MORRISVILLE, N.C. and MILAN, ITALY—June 20, 2012—TearScience®, a privately held medical device company, today announced it has signed an exclusive distributor agreement with NewTech SpA, Italy’s premier distributor of ophthalmic medical devices. NewTech will distribute TearScience’s system for assessing and treating evaporative dry eye disease to eye care practices throughout Italy.
Some 100 million people worldwide suffer from dry eye. Italy, with its large elderly population, has a high prevalence of dry eye. Approximately 50 percent of the Italian population suffers from some type of dry eye.
TearScience’s system includes two medical devices, the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer and the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System, and a handheld tool for evaluating Meibomian gland function, called the Korb Meibomian Gland Evaluator. Evaporative dry eye occurs when Meibomian glands in the eyelids become obstructed and do not secrete the oily lipids needed to keep the water portion of tears from evaporating too quickly. LipiView® captures, archives, manipulates and stores detailed digital images of a dry eye patient’s tear film while the LipiFlow® treats evaporative dry eye disease by unblocking obstructed Meibomian glands located in the eyelids during an in-office procedure. The goal of unblocking the glands is to allow them to resume their natural production of lipids needed for a healthy tear film.
“We have previewed the LipiFlow® treatment with several universities and private ophthalmology practices and are encouraged by how well it is being received,” said Bruno Monfrini, president of NewTech. “We are proud to represent TearScience because this new technology will revolutionize how physicians care for dry eye patients. LipiFlow® is unique in that it focuses on a root cause of evaporative dry eye, rather than just treating symptoms. LipiFlow® will bring hope those frustrated patients who are seeking an alternative to current therapies.”
NewTech distributes other world-class medical devices for leading companies including Iridex, Keeler, Konan, Technolas Perfect Vision and diagnostics of Ziemer.
“NewTech has a track record of success in introducing new technology to ophthalmologists,” said Diethart Reichardt, senior vice president of TearScience’s European region. “Working together, we can help eye care physicians improve the standard of care for dry eye sufferers.”
TearScience obtained European CE Mark to market its LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System in July, 2011.
About TearScience, Inc.
Headquartered in Morrisville, North Carolina, TearScience has pioneered devices that provide significant clinical improvement in the treatment of evaporative dry eye. Of the more than 100 million dry eye sufferers worldwide, approximately 86 percent have evaporative dry eye, which is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and a lipid deficiency of the eye’s natural tear film. The Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) workshop, involving two years of work by 50 leading experts from around the world, concluded that MGD is an under-estimated condition and is very likely the most frequent cause of dry eye disease. Common symptoms of the disease include eye irritation, dryness, redness, tiredness, and visual disturbances. TearScience’s integrated, in-office system enables eye care professionals to effectively address a root cause of evaporative dry eye, obstructed Meibomian glands. For additional information, visit www.tearscience.com.
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