The company’s medical devices deliver low-level electrical stimulation to deep parts of the brain and nervous system in a non-invasive way to cure or treat neurological diseases without the need for implanted electrodes.
Invest Northern Ireland has offered Neurovalens an R&D grant of £225,000 to support the new technology development. This will enable the company to undertake a series of pivotal clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of the technology when used as a treatment of anxiety disorders and will involve an international academic collaboration between the leading university research facilities of Ulster University, Coleraine, and the University of California, San Diego.
Dr Jason McKeown, CEO of Neurovalens, said: “Anxiety disorders are unfortunately the most common mental health disorders across the world, and in the US alone affect around 20% of the population. PTSD accounts for approximately 8 million individual cases. We believe that offering much earlier, non-invasive intervention could be really transformative for someone who is struggling with their mental health.”
Niall Quinn, CFO of Neurovalens, added: “This is an exciting time for the company as we expand the potential of our technology into these crucial areas of mental health. Our primary focus is to achieve reimbursement status for all our medical devices within the US healthcare market in order to provide patients with the devices through their healthcare insurance. This allows us to accelerate our FDA approval plans and move to the next stage of commercialisation.”
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research & Development said: “Neurovalens has created a buzz across the world with the introduction of non-invasive innovative health technologies which aim to support consumers with varying health concerns. The company first started out on our Propel Programme and since then we have continued to support it to grow through job creation, R&D and marketing activities. It’s great to see another NI company recognise the value of investing in R&D to support competitiveness, job creation and export led growth.”
In 2020 Neurovalens raised £5.2m in funding from UK and Irish investors, which has been used to expand existing clinical trials, fund new trials and develop the application of its technology to the treatment of a wider range of conditions.
Last month, the company announced that experienced medical devices expert Tina Lai Liedtky, President of the Clinical Diagnostics Division at Massachusetts-headquartered scientific services giant Thermo Fisher Scientific, has been appointed to a non-executive position on Neurovalens’ board of directors.
Invest NI’s R&D support is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014–2020. This support is part funded by the Department for the Economy Economic Recovery Action Plan.
Neurovalens CEO Jason McKeown