IRELAND – Neurovalens, an Irish-based health-technology company, has received new funding to conduct clinical trials of its technology for the treatment of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The company, which specializes in non-invasive neuro-technology to address health issues such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity, received a £225,000 (US$298,731.37) grant from Invest Northern Ireland to support the development of the technology.
The funds will allow the company to conduct a series of clinical trials to determine the safety and efficacy of using the technology to treat anxiety disorders. Ulster University, Coleraine, and the University of California, San Diego will collaborate on the trials.
According to Neurovalens, the project will involve an international academic collaboration between research facilities at Ulster University in Coleraine and the University of California, San Diego.
The company has created medical devices that deliver low-level electrical stimulation to deep parts of the brain and nervous system without the use of implanted electrodes.
“Anxiety disorders are unfortunately the most common mental health disorders across the world, and in the US alone affect around 20 per cent of the population,” said chief executive Dr Jason McKeown.
PTSD accounts for approximately eight million individual cases, and the company believes that offering much earlier, non-invasive intervention could be really transformative for people struggling with their mental health.
Niall Quinn, chief financial officer, stated that the company’s primary goal is to obtain reimbursement status for all of its medical devices in the US healthcare market, which will allow it to accelerate its FDA approval plans and move to the next stage of commercialization.
Neurovalens, which now has a San Diego headquarters, has already developed medical devices that use low-level electrical stimulation to deep parts of the brain and nervous system to cure or treat neurological diseases without the use of implanted electrodes.
It raised £5.2 million (US$6.90 million) from UK and Irish investors last year, which it used to expand existing clinical trials, fund new trials, and develop the application of its technology to the treatment of a broader range of conditions.
Still on mental health front, UpLift, a mental health startup, has raised US$8 million in funding in a round led by B Capital Group to expand its services to include psychiatry.
Clover Health cofounder and CEO Vivek Garipalli, Cityblock Health cofounder and head of product Bay Gross, and Thyme Care president and former Flatiron Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bobby Green are among the additional investors in the round, with others contributing pro rata financing.
UpLift will use the new funding to integrate psychiatry into its platform, allowing the company to assist people with higher-level mental healthcare needs, according to Talcott.
UpLift intends to more than double its geographic footprint by 2022; the startup currently operates in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.