Charco Neurotech, a Cambridge-based medtech company, announced that it has raised a $10M seed investment round, co-led by technology investors Amadeus Capital Partners and Parkwalk Advisors. Other investors, including the University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC), MINT Venture Partners, and existing investors like Crista Galli Ventures, participated.
According to Pitchbook, the financing is the largest European seed round in 2021 and the sixth-largest globally for healthtech devices.
“This funding will enable us to proceed with our first, limited launch, while we work to ensure our manufacturing line is robust and produces consistent high-quality devices. We’ll be able to expand our team, particularly in customer support, so we can help every user of the CUE1 set up their device and get the greatest possible benefit from using it,” says Lucy Jung, co-founder of Charco Neurotech.
How was Charco Neurotech born?
According to the company, over 10 million people around the world are suffering from stiffness and slowness caused by Parkinson’s Disease.
Founded in 2019 by Lucy Jung and Floyd Pierres, their journey started when first meeting Parkinson’s patients, one of whom said, “Parkinson’s has taken away many things in my life, but what I miss most is my smile. Even when I’m happy, I look angry.”
“Parkinson’s symptoms go way beyond tremors or freezing. It slowly takes away simple pleasures in life. We conceived CUE1 to give patients their lives back,” said Lucy Jung
Aims to help people with Parkinson’s
Charco is a medtech startup working on a system for people with Parkinson’s to improve their quality of life. The company’s first therapeutic device, CUE1 provides life-changing neuromodulation therapy.
Participants claimed that they felt their movement was smoother and better coordinated when using the device, says the company in the press release.
The CUE1 system also tracks symptoms and lifestyle information, such as treatment adherence and quality of life measures, through its accompanying app.
Co-Founder Floyd Pierre adds: “We’re pleased to be able to draw on the support and advice of experienced healthtech investors like Amadeus. We’ll now be able to allocate even more time and resources to R&D while investigating entry into new territories, to make the CUE1 available to everyone who needs it around the world.
How does it work?
Worn on the sternum, it achieves this by simultaneously delivering two clinically validated therapies – focused stimulation and “cueing” – personalised for each patient through customisable stimulation settings.
The former interacts with the body’s sensory system to foster a more “ready-to-move” state, helping with movement speed and fluidity. The latter leverages regular or rhythmic stimuli, or cues, helping people with Parkinson’s to initiate and sustain movements like walking.
Partnership with EPDA
In addition to the funding, Charco has also announced its partnership with the European Parkinson’s Disease Association, to help provide Charco’s solutions to the EPDA’s community of millions.
This strategy will support Charco’s mission to make novel therapies available to millions of people with Parkinson’s and healthcare groups, starting with the imminent launch of CUE1, which has already registered interest from over 5000 patients.
Martin Glen, Director, Parkwalk Advisors commented: “Parkwalk is delighted to be able to make an investment into Charco, following on from the earlier investment by the Imperial College Innovation Fund investment last year, as the company has made impressive progress with its efforts to develop a non-invasive wearable device to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s.”