BROOMFIELD - Accera Inc. has received $5 million on its quest to develop a drug to treat patients with mild to moderate symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

The Broomfield-based biotech also is considering becoming a publicly traded company in the next year or two.

The $5 million announced Tuesday was the latest round of funding of a total of $84 million committed to the company from two investment companies - Nestle Health Science, a wholly owned subsidiary of Switzerland-based Nestle SA, and Inventages venture capital firm in London, according to a regulatory document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

So far, Accera has spent about 55 percent of the total $84 million, said Holger Kunze, Accera's chief operating officer.

Accera plans to test the drug on approximately 500 Alzheimer's patients through late 2015. If the drug trial yields positive results, the company's board of directors is expected to discuss whether to file an initial public offering or to put the company on the market to be sold in late 2015/early 2016, Kunze said.

About 160 patients have been enrolled in the drug trial so far.

Patients in the drug trial will be evaluated for how the drug affects their daily activities, quality of life and their perception, awareness and judgment skills, among other things. Drug trials are used by drug development companies to gather patient information necessary to get required approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Accera already sells the prescription food product Axona, which is used to treat patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease symptoms.