UCC NeuroBell Secures €2.1M Investment

22nd January 2024

Posted In: Be In The Frame

Earlier this month, University College Cork (UCC) announced the spin-out of NeuroBell, a Cork-based medtech start-up, as the entity closes a €2.1M investment led by Furthr VC, Atlantic Bridge and HBAN MedTech Syndicate, with Enterprise Ireland and other private investors also investing in the round.

Dr Sally Cudmore, Director, UCC Innovation, said: “NeuroBell is a great example of UCC’s ambition to nurture entrepreneurial talent.

As a Limited Partner in the University Fund II managed by Atlantic Bridge, UCC is delighted to see that fund invest in NeuroBell and their mission to develop technology that will have a significant impact on newborns’ brain health.”

The funding will enable NeuroBell to launch its ground-breaking technology for real-time and accurate detection of seizures in newborns needing additional care, enabling early intervention that can improve outcomes. To support its mission, NeuroBell will create 12 new jobs by 2025.

The company was founded by Dr Mark O’Sullivan, Dr Alison O’Shea and Colm Murphy, and is a spin-out from University College Cork and the Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research (INFANT).

Professor Geraldine Boylan, INFANT Director, said: “We are extremely proud of the achievements of the NeuroBell team and congratulate them warmly on this exciting milestone and significant investment.

As the INFANT Centre turns 10 years old, NeuroBell clearly demonstrates how years of multi-disciplinary research combining engineering, neuroscience and neonatology can be translated into innovative devices to help identify newborn babies at risk of seizures.”

NeuroBell aims to address a critical gap in the availability and accuracy of current technologies used to detect seizures in newborns admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Early detection of seizures is crucial for enabling early interventions in infants with brain injury and may help reduce the impact of life-changing conditions such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

Currently, continuous electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring is used to monitor newborn brain activity, however, these devices are cumbersome, have limited availability and require specialised training to operate and interpret results. A lack of expertise in this area leads to overlooked and untreated seizures.

Using embedded edge-AI, NeuroBell has developed an easy-to-use, pocket-sized wireless brain monitor which can detect seizures in NICU patients.

The technology enables routine monitoring of babies across various hospital settings without the need for specialised expertise. The user-friendly system eliminates the need for extensive training in both configuration and result interpretation.

Supported by the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund, NeuroBell is now focused on securing FDA approval before launching its device in the US market this year, followed by the European market.

Dr Mark O’Sullivan, Co-founder & CEO, NeuroBell, said: “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. It speaks volumes about our incredible team, who are passionate about using novel technologies to solve this critical medical need. 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 funding will enable NeuroBell to develop its product further, carry out additional clinical trials and expand its team. The new roles will be in engineering, quality assurance, and business development.

“I am really happy to share the good news of this important step forward for NeuroBell,” wrote co-founder Dr Alison O’Shea in a recent post. “It is great to see the team growing thanks to the supporters and funders that are making it possible. 2024 will be a very exciting year for the company,” she added.

NeuroBell expects to begin commercial sales of its medical device in 2025.

UCC spin-out NeuroBell co-founders Dr Mark O’Sullivan, Colm Murphy and Dr Alison O’Shea. (Image: Daragh McSweeney/Provision).