Triangle-based TearScience, which raised $70 million in 2013 and whose executives talked about a possible IPO, is being acquired by drug giant Johnson & Johnson.
The deal was announced Friday evening.
Treatments for dry eye represent a global market of more than $10 billion in the U.S. alone.
TearScience, which is based in Morrisville, has raised more than $100 million from investors, including Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, Investor Growth Capital and Catalyst, DeNovo Ventures, Spray Ventures and Quaker Bio Ventures.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
TearScience will become part of Johnson & Johnson Vision, assuming the deal closes.
“Dry eye is a significant unmet health need globally, and meibomian gland dysfunction is the cause for more than 60% of people living with this condition,” said Ashley McEvoy, the company group chair responsible for the Johnson & Johnson Vision Companies.
“The innovative portfolio from TearScience positively impacts the lives of patients around the world suffering from this chronic condition. These solutions, coupled with our existing contact lens and surgical portfolio, will allow us to help more patients with their vision needs, throughout their lifetime.”
- VIDEO: Watch a video about TearScience at https://vimeo.com/128618156
TearScience launched its “Dry Eye Solution” LipiView device in 2012. LipiView II launched in 2014.
The company said in May that treatments nearly tripled.
In 2016, TearScience unveiled its LipiScan device which J&J described as “the first dedicated high-definition gland imager that allows eye care professionals to assess meibomian gland structure during routine workups in a practice setting.”
The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.
J&J has moved aggressively into vision care over the past year since acquiring Abbott Medical Optics in a deal valued at some $4.35 billion.
With TearScience’s dry eye technology, J&J Vision will offer cataract surgery, laser refractive surgery, and consumer eye health and the Acuvue brand contact lenses business.