EternaTear Eyes $4.9 Million in Oversubscribed Series A

EternaTear logo

A young Raleigh startup developing a non-prescription eyedrop to treat dry eye syndrome says it has raised $4.9 million in an oversubscribed Series A round of funding.

The company and the product candidate, both named EternaTear, relate to an over-the-counter, preservative-free artificial tear for dry eye sufferers. Dry eye is characterized by itching and burning sensations and vision deterioration. The company says its novel artificial tear formulation is designed to supplement all layers of the eye’s tear film, providing relief from dry eye more effectively than currently marketed products.

The company issued a news release saying Carolina Angel Network and Keiretsu Forum led the investment round with participation from Band of Angels, Deep Work Capital, Duke Angel Network, and Keiretsu Capital along with "strategic ophthalmologists, optometrists, entrepreneurs and other angel investors." 

“The market opportunity and growth of the dry eye market along with EternaTear’s unique value proposition and leadership team made this an attractive investment opportunity,” said Tim Willis, CEO of EternaTear, in a news release announcing the funding. “This funding provides us the capital to develop our product for both the U.S. and European markets to help the 320 million globally who suffer from dry eye.”  

Willis is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder and former president and CEO of the successful Triangle dry-eye treatment developer Tear Science. Tear Science sold in 2017 for an undisclosed sum to Johnson & Johnson. 

EternaTear said it will use the recent funding to prepare for market launch and an ultimate exit opportunity, starting with completion of a multi-site clinical marketing study and U.S. Food and Drug Administration OTC registration. 

Willis said the global OTC dry eye market is $2.2 billion and growing at a rate of 7.5% annually.

In connection with closing its financing round, EternaTear added several new members to its board of directors. Some of the entrepreneurs involved in EternaTear are also associated with the Raleigh medical device investment group MED1 Ventures.

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