Diagnostics player NeuroVision is looking to capture $15 million in a series C round of financing with an initial close of $11.2 million, the company said.
Funds from the financing will be used support validation and gain regulatory approval for its retinal imaging technology designed for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease.
The financing round is being led by Wildcat Management. Other participants include Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Nikon-SBI Innovation Fund, Whittier Ventures and VSP Global.
“We’re very pleased to announce this new round of financing and the confidence it represents from organizations dedicated to the development of innovative health care tools and solutions,” Steven Verdooner, NeuroVision’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Each participant in this round represents potential future strategic opportunities for the company as we move toward commercialization.”
NeuroVision’s test identifies buildup of amyloid-beta protein in the retina, which has similar characteristics to the brain. Studies have shown that amyloid-beta plaques that build up in Alzheimer's patients' brains also accumulate in the retina. The hope is that monitoring the retina could help doctors spot Alzheimer's earlier and guide treatment.
Retinal imaging could become a noninvasive alternative to PET scans and cerebrospinal fluid analysis, which are currently being used to detect amyloid, the company said. These methods are used for clinical trials and to diagnose Alzheimer's, but are not suitable for routine screening, disease monitoring and evaluating a patient's response to therapy.