Daily Crunch: Israel-based stroke therapy tech startup BrainQ raises $40M

     Israeli medtech company BrainQ, a developer of AI-powered technology to treat neuro disorders has closed a $40 million funding round, led by Hanaco Ventures, Dexel Pharma, and Peregrine Ventures, the Jerusalem-based firm announced on Monday.
      The infusion of capital adds to the support already secured from existing investors like OurCrowd, Normal, Sailing Capital, IT Farm, Millhouse, and Qure.
      It also brings the company’s total funding raised to over $50 million, according to the announcement.
      The funding will be used to support the company’s upcoming multicenter pivotal trial for the use of its groundbreaking technology in select hospitals across the United States to aid ischemic stroke patients. The company will also use the funding to continue building its infrastructure toward a go-to-market plan.
      Earlier this year, BrainQ announced it had received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for its investigational stroke therapy, which provides the company with the opportunity to work closely with the FDA to expedite development plans and premarket clearance as well as access to the new Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway.
      Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability, affecting 800,000 people every year in the United States alone, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the days and weeks following stroke, the brain attempts to repair damaged neural pathways and develop new ones to restore function, but often with limited success. This results in chronic disability for about 50 to 70 percent of survivors.
      “There have been great advancements in developing ways for increasing the survival rate following stroke, but stroke has remained the leading cause of long-term disability, which poses a significant societal challenge. With the new funding and strong research partners, we are entering our pivotal study with the goal of significantly increasing the window of opportunity for reducing disability following stroke and enhancing the recovery potential – something that can impact the lives of so many,” said Yotam Drechsler, BrainQ co-founder and CEO.
      BrainQ’s investigational cloud-based 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 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, the US-based Chief Commercial Officer of Butterfly Network. “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 have been watching BrainQ’s development of their technology and clinical data for a while, and I believe that their therapies have the potential to make a real difference for stroke sufferers and their families. I look forward to working with the team closely and helping to steer their path to market,” Pugh said.
      “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,” added Pasha Romanovski, co-founding partner of lead investor Hanaco Ventures.
Aug 10th, 2021