There is no FDA-approved medication for Alzheimer’s disease. But there is some hope that if the blood-brain barrier could be more easily penetrated by drug candidates they would prove more effective. That is the line of research being pursued by Israeli company Insightec Ltd. via its Exablate Neuro that provides low-intensity focused ultrasound treatment.
LONDON – Scientists in the U.K. are claiming a world first, after successfully reproducing the electrophysiology of biological neurons in silicon chips. It is said that artificial neurons respond to non-linear physiological feedback in real time, in exactly the same way as their biological counterparts. Crucially, in terms of their use in medical implants, the analogue chips have a power consumption 109 times lower than equivalent digital microprocessors, which other attempts to make synthetic neurons have used.
Spinal cord stimulation to treat pain has long been associated with mixed efficacy and substantial side effects such as paresthesia, which is an unpleasant tingly or prickly sensation. Redwood City, Calif.-based Nevro Corp. famously has built a multi-billion-dollar business on next-gen, pain neurostimulation technology that improves efficacy and reduces side effects. Sommerville, Mass.-based Micro-leads Medical Inc. hopes that it could be next in successfully further refining spinal cord stimulation.
The U.S. FDA has granted breakthrough device designation for Righteye LLC’s eye movement-tracking vision system as a test for Parkinson’s disease. Developed by researchers at PADRECC and Virginia Commonwealth University with funding from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and licensed to Righteye in 2016, the test requires patients to sit in front of an all-in-one tablet-looking device and follow a series of moving targets. The goal is to identify ocular tremors, a persistent issue with Parkinson’s patients that prevents steady fixation on objects and images. The noninvasive test, which measures an individual’s ability to follow objects on a screen, could help doctors not only confirm the difficult-to-diagnose disease, but also detect it at earlier stages.
HONG KONG – Neurophet Inc., a South Korean AI-based brain disease diagnostics company, has secured ₩6 billion (US$5.1 million) in series A funding. The med-tech startup produces solutions based on Segengine, the company’s own technology that automatically segments brain magnetic resonance (MR) images into 107 regions within a minute.
Huntington’s disease is a fatal hereditary disease that results in the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It erodes a person’s physical and mental abilities, usually beginning in their 30s and 40s, and to date has no cure. Now Austin-based Asuragen Inc. is joining forces with Wave Life Sciences USA Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., to develop companion diagnostics (CDx) for Wave’s investigative allele-selective therapeutic programs targeting the genetic cause of the disease.