A competitor to Elon Musk’s Neuralink said it raised $20 million, enough to get it on track to introduce a new generation of powerful and tiny electrodes to the human brain.
Paradromics Inc., founded in 2015 about a year ahead of Neuralink, is building brain-computer interfaces that could help people with disorders ranging from paralysis to speech impediments.
“Once you start to realize that the best way to describe the brain is through data, you start to reframe a lot of classically hard-to-treat conditions,” said Matt Angle, chief executive officer of Paradromics. “What the brain really is—it’s a data system.” For example, where a biological approach to blindness might be to attempt to regrow the retina, his approach would be to get visual data to the right part of the brain, even if it means using a computer … Paradromics’ technology builds on decades of research and work by initiatives such as BrainGate, and is one several companies in the field. So far this year, brain-machine interface startups have raised $132.8 million, according to PitchBook. That’s already one-third more than the sector raised in all of last year, and by far the most since 2017, a year when Neuralink raised $107 million.
Paradromics said one of its advantages comes from the number of electrodes—400—that sit on each of its modules, more than on analogous devices. That will improve the quality and quantity of the data they can handle, the startup said.
Paradromics Inc., a leading developer of high data rate Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI), announced today a $20 million seed funding round led by Prime Movers Lab, including investment from Westcott Investment Group, Dolby Family Ventures, Synergy Ventures, Pureland Global Venture, IT-Farm, and Alpha Edison.
Paradromics’ first commercial product, the Connexus™ Communication Device, will restore communication for patients who have lost the ability to speak due to severe paralysis. Through this BCI, patients will be able to reconnect with loved ones and achieve greater autonomy through use of a computer. Paradromics will partner with leading healthcare companies to develop novel therapies for brain-related disorders … The current funding round follows $10M in early stage private funding as well as $15M of public funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DARPA).
As part of the investment from Prime Movers Lab, Partner Dr. Amy Kruse will be joining the Paradromics Board of Directors.
“Progress in neuroscience and microelectronics has been exponential, and this is game-changing technology that has implications well beyond the rehabilitation market,” said Amy Kruse, Partner at Prime Movers Lab. “As a former DARPA program manager, I am excited to see this technology move out of the lab and into clinical applications.”
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