Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Cochlear Backs Medtech Startup EpiMinder in $16 Million Funding Round

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Melbourne-based epilepsy monitoring startup Epi-Minder has raised a $16 million bridging funding round.

The increase was supported by existing shareholders, including Cochlear, the Bionics Institute, the University of Melbourne and Seer Medical, as well as private investors. The company plans to use the money to expand clinical trials for epilepsy monitoring device Minder, as well as expand product development, manufacturing and other activities.

The trials, in Victoria, Queensland and NSW, are named UMPIRE (syoub-scalp mto monitorpileptic sexllike thisREGARDINGs).

Epi-Minder was founded in 2017 from research led by the Bionics Institute and St Vincent’s/University of Melbourne, with the hope of improving the lives of people living with epilepsy.

Epilepsy affects 65 million people worldwide, with current drugs being effective in only two out of three cases.

Minder is a device that people can wear during their daily lives for the long-term monitoring of brain seizures, providing patients and doctors with detailed data on seizure activity and frequency. The cloud-based, 24-hour monitor is designed to improve the standard of care for epilepsy patients.

Epi-Minder CEO Rohan Hoare said the long-term monitoring of patients through Minder is expected to lead to more effective treatment of underlying conditions, including determining the effectiveness of drug therapies. He hopes that later generations of the device can include advanced detection and warning of impending attacks.

While the company is marketing the Minder, Hoare said the early results of the UMPIRE study were very encouraging, revealing cycles in epileptic brain activity.

“Now that the bridging round funding has been completed and the expansion of UMPIRE’s clinical trial is underway, Epi-Minder is well positioned to advance the Minder device for ultra-long-term epilepsy monitoring,” he said.

“With our strategic partners from across Australia, Epi-Minder aims to revolutionize epilepsy care for millions of people around the world.”

Professor Mark Cook, a neurologist at St Vincent’s Hospital and chair of medicine at the University of Melbourne, said he was pleased with the study results so far.

“These cycles enable Epi-Minder and its partner Seer Medical to predict seizure risk. The first seizure prognosis results were recently published in: Frontiers of Neuroscience,” he said.

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