative dry eye which its science is designed to treat.

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