OccuLogix Looks to Tears, Hopes to Survive Difficulties

OccuLogix, which traded as high as $1.63 just one year ago, has seen its share price erode as investors lose confidence in the company and its management. OccuLogix has consistently failed to execute general corporate strategy. The company, which faces NASDAQ delisting, opened at $.22 this morning.

In 2007, the company’s recorded a net loss of $68.1 million, or $1.20 per share. Revenues from continuing operations were $94,500. At year end, the company had $2.2 million in cash on hand.

  • In September, 2006 OccuLogix acquired SOLX, developer of the SOLX Glaucoma Treatment System. It subsequently sold SOLX in December 2007. The company’s glaucoma business has since been classified as ‘discontinued operations’.
  • In November 2007, OccuLogix suspended (indefinitely) a study begun in January 2007 to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the RHEO System. The RHEO procedure treats Dry AMD with apheresis, a treatment in which the patient’s blood is drawn outside the body and filtered before being returned to systemic circulation.

In February 2007, OccuLogix was able to raise $10 million from the private placement of 6.7 million shares of common stock to Cowen & Company. Only one year later, OccuLogix was forced to put its 50.1% stake in OcuSense up as collateral, in order to secure a $3.0 million bridge loan from a number of private parties.

OcuSense may prove to be the company’s savior. If the deal doesn’t go as planned, OccuLogix is almost certainly done for.

OcuSense, a point-of-care diagnostics company, offers a proprietary tear testing platform, TearLab, capable of rapidly measuring highly sensitive and specific biomarkers related to ocular physiology.

Yesterday, OccuLogix announced that it will acquire the outstanding minority ownership of OcuSense. OcuSense will become part of a newly incorporated, wholly-owned OccuLogix subsidiary.

OccuLogix will issue approximately 79 million shares of its common stock to the minority stockholders of OcuSense. It intends to effect a private placement of up to $6.5 million of common stock “at a per share price that is the lower of the average trading price of OccuLogix’s common stock at the time of purchase and $0.10.”

OcuSense plans to launch its first TearLab product for measuring tear film osmolarity in 2008. The company is building a pipeline of other tests that can measure a range of clinically relevant protein biomarkers found in tears.

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