Minimally invasive neuromod developer Synchron said today it raised $10 million in a Series A round of financing to support its neural interface technology.
The round was led by Neurotechnology Investors and joined by the U.S. Department of Defense, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Campbell, Calif.-based Synchron said that the funds raised will allow for the initiation of a 1st-in-human clinical trial of its Stentrode technology next year. The Stentrode device is designed to allow paralyzed patients to achieve direct brain control of assistive technologies, including robotic limbs, exoskeletons and communications aids.
“We have designed a product to attempt to overcome the greatest challenge facing other neural interfaces: chronic brain tissue scarring. We aim to provide a safe way for patients with severe paralysis to achieve direct brain control of assistive devices. Successful completion of this funding round allows us to commence human studies,” CEO & founder Dr. Thomas Oxley said in a press release.
Synchron said that the Stentrode system is small and flexible enough to safely pass through curving blood vessels during cerebral angiography procedures, eliminating the need for open brian surgery and direct brain tissue contact.
The Stentrode technology was initially developed through a collaboration at the University of Melbourne, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia. Down-under startup SmartStent was spun out with the technology in 2012, and acquired by Synchron in 2016, the company said.