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Belfast ‘Fitbit for brain’ startup gets £6M investment for its wearable headset

Cumulus Neuroscience
Image credits: Cumulus Neuroscience

Belfast, UK-based startup Cumulus Neuroscience formerly known as BrainWaveBank is building an electroencephalogram (EEG) headset and AI-powered software. Touted as the ‘Fitbit for the brain’, it is used to analyse brain activity and develop therapies for the central nervous system. Recently, the company hit the headlines as it bagged £6 million in funding

The investment round was led by the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) joined by LifeArc, a medical research charity, and the UK Future Fund. Notably, Dementia Discovery Fund is a £250 million venture capital fund that invests in startups building technologies to treat dementia.

Cumulus Neuroscience will use the funds to advance its next-generation integrated physiological and digital biomarker platform. This platform provides clinical trial data and AI-powered insights to accelerate the development of life-changing CNS therapies

Cumulus Neuroscience’s CEO Ronan Cunningham commented: “We are delighted that DDF and LifeArc share our mission, addressing the clear need for more effective tools to provide the critical clinical trial data and analysis needed to improve the successful delivery of new CNS therapies to patients. This funding will allow us to build on the ground-breaking advances we have made in remote, frequent monitoring of brain activity and cognitive function in the home, in partnership with leading developers of digital biomarkers.”

Ruth McKernan DDF venture partner and co-founder said: “Clinical trials in dementia are difficult and the results have been largely disappointing, partly due to the limitations of clinical trial methodology. My colleagues in the DDF and a group of Pharma companies and I have spent over a year working together on how to measure disease progression and the effects of drugs better. The result is Cumulus Neuroscience, and we look forward to seeing how this enabling platform technology can be used in dementia clinical studies in the coming years, including those being run by DDF portfolio companies. If the platform is successful, then patients will benefit from better drugs sooner.”

Melanie Lee Chief Executive Officer from LifeArc said “LifeArc is pleased to invest in Cumulus Neurosciences’ platform, which we believe has strong potential to accelerate the development of life-changing CNS therapies, addressing an area of significant unmet patient need. This investment aligns with LifeArc’s interest in the power of the combination of data, AI and devices in healthcare.”

Next-gen integrated biomarker platform

Its next-generation integrated biomarker platform is being co-developed with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. It will greatly improve the robustness of neuroscience clinical trials by allowing a more objective and precise assessment of drug candidates on a shorter timeline. Also, the industry-wide adoption will be a gold standard for real-world measurement of disease progression and treatment response.

The platform is built on both proprietary expertise and partnerships with proven leaders in their field. It remotely captures large amounts of real-world lab-quality data. During the clinical trial, mobile device-based assessments and simultaneous brain activity recordings track the full spectrum of drug mechanisms, neurophysiological functions, and patient symptoms, all in a user’s home.

Assessment of CNS treatment outcomes

Established by Ronan Cunningham and Brian Murphy, Cumulus Neuroscience’s first-in-class home-usable EEG headset can objectively probe neuronal integrity, network connectivity, and the strategies the brain uses to compensate for neuronal damage. The platform provides secure cloud-based data storage and a machine learning architecture to safely analyse composite behavioural, physiological, and functional data.

Also, it provides cutting-edge AI-based data analysis allowing it to detect subtle but therapeutically relevant changes in patients. The company also generates fast and meaningful insights and provides the best and most cost-effective assessment of CNS treatment outcomes.

Cumulus Neuroscience partners with a group of six of the leading pharmaceutical companies in CNS drug development to develop its cutting-edge, integrated platform.