Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation, an emerging medical technology company developing brain stimulation products, has raised $9.8 million from the Dutch investment group INKEF Capital, in a further extension of their Series A financing round. The proceeds will be used for the development of its Steering Brain Stimulation implant and procedure solutions to treat Parkinson's disease (PD) and other functional brain disorders.
This additional investment supplements an initial $21.5 million Series A funding round with Wellington Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, LSP and the Wellcome Trust in 2011.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is approved in Europe for the treatment of PD, essential tremor, dystonia, obsessive compulsive disorder and, most recently, epilepsy. It is a treatment that relies on the delivery of mild electrical pulses to specific areas in the brain via an implanted lead that is connected to a battery-powered implantable pulse generator. Several clinical groups are currently investigating the application of DBS for other neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Sapiens is developing a high-resolution DBS system with the capacity to steer the electrical pulses away from areas which may produce side-effects. It provides more flexibility in personalizing the treatment after implantation, which may result in uncompromised therapeutic benefits for patients. In addition, supporting products are developed to allow for faster implantation and more effective programming of the system in patients. Together, these innovations allow more patients to benefit from this therapy while reducing time, resources and costs for the complex DBS procedure.
The safety and performance of the Sapiens lead technology is currently being evaluated in an intra-operative clinical study in collaboration with the department of neurosurgery of the AMC hospital in Amsterdam. The first PD patients have been successfully enrolled, and initial results of the study are expected in the second half of 2013.
"Sapiens has the promise of bringing significant therapeutic improvement to patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and other serious brain disorders. INKEF is delighted to join a first rate investment consortium aimed at bringing Sapiens' products to the market for the benefit of these patients,” said Frank R. Landsberger, Ph.D., founder of INKEF Capital and newly appointed member of Sapiens' advisory board.
Sjaak Deckers, co-founder and CEO of Sapiens, added, "Sapiens is pleased to welcome INKEF Capital as a new investor and Frank Landsberger joining our advisory board. He brings a wealth of international experience. INKEF's investment is further recognition of the therapeutic and commercial potential of Sapiens' steering DBS technologies, and shows the confidence that investors have in our team and our ability to successfully introduce our products on the market."