The spin-off of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) and Icrea has closed a financing round of $16.85 million (€14.3 million) led by Asabys Partners and Alta Life Sciences, as confirmed by the management company led by Josep Lluís Sanfeliu to PlantaDoce.
The biotech company hopes to advance in the development of intelligent neuroelectronic therapies based on graphene for brain disorders. This is one of the largest financing rounds carried out in the MedTech sector in Spain. It also involved the Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (Cdti) and two international investors: Vsquared Ventures, a Munich-based deep tech venture capital firm, and TruVenturo GmbH, German technology, and life sciences startup.
Inbrain Neuroelectronics is developing a low-invasive, intelligent neural interface that, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and the use of big data, will have the ability to read and modulate brain activity, detect therapy-specific biomarkers, and trigger adaptive responses for optimal outcomes in personalized neurological therapies. The investment will enable the company to conduct first-in-human trials and solidify the safety of graphene as a new standard of care and medical attention in neurotechnologies.
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In June 2020, Inbrain Neuroelectronics closed its first round of financing
The round was led by Asabys Partners (through its Sabadell-Asabys Health Innovation Investment vehicle) and Alta Life Sciences, the company’s founders and private investors along with the Institut Català de Finances (ICF), Finaves (Iese) and BStartup from Banco Sabadell. Inbrain Neuroelectronics aims to decode brain signals through the development of intelligent neuroelectronic therapies based on graphene technology to treat patients with epilepsy, Parkinson’s and other brain disorders.
The cost of brain disorders in Europe is approximately $943.5 billion (€800 billion) per year, with more than 35% of the population affected. Between 25% and 35% of patients affected by neurological diseases are refractory to pharmacological treatment and are left without a useful therapeutic solution. Existing brain interfaces are based on metals with significant restrictions for miniaturization and signal resolution and therefore responsible for considerable side effects.
As a consequence, there is a 50% rejection rate of therapy in candidate patients. Neural electronic therapies represent an alternative to classical pharmacology with fewer side effects and a shorter and less costly development time, according to Inbrain Neuroelectronics.
Asabys partners has a target size of $94.4 million (€80 million)
Carolina Aguilar, founder and CEO of Inbrain Neuroelectronics, explained that “patients with chronic diseases are alone with their illnesses; at most they see their doctor one to four times a year for follow-up visits”. For Aguilar, the company’s goal is to “develop less invasive and smarter neuroelectronic therapies that provide safer, personalized and real-time therapies to empower the patient and improve outcomes,” he added.
For his part, Sanfeliu comments that this investment “shows how an ecosystem with excellent applied science around graphene, international talent coming together in Barcelona and solid specialized financial support, can develop a disruptive technology therapy to solve unmet medical needs.”
Asabys Partners is a private equity firm specializing in the healthcare sector, founded by Sanfeliu and Clara Campàs and owned by Alantra. Its first investment vehicle, Sabadell Asabys Health Innovation Investments, was born in 2019 and has the support of Banc Sabadell as a reference investor. With a target size of more than $94.4 million (€80 million), it invests in companies in the health sector in its three verticals: biopharma, medtech and digital therapy solutions.
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