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Brainy Innovation Tips from Edward Kliphuis, Investment Director with Merck Ventures

Edward Kli­phuis

Ques­tion: Edward, please share 1–2 major brain health needs you observe right now whose solu­tion demands a cre­ative and sig­nif­i­cant tech-enabled inno­va­tion.

Answer: We need to tar­get depres­sion, stress and fatigue in a quan­tifi­able man­ner (ie. no well­ness-like claims, but real data sup­port­ing an improve­ment in the afore­men­tioned indi­ca­tions). Treat­ments and ear­ly detec­tion too.

Also, ways  to mon­i­tor lon­gi­tu­di­nal cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties (ie. per­son-spe­cif­ic brain func­tion over the course of a num­ber of years). Done on a wider pop­u­la­tion this could pro­vide insights into the impact of cer­tain exter­nal fac­tors such as food, air qual­i­ty, etc.

 

Ques­tion: And what advice would you give an entre­pre­neur launch­ing an inno­va­tion to address those needs–for the approach to be suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able?

Answer: Focus on the right mod­el from day one: You need to iden­ti­fy right away the best approach for the oppor­tu­ni­ty at hand — for exam­ple, reg­u­lat­ed med­ical approach vs. gen­er­al well­ness? Both are viable but going from unreg­u­lat­ed to reg­u­lat­ed is hard­ly pos­si­ble where­as the oppo­site is viable (although cre­ates a risk of off-label use…)

 

– Edward Kli­phuis is an Invest­ment Direc­tor with Mer­ck Ven­tures BV, the Cor­po­rate Ven­ture Cap­i­tal arm of Mer­ck KGaA, Darm­stadt, Ger­many. He is respon­si­ble for the New Busi­ness­es fund, which invests glob­al­ly in trans­for­ma­tion­al ideas dri­ven by great entre­pre­neurs. The New Busi­ness­es fund seeks to invest in strate­gic oppor­tu­ni­ties beyond Merck’s cur­rent busi­ness­es, make cross over invest­ments between busi­ness­es and invest in dig­i­ti­za­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties. The total vol­ume of the cor­po­rate ven­ture fund is €300 mil­lion. He will serve as a Judge in the first Brainnova­tions Pitch Con­test host­ed by the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit: Brain Enhance­ment in the Dig­i­tal Age (Decem­ber 5–7th, 2017).

– Brain­no­va­tions Judg­ing Pan­el

5 Facts You Need To Know To Understand, Navigate And Enjoy The Digital Brain Health Revolution

Hun­dreds of com­pa­nies around the globe, now includ­ing Elon Musk’s Neu­ralink and even Face­book,  are research­ing and devel­op­ing new ways to help brain own­ers be smarter, sharp­er, and health­i­er.

What explains this flur­ry of activ­i­ty? Where may it be head­ed?

To help you under­stand what’s going on, let me high­light five key facts that emerged from the recent Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit.

 

Fact 1. There are 7.5 billion human brains out there, and everyone needs help

Con­sid­er all unmet needs derived from the tra­di­tion­al phar­ma-exclu­sive approach to brain health.

Learn­ing and cog­ni­tive dis­abil­i­ties in chil­dren are grow­ing sig­nif­i­cant­ly, from ADHD and OCD, to autism. The relat­ed emo­tion­al and eco­nom­ic bur­den is sub­stan­tial — yet, over 60–70% of those with treat­ment have poor out­comes, and many who need help don’t get any.

Glob­al­ly, around 350 mil­lion peo­ple suf­fer from depres­sion. Add to that sub­stance abuse, and we are talk­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple with­out prop­er care and very high relapse rates for the lucky ones get­ting help.

Con­cus­sions and brain impair­ments per­vade through mil­lions of vet­er­ans and high-con­tact sports prac­ti­tion­ers, yet diag­no­sis and treat­ments are elu­sive.

And let’s not for­get the per­fect­ly healthy. Read the rest of this entry »

Four reasons the future of brain health is digital, pervasive and bright

Hun­dreds of com­pa­nies and sci­ence labs around the globe are research­ing the inner work­ings of the human brain and mind, and devel­op­ing new ways to help brain own­ers be smarter, sharp­er, and health­i­er for longer.

What explains this flur­ry of activ­i­ty? Read the rest of this entry »

Survey of key scientific, technological and investment trends revolutionizing Brain Health in our Digital Age

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Last year I got very inter­est­ed in the func­tion­ing of the human brain and the sci­ence behind mind­ful­ness and learn­ing [1], so was quite excit­ed  to attend the Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit [2] in Decem­ber, indulging in the lat­est trends in applied neu­ro­science and dig­i­tal inno­va­tion.

The Sum­mit focused on the theme of rein­vent­ing brain health in the dig­i­tal age, and brought togeth­er lead­ing researchers, entre­pre­neurs, financiers and pol­i­cy­mak­ers pas­sion­ate with the mis­sion of mov­ing neu­ro­science and cog­ni­tive research from sci­ence labs towards appli­ca­tions in Health, Well­ness and Edu­ca­tion. Here’s a sum­ma­ry of the many things I dis­cov­ered. Read the rest of this entry »

Update: 20 Must-Know Facts to Harness Neuroplasticity and Improve Brain Health

brain-woman—–

Time for a new edi­tion of Sharp­Brains’ e-newslet­ter,  pro­vid­ing a win­dow into the ongo­ing brain health and neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty revolutions–plus some fun brain teasers. Hap­py read­ing and, for those of you in the USA, Hap­py Fourth of July, and for those of you in Cana­da, Hap­py Cana­da Day!

New research:

New tools:

New thinking:

Finally, some brain teasers:

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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