Next generation deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy to be developed by Sapiens

Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation B.V. (Sapiens), an emerging medical technology company developing brain stimulation products, today announced that it has raised €7.5 m from the Dutch investment group INKEF Capital, in a further extension of their Series A financing round. The proceeds will be used for the development of its Steering Brain Stimulation implant and procedure solutions to treat Parkinson's disease (PD) and other functional brain disorders. This additional investment supplements an initial €16.5 m Series A funding round with Wellington Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, LSP and the Wellcome Trust in 2011.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is approved in Europe for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, obsessive compulsive disorder and more recently for the treatment of epilepsy. It is a treatment that relies on the delivery of mild electrical pulses to specific areas in the brain via an implanted lead that is connected to a battery-powered implantable pulse generator. Several clinical groups are currently investigating the application of DBS for other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Sapiens is developing a high-resolution DBS system with the capacity to steer the electrical pulses away from areas which may produce side-effects. It provides more flexibility in personalizing the treatment after implantation, which may result in uncompromised therapeutic benefits for patients. In addition, supporting products are developed to allow for faster implantation and more effective programming of the system in patients. Together, these innovations allow more patients to benefit from this therapy while reducing time, resources and costs for the complex DBS procedure. The safety and performance of the Sapiens lead technology is currently being evaluated in an intra-operative clinical study in collaboration with the department of neurosurgery of the AMC hospital in Amsterdam. The first Parkinson's disease patients have been successfully enrolled, and initial results of the study are expected in the second half of 2013.

Along with the investment, Frank R. Landsberger, Ph.D., Founder of INKEF Capital, is appointed to Sapiens' Advisory Board. He explained this latest INKEF investment as follows: "Sapiens has the promise of bringing significant therapeutic improvement to patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and other serious brain disorders. INKEF is delighted to join a first rate investment consortium aimed at bringing Sapiens' products to the market for the benefit of these patients."

Sjaak Deckers, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sapiens, added: "Sapiens is pleased to welcome INKEF Capital as a new investor and Frank Landsberger joining our Advisory Board. He brings a wealth of international experience. INKEF's investment is further recognition of the therapeutic and commercial potential of Sapiens' steering DBS technologies, and shows the confidence that investors have in our team and our ability to successfully introduce our products on the market."

About INKEF Capital
INKEF Capital ("INvesting in the Knowledge Economy of the Future"), established and funded by ABP, the largest Dutch pension fund, invests in long term partnerships with technology-based companies based in the Netherlands in a wide range of sectors including life sciences, nanotechnology and IT, with significant potential to develop IP based new technologies into commercially successful products and markets.

About Sapiens
Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation is an emerging medical device company whose mission is to bring a revolutionized concept of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to more patients who can benefit from this advanced treatment of degenerative or functional brain disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia and other currently emerging indications.

Sapiens' ambition is to improve the therapeutic outcome of DBS, to shorten and simplify the clinical procedure, and to improve patient comfort. Sapiens' high-resolution probe enables the reduction of stimulation-induced side-effects by precisely steering the tiny stimulation currents to the intended target area. The SureSuite® products, SurePlan®, SurePlace® and SureTune®, provide an integrated, image-based solution for planning and programming an optimal DBS treatment. SureStim®, the Sapiens implant, is MRI-conditionally safe, and controls the steering.

With offices in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and Munich, Germany, Sapiens was founded in 2011. The Company is a spin-out of Royal Philips Electronics, and is backed by Wellington Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Life Sciences Partners (LSP), the Wellcome Trust and INKEF Capital. Its Steering Brain Stimulation probe, implant and image-guided programming are based upon patented technologies.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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