TearSolutions, Inc., a Charlottesville, VA based biopharmaceutical company, announces the completion of a $6.4 million financing round consisting of preferred stock and convertible promissory notes. The financing round was led by VTC Innovation Fund (Virginia Tech Carilion) and included the UVa Seed Fund, MEDARVA Foundation, and PharmStandard Ventures, all of whom have previously invested in the Company.
The funds will be used by TearSolutions to complete a pivotal FDA Phase II clinical trial for LacripepTM, its lead product candidate. The clinical trial is being conducted with 201 primary Sjögren’s Syndrome dry eye patients at 27 investigational sites across the United States. A new site is opening soon at UVa. LacripepTM is a naturally occurring peptide found in normal tears that has been shown to be deficient in all forms of dry eye tears. Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome patient’s tears are particularly deficient in LacripepTM. Administration of LacripepTM in a Sjögren’s animal model has shown a dramatic restoration of normal tearing and corneal health.
TearSolutions, Inc. was founded in 2013 to commercialize the pioneering NIH funded research on tears carried out by Dr. Gordon Laurie, a professor in UVa’s School of Medicine. Dr. Laurie and his co-founder Mark Logan, who has held leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry, formed the company and licensed the patents from the UVa Licensing and Venture Group. They have assembled an outstanding and experienced management team, led by Tom Gadek, President & CEO. Dr. Gadek in his former position developed the dry eye product Xiidra, currently being marketed by Shire. “The dry eye market in the US is just over $2 billion, and neither of the two FDA approved products address the root cause”, Dr. Gadek commented. “As a natural replacement therapy, LacripepTM could meet a huge unmet need”, he added.