VTC Innovation Fund & Pharmstandard Intl. Co-Lead $8.5m Series B Financing of TearSolutions, Inc.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Middleland Capital’s Virginia Tech Carilion (VTC) Innovation Fund and Pharmstandard International, S.A. co-led the $8.5M Series B financing of TearSolutions, Inc. Also participating were most of TearSolutions’ existing investors, including Santen Ventures, Inc. Proceeds will be used to advance LacripepTM, a novel replacement therapy for dry eye disease, through its ongoing Phase I/II clinical trial.
TearSolutions, Inc. is a clinical stage ocular health-focused pharmaceutical company whose lead candidate, LacripepTM, is currently in a Phase I/II clinical trial of primary Sjögren’s Syndrome dry eye. LacripepTM, a novel and naturally occurring peptide fragment of the tear protein Lacritin, is being developed as a replacement therapy, which restores tearing and homeostasis to the ocular surface as has been demonstrated preclinically.
“TearSolutions is poised to make a significant impact in the lives of dry eye patients,” said James Ramey, JD, Principal and Fund Manager of Middleland Capital’s VTC Innovation Fund, who will be joining TearSolutions’ Board of Directors as an observer. “This Company has a blue-chip management team and we are proud to work with our syndicate partners to support TearSolutions’ efforts as it advances LacripepTM to this underserved patient population.”
“Due to its unique mode of action and excellent safety profile, LacripepTM has a great chance to become a breakthrough product for dry eye disease, particularly for primary Sjögren’s Syndrome patients. The team is equipped with outstanding management and investment syndicate, so I believe we have everything in place to make this story a success,” notes Alexey Vinodograv, head of Pharmstandard Ventures, who will be joining TearSolutions’ Board of Directors in conjunction with the financing.
TearSolutions’ current 201 patient Phase I/II POC trial (FPI June 2017, LPO Q1 2018) compares vehicle to two dose strengths of LacripepTM, a novel 19 AA peptide that is present in similar form in normal tears and deficient in all forms of dry eye. “We are enrolling patients at clinical trial sites across the United States with the help of the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation and CRO Lexitas Pharma Services. Considering TearSolution’s base in Central and Southwest Virginia and Carilion Clinic’s reputation for patient-centric care coupled with its cutting edge clinical research, Vistar Eye Center, a partner of Carilion Clinic, was a natural choice for our LacripepTM trial,” said Tom Gadek, PhD, CEO of TearSolutions.
“Dry eye in primary Sjögren’s patients is particularly acute. The strong interest from such high-quality investors further validates our confidence in LacripepTM, to meet this challenge,” noted Gadek. “Our new and existing investors understand the unmet clinical need and share TearSolutions’ vision of treating this underserved patient population by rapidly bringing LacripepTM to market.”