EPFL spin-off Aleva Neurotherapeutics raises 13 million dollars
EPFL spin-off Aleva Neurotherapeutics has just raised 13 million dollars in its fourth fund-raising round. The company, based at EPFL’s Innovation Park, will use the proceeds to obtain EU market certification for its new deep brain stimulation (DBS) system.
Aleva Neurotherapeutics, a spin-off of EPFL’s Microsystems Laboratory, has just raised 13 million dollars – bringing the total amount of financing from its four fund-raising rounds to 46 million dollars. That includes 18 million dollars acquired in April 2016 from another financing round. This fourth round, which concluded this week, was led by Forrestal Capital, an investment fund specialized in neurological devices.
Aleva was established in 2008 on the basis of doctoral research carried out by André Mercanzini, now the firm’s CTO. The company aims to obtain the CE marking for its new DBS system, thereby allowing it to be legally sold in the EU. The system uses a novel kind of electrode stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders that cause trembling.
DBS is approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and epilepsy. It works by delivering mild electrical pulses to targeted areas of the brain using tiny electrodes that have been implanted in the cerebral tissue. Existing DBS systems often create unwanted side effects because the electrical current is sent out in many directions. However, with its directSTIM™ system, Aleva has developed a new array of microelectrodes that can direct the electrical pulses with greater precision and therefore deliver a more targeted treatment.
The firm has formed R&D partnerships with other companies such as Nuvectra, a listed company based in the US. Under their Development Agreement, the two firms can combine Aleva’s innovative directional lead technology with Nuvectra’s proprietary neurostimulation platform.