A Medical Device Daily

Neuroptix (Acton, Massachusetts), a company developing a non-invasive eye test to assist in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, reported that it has successfully raised a total of $18.5 million in its Series B funding round, as the company advances its diagnostic test toward clinical trials.

The investment, led by Inventages, will advance continued development of the Neuroptix Sapphire diagnostic platform and related technologies. The Neuroptix system consists of a non-contact optical device combined with an eye drop which specifically identifies Alzheimer's-related proteins found in the lens of the eye. Rockport Venture Partners acted as the financial advisor on the transaction.

In pre-clinical testing to date, the system has shown highly promising results, with research showing strong indications that the a-beta proteins associated with the formation of Alzheimer's-related plaques in the brain can be detected in the eye prior to their aggregation in the brain.

"Our goal is to help patients, physicians and pharmaceutical companies combat the disease in its earliest stages, where intervention will do the most good," said Paul Hartung, president/CEO of Neuroptix.

In other financings news, HLTH (Elmwood, Park New Jersey) reported that it has changed the terms of the tender offer it previously disclosed on Oct. 20.

Under the revised terms, HLTH said it intends to commence a tender offer next week to purchase up to 80 million shares of its common stock at a price per share of $8.80. The number of shares proposed to be purchased in the tender offer represents about 43% of HLTH's currently outstanding common shares.

The last reported sales price per share of HLTH's common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on Oct. 21 was $7.79 per share.

The tender offer will be subject to a number of conditions, including that a minimum of 40 million shares be properly tendered and not withdrawn in the offer.

HLTH said it currently has about $1.3 billion in cash and investments (excluding about $340 million in cash and investments held by its WebMD Health subsidiary). HLTH will use a portion of its cash and investments to fund the tender offer.

The company said that neither it, its board, nor its information agent for the tender offer will make any recommendations to stockholders as to whether to tender or refrain from tendering their shares into the offer.

HLTH owns about 84% of WebMD Health, a provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals, employers and health plans through its public and private online portals and health-focused publications.

HLTH also owns Porex (Fairburn, Georgia), a developer of porous plastic products and components used in healthcare, industrial and consumer applications.