Israeli stroke therapy technology startup, BrainQ, has announced a $40m funding round led by Hanaco Ventures, along with Dexcel Pharma, and Peregrine Ventures, bringing the total raised by the company to over $50m, 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 multicentre pivotal trial for its 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.”
A leading causes of disability, strokes affect 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 neurorecovery 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 synchronisation and promoting recovery processes. The system is designed to allow for scalable and decentralised 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 the company’s innovative technology and talented team, and are happy to support them on their amazing venture.”