NeuraLight Secures $25 Million Series A to Develop Precision Medicine for Neurological Diseases using Computer Vision and Smartphones
The company leverages oculometric data to measure the progression of neurological disorders such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, MS, and ALS, validating that the eye is the window to the mind
Austin, Texas and Tel Aviv, ISRAEL – WEBWIRE – Tuesday, May 24, 2022
NeuraLight, the company developing objective and sensitive biomarkers for neurological disorders, today announced $25 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), with participation from Breyer Capital, Samsung Next, VSC Ventures, Viz.ai co-founders Chris Mansi and David Golan, and TheKey co-founder and Executive Chair Lily Sarafan, among others, and will support the company as it seeks to improve the design of neurological clinical trials, increase the probability of success for novel neurological therapeutics, and usher in a new era of precision medicine for neurology.
Presently, neurological evaluation is highly subjective, as evidenced by a 25%-30% inter-rater variability, and up to a 30% chance of misdiagnosis for diseases such as Parkinsons. Lacking objective and sensitive endpoints also results in a dismal 6% of approval rate for neurological therapeutics, less than 50% the approval rate for non-neurological drugs.
The unmet need in neurology of establishing objective and sensitive biomarkers is immense. NeuraLights approach holds real promise to address this need, said Thomas Südhof, MD, Nobel laureate, and professor of molecular and cellular physiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and serves on NeuraLights Scientific Advisory Board.
NeuraLight leverages proprietary Computer Vision and Deep Learning algorithms to simultaneously extract all relevant oculometric markers from facial videos captured with a standard webcam or smartphone. These digital markers can serve as a reliable proxy for currently used clinical endpoints, and will provide an accurate snapshot of a persons neurological status, enabling pharmaceutical companies to introduce smart phenotyping, reduce misdiagnosis, and accurately and sensitively measure disease progression. This, in turn, will help pharma companies increase the probability of success, and develop precision care for neurology. The companys technology is applicable to a wide range of neurological disorders, initially focused on Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS.
Since launching in late 2021, NeuraLight quickly attracted a deeply seasoned executive and clinical team to round out its Scientific Advisory Board, which includes two Nobel Laureates — Professor Thomas Südhof, a world-renowned neuroscientist who won a Nobel Prize for his work on synaptic transmission, and Stanford Professor Alvin Roth who won the 2012 Nobel Prize for his work on the kidney exchange program, as well as Prof. Fred Lublin, Director of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mount Sinai Center. Additionally, Gil Shklarski, Ph.D., who previously served as the Chief Technology Officer of Flatiron Health, joined the company as Scientific Co-founder and Board Observer to work alongside NeuraLights Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Rivka Kretiman, who previously was Global Head of Innovative Research and Development of Teva Pharmaceuticals. Today, NeuraLight also announces the addition of neuropharmacologist Olivier Rascol, MD, PhD, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Toulouse University Hospital, who brings extensive research experience in Parkinsons disease and movement disorders.
After watching my grandfathers battle with Alzheimers, I began studying these diseases in depth, and it soon became clear to me that not only are neurological diseases very hard to understand but that cures for these diseases are extremely hard to discover because these diseases lack robust objective and sensitive measures. Thats why we founded NeuraLight, to measure neurological disorders accurately and objectively, and bring precision medicine to neurology, said Dr. Micha Breakstone, co-founder and CEO of NeuraLight. Breakstone is a serial entrepreneur who exited with his previous company Chorus.ai for $575m, and partnered with award-winning mathematician and repeat entrepreneur Edmund Ben-Ami who serves as CTO, to found NeuraLight in 2021. Today, we are honored that so many notable investors and experts in neurology see the value in our technology, and were excited to start implementing this technology in clinical trials.
NeuraLights precise friction-reducing breakthrough to create digital biomarkers can transform the field of neurology from early detection to drug discovery, said Eli Groner, Managing Director at Koch Disruptive Technologies. We are very excited about the implications for humanity”
If youre interested in joining NeuraLights mission to transform the lives of billions of people impacted by neurological disorders, like Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and Multiple Sclerosis, please visit: https://neuralight.ai/
NeuraLight is on a mission to transform the lives of billions of people impacted by neurological disorders by digitizing neurological evaluation and care. Our AI-driven platform integrates multiple digital markers to accelerate and improve drug development, monitoring, and precision care for patients with neurological disorders. The technology driving the platform includes proprietary Deep Learning algorithms which automatically extract a host of digital oculometric markers from facial videos captured with a standard smartphone or webcam. Our founders are repeat entrepreneurs and industry veterans (including both the co-founder of Chorus.ai and the founding CTO of Flatiron health) leading a 25-strong team, supported by renowned neurologists and 2 Nobel laureates as well as a stellar Scientific Advisory Board, and have raised $30.5M to date.
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- VSC on behalf of NeuraLight
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