Calgary-based Neuraura unlocks the brain with microsensors about a quarter of the diameter of a human hair. The company develops fully implantable medical devices with neuromodulation to map brain activity and improve the lives of millions suffering from neurological, psychiatric and sensory conditions.
“What we mean by unlocking the brain is that we can unlock treatment opportunities by understanding what's happening in a patient's brain at a personalized level. We can personalize diagnostic and therapeutic options, using existing or new therapeutic methodologies,” said Pierre Wijdenes, CEO, Neuraura.
Actively integrated in Calgary’s tech ecosystem, Wijdenes notes the entrepreneurial spirit in the city with people who are willing to take a bet on big ideas. Neuraura itself was formed as a spin-out from the University of Calgary as part of a collaboration between the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Schulich School of Engineering.
“Thinking of Calgary, there's a lot of people in our corner,” said Wijdenes. “It’s an open and supportive environment. People here try to lift each other up and recognize that critical mass is a core part of making successful companies. What we have found is there are a lot of people willing to switch hats and do multiple things with this pioneering mindset.”
Neuraura’s initial clinical application is a brain monitoring platform for intracranial monitoring to inform epilepsy surgery. Wijdenes and his team believe that within five years, their EEG (electroencephalogram) monitoring system for refractory epilepsy will collect data from hundreds or thousands of patients and will lead Neuraura to understand how many other conditions can be treated.
“As sensing technology, this is zero to none compared to what is available out there. We have talked to doctors from UC San Diego and Harvard Medical School, all of them wondering when they can get it.”
Neuraura leverages processes from the semiconductor industry and automatized the production of their sensors so they can be brought to scale. The company is focused on growth with clinical devices arriving at the beginning of 2022. Down the line, Neuraura aims to scale up aggregation of data across different hospitals and drive diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities around the world for neurology.
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