UCC medtech NeuroBell announces spin-out with €2.1m funding round

08 January 2024

Start-up has developed a pocket-sized brain monitor to detect seizures in newborn babies after traumatic births

A Cork-based medtech building a monitor to detect seizures in newborn babies has spun-out from University College Cork with the closure of a €2.1 million funding round that it says will help it launch the device and secure regulatory approval.

NeuroBell, founded by researchers from the Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research at UCC, will also create 12 new jobs over the next year to help support its growth plan.

The company has developed an AI-powered neonatal brain monitor to detect brain seizures in babies admitted to neonatal intensive care units after birth.

NeuroBell has created a pocket-sized wireless device that enables routine monitoring of babies without the need for particular expertise, obviating the need for continuous electroencephalography monitoring, which requires specialised training.

NeuroBell estimates that two million newborns worldwide suffer from brain injuries at birth and expects the device to have a significant impact on care for babies receiving additional care following traumatic births.

“This funding marks a significant leap forward in advancing our goal to launch the product and get it into the hands of clinicians around the world to help newborn patients,” said NeuroBell chief executive Mark O’Sullivan, who cofounded the company with Dr Alison O’Shea and Colm Murphy.

“Our solution will improve newborn care, offering gold-standard brain monitoring with automated decision support to patients in all settings, including regional and tertiary hospitals.”

The €2.1 million funding round, which closed recently, was let by Furthr VC, Atlantic Bridge and HBAN Medtech Syndicate along with Enterprise Ireland, already an investor in the start-up through its commercialisation fund.

Richard Watson, managing partner at Furthr VC, hailed NeuroBell’s “clear regulatory, clinical and commercial plan for launching the product”.

“We are very excited to be backing Neurobell as they set out on bringing a truly transformative and ground-breaking neonatal monitoring device to market, which will impact the survival and long-term neurological outcomes of tens of thousands of babies in critical care. We are highly impressed by the founding team and what they have achieved to date in UCC prior to spinning out,” he said.

NeuroBell said it is now focused on securing Federal Drug Administration approval for the device before launching in the US market later this year, followed by a European roll-out.

Source: Irish Times