Belfast’s BrainWaveBank bags €1.2m in funding

13 Jul 2020204 Views

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BrainWaveBank has raised €1.2m to further develop and commercialise its wearable tech that measures the mechanisms behind neurological disorders in a non-invasive way.

BrainWaveBank, a Belfast-based medtech company aiming to measure and track brain activity and cognitive performance, has raised €1.2m in funding, according to the Irish Times.

The start-up has developed a wearable electroencephalography (EEG) device that aims to conveniently and non-invasively measure the mechanisms that underpin neurological disorders and therapies.

It was built to help clinical professionals better understand brain health through a scalable and distributable approach. BrainWaveBank was founded in 2015 by Ronan Cunningham, Brian Murphy, Urs Streidl and Siggi Saevarsson.

Funding plans

The latest round of investment in BrainWaveBank brings the total raised by the start-up to €4.1m. The company previously received €2.2m in grants from Invest NI and Innovate UK.

The €1.2m funding round was led by Par Equity, Techstart Ventures, the Angel CoFund and British Business Investments.

Cunningham, who serves as chief executive of BrainWaveBank, said the latest investment would accelerate the development of the company’s platform, which it describes as “Fitbit for the brain”.

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“This investment will enable us to continue to develop and commercialise our cutting-edge technology that addresses a major unmet need in the development of novel therapies that can significantly reduce costs of care and improve patient outcomes for millions of people worldwide,” Cunningham added.

The company is currently developing brain-based biomarkers for a range of use cases, including early detection of brain disorders, stratification of patient groups and treatment response tracking.

According to BrainWaveBank’s website, the firm employs 20 engineers, scientists and commercialisation experts – half of whom have advanced degrees in psychology, computational neuroscience, data science and engineering.

The start-up is currently running a study funded by Northern Ireland’s department of health, which aims to develop new technologies for early detection and monitoring of people at risk for the development of psychosis and mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

The aim of the study is to see whether BrainWaveBank’s headset and cognitive games can tell the difference between people who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness and people who have not, by examining brain activity.

The start-up said that it is working with some of the leading clinical and academic groups in the world to better understand a range of neurodegenerative, psychiatric and developmental conditions.

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com