New patent for TearLab

May 4, 2011

TearLab Corporation has been granted a U.S. patent that allows the company to build upon its non-invasive in vitro diagnostic platform to expand testing beyond tear film osmolarity for dry eye disease.

San Diego-TearLab Corporation has been granted a U.S. patent that allows the company to build upon its non-invasive in vitro diagnostic platform to expand testing beyond tear film osmolarity for dry eye disease.

According to TearLab, the patent provides the company with broad and blocking intellectual property regarding the ability to compensate for first-order dynamics in the eye, which is fundamental to achieving accurate tear biomarker analysis.

In patients who have dry eye disease, concentrations of proteins, genes, and small molecules in the tear film can vary substantially over short times. By contrast, normal, healthy subjects demonstrate very stable, consistently low osmolarities.

“Because this variability is the hallmark of dry eye disease . . . there is a need to normalize biomarker concentrations against the instantaneous osmolarity of a tear sample. Without normalization to osmolarity, a physician may incorrectly assume a subject has a far greater concentration of the specific protein, inflammatory marker, glucose, or whatever else is being measured,” said Benjamin Sullivan, PhD, TearLab's chief scientific officer.

Elias Vamvakas, TearLab’s chief executive officer, added, “As awareness and acceptance of our lab-on-a-chip technology grows, and new applications for tear testing come to light, it is important that our intellectual property be well protected. This patent expands TearLab’s already formidable intellectual property estate.”

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