Jerusalem based stroke therapy technology startup, BrainQ, closed a $40 million funding round led by Hanaco Ventures, along with Dexcel Pharma, and Peregrine Ventures, bringing the total raised by the company to over $50 million, adding to support already secured from existing investors OurCrowd, Norma, Sailing Capital, IT Farm, Millhouse, and Qure.
The funding will be used to support a multicenter pivotal trial for BrainQ‘s groundbreaking technology for ischemic stroke survivors in selected US hospitals. This year, BrainQ received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation allowing the company to work closely with the FDA to expedite development plans and premarket clearance, with access to the new Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology pathway.
BrainQ Co-Founder and CEO Yotam Drechsler said, “We’ve seen great advancements in increasing stroke survival rates, but it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. With new funding and strong research partners, we’re entering our pivotal study aimed at significantly increasing the window of opportunity for reducing disability and enhancing recovery potential.”
In March this year, BrainQ announced the results of a single site trial , the double-blind RCT including 25 subjects. After 8 weeks of treatment, 77% of the subjects receiving the BrainQ therapy had scores of 1 or 0 on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS), the gold standard for measuring disability following stroke. This translates to subjects having either no symptoms or minor symptoms, and with no significant disability. Only 25% of the subjects in the sham (control) group scored 1 or less. Additionally, 92% of subjects in the treatment group improved by 2 or more mRS points.
“These pilot results are striking, as BrainQ‘s therapy suggests a beneficial effect in the subacute phase”, said Dr. Jeffrey Saver, Director of the UCLA Comprehensive Stroke and Vascular Neurology Program, and a lead Principal Investigator for BrainQ‘s upcoming Pivotal Trial. “The current leading interventions for stroke are effective only in the few hours post-stroke and applicable to less than 5-10% of patients. This technology may have the ability to extend the time period in which corrective therapy can be delivered from hours to days and even weeks, and be applicable to a much larger patient population.”
A leading cause of disability, strokes affects 800,000 people annually in the US alone. Following a stroke, the brain attempts to repair damaged neural pathways and develop new ones to restore function, often with limited success. This results in chronic disability for 50-70% of survivors.
BrainQ‘s investigational technology aims to reduce disability and promote neuro recovery for stroke victims. Using a Brain-Computer Interface-based approach, the company’s frequency-tuned low-intensity electromagnetic field therapy is designed to operate based on biological insights retrieved from brainwaves using explanatory machine learning tools. These insights are aimed at imitating the natural processes of neural network synchronization and promoting recovery processes. The system is designed to allow for scalable and decentralized care via a portable, non-invasive wearable device that is cloud-connected with integrated telemedicine tools that enable remotely monitored sessions through an app.
BrainQ also announced the addition of a new board member, Stacey Pugh, Chief Commercial Officer of Butterfly Network, and until recently SVP and President of Medtronic’s Neurovascular business. Over the past decade, Stacey has led efforts to bring clinical evidence and products, including thrombectomy devices, one of the greatest advancements in stroke care, to markets around the world.
Stacey commented, “While I’ve had the privilege to be closely involved in some of the largest efforts for influencing stroke care, when it comes to long term recovery there is still much that can be done to restore patients’ health and abilities. I’ve been watching BrainQ‘s development of their technology and clinical data for a while, and I believe their therapies have the potential to make a real difference for stroke sufferers and their families.”
Pasha Romanovski, Co-Founding Partner of lead investor Hanaco Ventures, added: “Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability in the US, affecting nearly one million people yearly. BrainQ is on the path toward developing therapies that target these disabilities caused by damaged neural networks to facilitate neurorecovery. We firmly believe in BrainQ‘s innovative technology and talented team, and are happy to support them on their amazing venture.”
BrainQ is pioneering a novel therapy for reducing disability and enhancing recovery potential for stroke victims at home. BrainQ‘s team includes a multidisciplinary group with vast backgrounds in neurology, neuroscience, data science, and machine learning.
The BrainQ technology is limited to investigational use only and is not approved or available for sale in the United States. BrainQ makes no guarantees regarding clinical trial outcomes or regulatory approval for its technology.
About Hanaco Ventures
Hanaco Ventures is a New York and Tel Aviv-based venture capital fund investing in emerging and late-stage start-ups from the global tech ecosystem. Hanaco partners with founders around the world, helping them become category leaders beloved by their customers. Our focus areas include Agtech, Agrifood, Foodtech and Digital Health, and software companies in the SaaS, Cyber and Fintech industries.
Media contact: Madeleine Truitt BrainQ: Madeleine.truitt AT brainqtech.com
Source: Cision PR Newswire Aug 16, 2021 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/breakthrough-israeli-stroke-therapy-technology-brainq-announces-a-40m-funding-round-301355694.html
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