Deal making hasn’t shut down entirely. The technology healthcare sectors are still attracting investors. The most recent is TearLab Corporation‘s (OTCQB: TEAR) acquisition by Accelmed Partners, New York City-based group of funds investing in health tech companies in the medical device, diagnostics, and digital health areas.
TearLab develops and markets lab-on-a-chip technologies that enable eye care practitioners to improve the standard of care by testing for disease biomarkers in tears at the point of care. The TearLab Osmolarity Test, to aid in the diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease, is the first assay developed for the TearLab Osmolarity System.
In connection with the acquisition, Accelmed has agreed to an investment of $25 million over two tranches that will occur in conjunction with the company delisting from the “over the counter” OTCQB market and TearLab and its senior secured lender, CR Group, have agreed to restructure the terms of the company’s outstanding senior secured indebtedness.
Post-transaction, TearLab will be a private company and Accelmed will be the controlling shareholder. Proceeds from the investment will be used to pay down a portion of TearLab’s existing debt, and fund both organic and inorganic growth opportunities.
The dry eye market may be a tough one to break into. A year earlier, in May 2019, Novartis (NYSE: NVS) acquired the dry eye drug Xiidra for $3.4 billion plus milestones from Takeda Pharmaceutical (NYSE: TAK). Xiidra is the first and only prescription treatment approved for both signs and symptoms of dry eye by inhibiting inflammation caused by the disease. That acquisition fits strategically within Novartis’ ophthalmic pharmaceutical portfolio, laying the groundwork for front-of-the-eye pipeline products currently in development.