NeuraLight, an Israeli company focusing on neurological disease monitoring using eye imaging technology, has raised $25 Million in Series A funding to move its technology closer to the clinic.
The funding round was led by Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), a Kansas-based VC firm, and included other investors such as Breyer Capital, Samsung Next, VSC Ventures, Viz.ai co-founders Chris Mansi and David Golan, and TheKey co-founder and Executive Chair Lily Sarafan.
There is a need for more effective ways to diagnose and monitor neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others. Currently, there is a 30% chance of misdiagnosis for conditions such as Parkinson’s and up to 30% variability in neurological evaluation results between experts.
NeuraLight was set up last year and is using computer vision and deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) technology to analyse eye photos taken with a standard webcam or smartphone camera for signs of neurological disease.
“The unmet need in neurology of establishing objective and sensitive biomarkers is immense. NeuraLight’s approach holds real promise to address this need,” said Thomas Südhof, professor of molecular and cellular physiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, who serves on NeuraLight’s Scientific Advisory Board.
There is growing evidence that changes in the eye are important diagnostic features in neurological disease and can also be used to reflect disease progression over time. Recent advances in imaging, smartphone cameras and AI technology are now making it possible to apply this kind of imaging more widely and in a cost-effective manner.
NeuraLight plans to work with companies and researchers running clinical trials for new therapies for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and multiple sclerosis to help monitor the neurological status of participants. If validated, the company hopes its technology could help reduce the high failure rate of clinical trials for neurological disease therapeutics.
“After watching my grandfather’s battle with Alzheimer’s, I began studying these diseases in depth, and it soon became clear to me that not only are neurological diseases very hard to understand but that cures for these diseases are extremely hard to discover because these diseases lack robust objective and sensitive measures. That’s why we founded NeuraLight, to measure neurological disorders accurately and objectively, and bring precision medicine to neurology,” said Micha Breakstone, co-founder and CEO of NeuraLight.