Melbourne-based epilepsy monitoring startup Epi-Minder has raised $16 million bridge financing round.
The raise was backed by existing shareholders including Cochlear, the Bionics Institute, the University of Melbourne and Seer Medical, as well as private investors. The venture plans to use the cash to expand clinical trials for epilepsy monitoring device, Minder, as well as expanding product development, manufacturing and other activities.
The trials, in Victoria, Queensland and NSW, have been dubbed UMPIRE (sUb-scalp Monitoring ePileptic seIzuREs).
Epi-Minder was founded in 2017 from research led by the Bionics Institute and St Vincent’s/University of Melbourne, hoping to improve the lives of people living with epilepsy.
Epilepsy affects 65 million people globally, with current medications only effective in two in three cases.
Minder is a device people can wear during their daily lives for the long-term monitoring of brain seizures, giving patients and doctors detailed data on seizure activity and frequency. The cloud-based, around-the-clock monitor is designed to improve the standard of care for epilepsy sufferers.
Epi-Minder CEO Rohan Hoare said the long-term monitoring of patients via Minder is expected to lead to more effective treatment of underlying conditions, including determining the effectiveness of drug therapies. He hopes later generations of the device could include advanced detection and warning of impending seizure events.
As the company moves towards commercilising the Minder, Hoare said early results from the UMPIRE trial have been very encouraging revealing cycles in epileptic brain activity.
“With the bridge round financing completed and the expansion of the UMPIRE clinical trial underway, Epi-Minder is well positioned to advance the Minder ultra-long term epilepsy monitoring device,” he said.
“With our strategic partners from around Australia, Epi-Minder aims to revolutionise epilepsy care for millions of people around the world.”
Professor Mark Cook, St Vincent’s Hospital neurologist and chair of medicine at the University of Melbourne said they were pleased with the trial results so far.
“These cycles are allowing Epi-Minder and its partner Seer Medical to forecast seizure risk. Initial seizure forecasting results have recently been published in Frontiers of Neuroscience,” he said.