New U.S. Patent Protects Expansion of Tear Testing Beyond Osmolarity

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

SAN DIEGO, April 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TearLab Corporation (Nasdaq:TEAR) (TSX:TLB) today announced that it has been granted U.S Patent No. 7,905,134, entitled "Biomarker Normalization." This 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 accurate tear biomarker analysis, whether involving proteins, genes, or small molecules.

The patent allows TearLab to build upon its non-invasive in vitro diagnostic platform to expand testing beyond tear film osmolarity for dry eye disease.

"The tear film is unlike blood, urine or other biological fluids used for analysis, since tears are open to the air and can evaporate quite substantially from blink to blink. This is especially true in patients with dry eye disease, where concentrations of proteins, genes, and small molecules can vary quite substantially over short times. By contrast, normal, healthy subjects demonstrate very stable, consistently low osmolarities," explained Benjamin Sullivan, Ph.D., TearLab's Chief Scientific Officer.

"Because this variability is the hallmark of dry eye disease, and the prevalence of dry eye is very high in older populations, 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," continued Dr. Sullivan.

Elias Vamvakas, TearLab's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "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. With patents already issued in the United States, E.U., Australia, Mexico and China, and with numerous additional U.S. and international patents pending, this patent expands TearLab's already formidable intellectual property estate."

About TearLab Corporation

TearLab Corporation ( ) develops and markets lab-on-a-chip technologies that enable eye care practitioners to improve standard of care by objectively and quantitatively testing for disease markers in tears at the point-of-care. The TearLab® Osmolarity Test, for diagnosing Dry Eye Disease, is the first assay developed for the award-winning TearLab Osmolarity System. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, TearLab Corporation's common shares trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol 'TEAR' and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol 'TLB'.

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CONTACT: Investors Stephen Kilmer, President Kilmer Lucas Inc. 212.618.6347 Media Leonard Zehr, Managing Director Kilmer Lucas Inc. (905) 690-2400 Ext. 41