MORRISVILLE, N.C.,— June 5, 2012—TearScience®, a privately held medical device company, today announced it has signed an exclusive distributor agreement for the Korean market with HumanPlus Tech, Korea’s leading distributor for ophthalmic medical devices and products. HumanPlus Tech will distribute TearScience’s system for assessing and treating evaporative dry eye disease to eye care practices nationwide.
Some 100 million people worldwide suffer from dry eye. Studies published in May, 2011 in the Archives of Ophthalmology show that one in three elderly Koreans suffer from dry eye. Dry eye is a particular problem for Korean females and those living in urban regions.
“The TearScience system will increase the standard of care that physicians can provide because their new LipiFow treatment addresses the root cause of disease, rather than focusing on symptomatic relief,” said Jerry Park, managing director of HumanPlus. “We are pleased to introduce this system to the local market in hopes of improving the quality of life and long term vision health for the many who suffer from this chronic, bothersome disease.”
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 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.
“The Korean dry eye market potential is tremendous and growing,” said Doug Pinotti, general manager of Asia Pacific and Latin America for TearScience. “HumanPlus Tech was selected as our distributor for this market because of its relationships with ophthalmologists, track record of success and depth of knowledge of the eye care industry.”
TearScience anticipates obtaining regulatory approval to sell its products in Korea during the third quarter of 2012.
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.