NeuroVision Imaging (Sacramento, CA) has announced a Series C financing round of $15 million with an initial close of $11.2 million. The financing provides support for the company as it seeks validation and regulatory approval for its low-cost, noninvasive eye imaging system for measuring retinal autofluorescence that can detect amyloid beta (Aβ) plaque in the eye. Aβ plaque deposits in the brain are a hallmark sign of Alzheimer's disease, and histological evidence shows that Aβ plaque also accumulates in the retina, the photoreceptor, and nerve complex at the rear of the eye.
Related: NeuroVision receives $10M in financing for optical imaging device to detect Alzheimer's
NeuroVision's experimental technology aims to assess a hallmark sign of Alzheimer's disease—the accumulation of Aβ plaque in the brain. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans and cerebrospinal fluid analysis are currently used to detect amyloid for clinical trials and as an aid in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. These procedures are invasive, inconvenient, and costly for clinical trial recruitment, and are impractical for routine screening, disease monitoring, and evaluation of therapy response.
The retina shares many of the brain's characteristics, enabling the potential for amyloid detection from retinal imaging. Previous studies found that Aβ plaque that accumulates in the brain also builds up in the retina and shares similar plaque structure and other characteristics. This breakthrough was originally discovered by a team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles, CA) led by Keith L. Black, MD, and Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, Ph.D. NeuroVision holds the exclusive worldwide license to this technology, which is owned by Cedars-Sinai.
The financing round is led by Wildcat Capital Management (New York, NY) with funding from several new investment groups: Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJDC; New Brunswick, NJ), Nikon-SBI Innovation Fund (Tokyo, Japan), Whittier Ventures LLC (South Pasadena, CA), and VSP Global (Rancho Cordova, CA).
For more information, please visit www.neurovision.com.