Often when we speak with entrepreneurs about their innovation’s origin story, they tell us how they recognized bottlenecks or vulnerabilities at their previous jobs or while in the army. However, every once in a while, we come across a startup, which was founded out of a truly exceptional story. Enter BrainQ, a startup looking to change people’s lives.
Helping stroke patients get back to work
While studying the atmosphere as a physicist, Yaron Segal, PhD, welcomed his second son, Lir, into the world. However, within a couple of months, Lir was diagnosed with a very rare genetic disease that affects the nervous system. Throughout the diagnosis and treatment, Segal realizes that similarly to the way he transmits magnetic fields into the clouds, he could do the same but into the human brain.
This was the inception of BrainQ, an Israeli startup developing technology to help patients who have suffered from strokes. Just in the U.S. alone, more than 800,000 people suffer from strokes every year. The debilitating attack can often leave the victim with some form of chronic disability. The BrainQ technology activates a low-intensity electromagnetic field, which is determined by machine learning models trained on biological data from the brain waves of healthy people, as well as the brain waves of people who have suffered neurological damage. The treatment basically mimics the normal activity of the patient's neural networks, and should encourage the recovery process as part of the treatment in the hospital or in the patient's home.
BrainQ recently secured $40 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Hanaco Ventures, with participation from Dexcel Pharma, Peregrine Ventures, and existing investors OurCrowd, Norma, Sailing Capital, IT Farm, Millhouse and Qure. The company has raised $53 million to date. The capital will be used to fund the company’s upcoming clinical testing in the U.S. BrainQ has already received a “Breakthrough Device” approval from the FDA, meaning that the final FDA clearance for the Israeli MedTech device will be a bit easier to obtain when the day comes.
BrainQ co-founder and CEO Yotam Drechsler said, "We've seen great advancements in increasing stroke survival rates, but it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. With new funding and strong research partners, we're entering our pivotal study aimed at significantly increasing the window of opportunity for reducing disability and enhancing recovery potential."