Accelmed Partners Acquires TearLab and Plans $25 Million Investment to Fund Growth, Pay Down Debt

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ESCONDIDO, Calif.—TearLab Corp. (OTCQB: TEAR), a leader in ocular surface diagnostics, has entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Accelmed Partners II (AP-II) will acquire TearLab. As part of the acquisition, AP-II has agreed to invest $25 million over two tranches that will occur in conjunction with the company delisting from the "over-the-counter" stock market. In addition, TearLab and its senior secured lender, CR Group, has agreed to restructure the terms of the company's outstanding senior secured indebtedness.

Post transaction, TearLab will be a private company and AP-II will be the controlling shareholder. Accelmed Partners is a U.S.-based private equity firm focused on investments in commercial stage health tech companies.

TearLab develops and markets lab-on-a-chip technologies that enable eyecare practitioners to improve standard of care by objectively testing for disease bio-markers 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 award-winning TearLab Osmolarity System, according to the announcement.

Proceeds from the AP-II investment will be used to pay down a portion of TearLab's existing debt, and fund both organic and inorganic growth opportunities.

"We are very excited to begin a new era for the company with the support from Accelmed Partners and our lender CRG," Seph Jensen, TearLab's chief executive officer, said. "With the capital provided through this transaction, we are now able to both pursue continued development of our next-generation 'discovery' platform as well as seek out targeted acquisition opportunities.”

Jensen also noted that the dry eye market has “tremendous innovations at varying stages of development and commercialization for both treatments and diagnostics” that deliver meaningful benefits. “We look forward to creating a stronger company that is better positioned to help shape the landscape of dry eye care for the ophthalmic and optometric communities," Jensen said.

Dr. Uri Geiger, founder and managing partner of Accelmed, said his firm has “been keenly following TearLab as the company has become part of the clinical guidelines associated with evaluating ocular surface disease.”

As part of the transaction, Geiger will become chairman and Accelmed Partners' general partner Lior Shav, who led the transaction, will join the company's board of directors. Jensen will remain a board member.