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."