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Axim Biotechnologies, Versea Ophthalmics Partner to Commercialize Eye Disease Tests

NEW YORK – Eye disease diagnostic firm Axim Biotechnologies announced on Monday that it has entered a global commercial partnership with Versea Ophthalmics, a division of eye care company Versea Holdings, for three eye disease assays.

Versea will have the exclusive commercial right to Axim's point-of-care lab testing readers and tests for three biomarkers associated with aqueous deficient dry eye disease and nonspecific allergic conjunctivitis. The ocular immunoglobulin E, lactoferrin, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) tests require 0.5 microliters of tears and provide quantitative results in less than 10 minutes, Axim said in a statement. 

Ocular IgE is a biomarker for allergies, while lactoferrin is a protein in tears that protects the surface of the eye. Lower concentrations of lactoferrin are associated with dry eye disease. 

Versea intends to launch the ocular IgE and lactoferrin tests at the 2022 American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Academy of Optometry conferences. Both tests have received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration and have dedicated CPT codes for reimbursement, Axim said. The MMP-9 assay, which measures inflammation and can be used to classify and manage dry eye disease, is expected to launch in the next 18 to 24 months. 

"Mild allergic conjunctivitis is frequently confused with dry eye, while more severe allergic disease is frequently misdiagnosed as viral conjunctivitis; yet the appropriate clinical management and treatments are different," Versea Ophthalmics President Rob Sambursky said in a statement. "The Axim diagnostic technology will allow eye doctors to not only identify and differentiate clinically overlapping conditions but also drive more targeted therapeutic interventions." 

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.