Novela Neurotech showcases smart neural interface at Creative Destruction Lab
Credit: Novela Neurotech
TORONTO, ON – Novela Neurotech, a MedTech company developing AI-powered wireless, “smart” neural interface systems, joins Canada’s Creative Destruction Lab to further fine-tune its health technologies to the needs of patients with difficult neurological disorders.
“Our core mission is to foster a new era of neurological treatments by focusing on their electrical signaling within the brain. Rather than flooding the brain with chemical drugs, we aim to precisely interfere with aberrant neural signaling that leads to disorders. To that end, we are developing a platform that accelerates these technologies at multiple stages, including pre-clinical discovery, clinical trials and post-market, real-world evidence data collection,” says Ray Iskander, Cofounder and CEO of Novela Neurotech.
Depression, addiction, epilepsy and chronic pain haunt millions of people, yet traditional pharmaceutical solutions fail in roughly 30 percent of cases. The root cause of these mental disorders are buried within the electrical communications of complex brain circuits. By listening in on these communications and decoding their messages using neural interfaces, it may be possible to target and disrupt the brain’s signals that lead to dangerous neurological episodes, such as seizures or cravings, with a burst of electrical stimulation.
“Electrical stimulators, such as spinal cord stimulators for back pain, have been around for decades, but they’re not very adaptable and can only stimulate in a few forms. We are bringing the power of AI to neural stimulators, miniaturizing them into seamless interfaces with the brain,” says Dr. Salam Gabran, Technical Cofounder of Novela Neurotech.
The brain’s complexity makes it extremely difficult to record from and decode messages in specific neural circuits. For the past decade, Novela Neurotech has been working on a wireless, bi-directional and flexible interface that, once implanted, sits within the brain to silently monitor for disease-causing electrical signals. On December 11th, 2019 Novela Neurotech showcased its production-ready neural interface that miniaturizes a roomful of equipment into a device smaller than the tip of a finger at Creative Destruction Lab, a seed-stage program that supports massively-scalable companies rooted in translational science and technology,.
The device, made through state-of-the-art microfabrication technologies, is just one aspect of Novela’s Neureka platform to accelerate next-generation neurological treatments throughout the entire therapeutic developmental process. During preclinical discovery stage, the software ecosystem promotes data sharing and collaboration between neuroscientists, data scientists and neurologists. Due to the brain’s complexity and the difficulties for a single institution to gather sufficient data for mining, a collaborative platform is tantamount for accelerating this initial discovery phase while dramatically reducing research costs.
Novela is also developing the Neureka platform to streamline clinical trials. Through automated data collection from at-home brain monitoring systems, the platform aims to enroll up to 10% more patients by reducing the need for in-hospital visits, increasing convenience while bolstering the amount of data collected. Together, the platform will reduce the significant amounts of costs and time required for clinical trials. Finally, Neureka will support after-market monitoring. Because the neural interface collects patient data in a hyper-personalized manner, it can potentially improve return on investment up to 10% by collecting real world evidence data on what works for any given patient and neurological disorders.
“Depression, addiction, and chronic pain remains some of today’s hardest disorders to manage and treat. It’s clear that neurological treatments require new therapeutic avenues in addition to pharmaceuticals. We’re thankful for being selected for the Creative Destruction Lab and collaborating with their strong network of accomplished mentors and investors to further bring our technologies, inventions and insights to help millions in need,” says Iskander.
About Novela Neurotech
Novela Neurotech, based in Alameda, CA, has been on the forefront of accelerating brain stimulation research. Spun off from Waterloo University in Canada, Novela is developing a full brain stimulation platform Neureka, which includes a hardware electrical probe and a cloud-based software analysis suite, to aid academic researchers in their neuromodulation pursuit. In addition, Novela is working with brain recording and stimulation researcher Dr. Loren Frank at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), to standardize brain electrical data, and accelerate the therapeutic discovery process by promoting global neuroscientific collaboration.
About Creative Destruction Lab
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage science- and technology-based companies. CDL’s objective-setting process enhances the performance of technical founders who learn from the insights of experienced entrepreneurs, increasing their probability of success. More at: creativedestructionlab.com
Media Contact at Novela:
For more information, please contact Dr. Shelly Fan at [email protected]
Shelly Fan, PhD