Newronika (deep brain stimulation) receives first financing round of €1.7 M
MILAN, JUNE 14th 2016 – Newronika, an innovative medtech startup specializing in neuromodulation therapies, has received a first financing round totalling €1.7 M from a group of investors led by Innogest SGR Spa, together with Atlante Ventures, VC arm of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, and F3F SpA, investment company owned by Laura Iris Ferro.
The company is a spin-off from Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda in Milan and the University of Milan and its technology is based on the scientific researches held by Prof. Alberto Priori, a pioneer in methods for neurostimulation of the central nervous system, and Lorenzo Rossi, a PhD in bioengineering and second time entrepreneur.
Newronika has developed an innovative, patented technology for deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease with a feedback system known as the “closed loop“. This is the first system capable of recording patient’s brain activity from standard electrodes and modulating neurostimulation in real time, on the basis of the fluctuations of the Parkinson’s disease and therefore adjusting stimulation on the basis of patient’s conditions in every momen of the day.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative brain disease that affects around 1-2% of the population over the age of 65, equal to more than 4-5 million people worldwide, a number expected to double by 2030. Patients affected by Parkinson’s disease are now primarily subjected to drug therapy (Levodopa), which however loses its effectiveness over time. DBS stimulation increases control over the effects of the disease in the advanced stage, when the motor fluctuations become more evident.
Compared to standard DBS systems available today, Newronika’s technology aims to increase clinical efficacy of the stimulation and obtain substantial improvement in the patient’s motor skills. It increases the stimulation intensity when the pharmacological effect is not sufficient to counteract the motor symptoms of the diseases and reduces or even turns off the stimulation when no symptoms arise, thereby avoiding or reducing a side effect of DBS known as dyskinesia.
Newronika has completed an initial feasibility and safety study on humans involving 17 patients, the results of which are currently being published.
The company plans to use the investment to continue clinical studies and finalise the development of the final version of the implantable device, and then proceed with the completion of the regulatory clinical pathway.
«Newronika was the first to develop a highly innovative closed-loop DBS technology that is eagerly awaited by the clinical world, a goal that the leaders in this market have been chasing for years», said Claudio Rumazza, partner to Innogest. «With our support and thanks to the completion of the team, Newronika is now well positioned to bring the next-generation DBS to market, significantly improving the clinical efficacy of this treatment».
«We have appreciated the first clinical results developed by an excellent team of doctors and engineers», said Luca Binda, Investment Manager for Atlante Ventures. «Our goal is to help make this technology the new neurostimulation standard for treating Parkinson’s disease».