Stroke treatment device from Israel’s BrainQ wins FDA ‘breakthrough status’
By: ILH Startup Editor
Only about 5% of victims in the US currently arrive at the hospital in time to benefit from currently approved treatments. BrainQ’s AI-based device aims to extend this window of opportunity to reduce damage from strokes.
BrainQ, an Israeli medical technology startup working on an AI-based therapeutic solution to reduce disability following stroke, has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration has awarded its device “breakthrough status.”
The designation, which was based on BrainQ’s latest randomized controlled clinical trial results for ischemic stroke patients, provides BrainQ with the opportunity to work closely with the FDA to expedite development plans and premarket clearance. Results of the trials are slated to be presented at the American Heart Association’s 2021 International Stroke Conference from March 17–19.
Breakthrough status also gives BrainQ access to the new Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) pathway, allowing for Medicare coverage to be provided concurrently with FDA market authorization.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability, affecting 800,000 people every year in the United States alone. In the days and weeks following stroke, the brain attempts to repair damaged neural pathways and develop new ones to restore function, but often with limited success. This results in chronic disability for about 50-70% of survivors.
Interventions for reducing disability after strokes that are currently approved for use are relevant for only the first few hours after the stroke occurs. Only about 5% of victims in the US currently arrive at the hospital in time to benefit from these treatments. BrainQ aims to extend this window of opportunity from the acute phase to the sub-acute phase, offering a treatment that can be used in the days and weeks following stroke, helping the wider stroke population who have residual disability.
BrainQ is developing an AI-powered electromagnetic field therapy that aims to enhance recovery and reduce disability after neurological damage caused by stroke. The therapy is based on biological insights retrieved from brainwaves, using proprietary machine learning algorithms that translate into a frequency-tuned low intensity electromagnetic field. BrainQ’s therapy is delivered via a cloud-connected wearable device and is designed for scalable and portable treatment, with the flexibility to be accessed from home.
“We’re excited that the FDA has granted BrainQ a Breakthrough Device Designation,” said BrainQ co-founder and CEO Yotam Drechsler.
“Stroke is a debilitating condition with limited recovery options, creating a huge unmet need in the US. COVID-19 has only made things worse by limiting patients’ access to treatment facilities. FDA Breakthrough Designation is an important milestone in our mission to reduce disability for these patients and treat them in the comfort of their homes,” Drechsler pointed out.