Finland's Nexstim gains €8m investment for brain diagnostics technology
13 September 2007
Nexstim Ltd, a medical device company developing a
revolutionary brain diagnostics and therapy technology, has successfully
completed a €8 million private placement. New investor HealthCap led the
round, which also included new investors LSP (Life Sciences Partners) and
Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. Sitra, an existing investor, also
participated in the round.
The significant new equity investment will
allow Nexstim to accelerate its international sales and marketing
activities, and expand its customer base from mainly research institutions
to the much larger market for clinical applications.
The financing will also enable the completion of a benchmark clinical
trial necessary to gain US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) marketing
clearance and allow Nexstim to begin commercial sales in the strategically
important US market.
Jukka-Pekka Särkkä, Managing Director of Nexstim commented, "It is
gratifying to note that leading European life science venture capital funds
recognize the value of financing global sales and marketing strategies which
are so vital for realizing the true potential of innovations in medical
Nexstim is pioneering navigated brain stimulation (NBS) for
brain diagnostics and therapy. NBS combines transcranial magnetic
stimulation (TMS) with stereotactic navigation and ECG/EMG measurement.
In NBS, an operator places a small, hand-held coil over the patient's
head and delivers a series of short magnetic pulses which briefly activate
minute areas of cortex, the upper layer of the brain. EEG signals generated
in the brain, or EMG signals from the patient's limbs, are detected by high
resolution amplifiers, and a powerful computer analyzes the data in
A standard MR image of the brain structure aligned to the contours of the
patient's head allows a technique called stereotactic navigation. From the
system monitor the operator sees the exact location of the magnetic pulses
relative to the cortex and can thus freely, and precisely, guide the coil
over the surface of the brain, much like a car driver using a GPS navigation
system. NBS is completely non-invasive, painless and has been shown to be
safe over decades of research.
NBS systems have extensive applications in
functional brain imaging, including accurate mapping of critical motor and
sensory areas of the cortex prior to neurosurgery, evaluating brain damage
following stroke, and testing spinal cord integrity. Nexstim believes that
the ability of NBS to precisely and reproducibly target TMS within the brain
will, in the near future, allow the development of effective therapies for a
wide range of brain injuries and diseases, including stroke rehabilitation,
major depression and tinnitus.
"Nexstim has developed a technology that
has the potential to capture a unique position within the central nervous
system (CNS) field. We believe that medical devices, such as Nexstim's NBS,
will play an increasing role in the treatment and management of CNS
diseases," said Dr. Johan Christenson, MD, PhD, Partner at HealthCap.
René Kuijten, MD, PhD, MBA, General Partner at LSP commented, "We are very
excited to become a shareholder in this company. Nexstim´s technology is
addressing a clear unmet medical need and I look forward to playing a role
in establishing this technology in clinical practice."
"Sitra is extremely
pleased with Nexstim´s successful closing of this round of financing. This
is the first time that leading European life sciences venture capital funds,
HealthCap and LSP have invested together in a Finnish company. Sitra has had
a significant role as an initial investor in the companys earlier financing
rounds. The substantial size of this round ensures that the company has an
excellent chance of succeeding in becoming a leading international player in
its field," noted Juha Vapaavuori, Director, Sitra and member of the board
of directors of Nexstim.
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