Override, a virtual pain management startup, emerged from stealth mode this week with $3.5 million in hand. The company’s program applies an interdisciplinary methodology to virtual pain management in a continuity from diagnosis and physical therapy through to pain coaching and mental health. According to their release, the company combines the “latest in pain neuroscience research to help patients make functional, behavioral, and movement-related changes needed to calm the nervous system and rewire pain neural pathways. The program strives to transform people dependent on opioids, chiropractors, and repeat injections into self-managers of their own pain experience and broader health.” Pain coaching is offered nationwide, while pain physicians, physical therapy, and pain psychology treatment are only available to residents in FL, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, and Texas. Services may be purchased à la carte or bundled. Override’s present model is direct to patients first, then piloting with employer and health system partners.
What is also intriguing is that Override is a family affair–David Shulkin, MD, former VA Secretary, and his daughter, Jennie Shulkin, a lawyer who is herself a chronic pain sufferer. Dr. Shulkin is also experienced in this via the VA’s opioid treatment program. Seed funding of $3.5 million was raised from 7wireVentures and Martin Ventures, joined by SignalFire and Confluent Health. Prior to coming out of stealth, Override used the funding to purchase pain management coach Take Courage Coaching. Something very needed for the estimated 50 million Americans with chronic pain. Hat tip to HISTalk 16 Dec.
Recent fundings rounded up concentrate on the brain and heart:
The largest is brain-computer interface (BCI) developer Synchron with an oversubscribed Series C of $75 million. Lead investor was ARCH Venture Partners, joined by heavy hitters such as Gates Frontier, Bezos Expeditions, Reliance Digital Health Limited, and 11 others. Synchron’s value proposition is centered on a minimally invasive, surgically inserted brain implant (Synchron Switch) for what they term Neurointerventional Electrophysiology (Neuro EP). FDA granted them Breakthrough Device designation in 2020 for the Stentrode device, an implant delivered to the brain through blood vessels to give paralysis patients the ability to control digital devices with their thoughts. It is currently in human clinical trials in the US and Australia. The fresh funding will be used for additional development. A number of these funders have made public their interest in BCI for other uses for which thought tracking and action might be useful. Mobihealthnews, Crunchbase, VC News Daily
Speaking of brains, Pune, India’s In-Med Prognostics has received $2.13 million in a seed round from Exxora and other angel investors. In-Med has developed AI diagnostics to aid in the assessment and early detection of neurological disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. The funding will further develop their NeuroFlow analytics platform; NeuroShield, an app powered by NeuroFlow that provides ethnicity-specific volumetric brain analysis within 20 minutes; and VivoShield Sports for performance analysis. Currently, they are marketed in Africa but In-Med has offices in Australia and San Diego. VCCircle (India), Mobihealthnews
And for that pain in the head known as migraine, Click Therapeutics has received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for its prescription digital therapeutic for episodic migraine. CT-132 is being developed as an adjunctive preventive treatment for episodic migraine in patients aged 18 years+. In April, Silicon Valley Bank loaned them $15 million to retire an earlier term loan from K2 Health Ventures. Release 16 Dec, Release 15 April, Mobihealthnews
Moving from the head to the heart, Cardiosense garnered a $15 million Series A for its AI-based detection of cardiovascular disease. In February, it received Breakthrough Device designation from FDA for combining monitoring of seismocardiogram, electrocardiogram and photoplethysmogram readings from the CardioTag wearable sensor with AI algorithms to determine pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP). PCWP is a measure of congestive heart failure (CHF) that at present can only be assessed through catheterization. The new funding will speed up other products in its portfolio as well as studies to further refine and validate the CHF algorithm over a diverse population. Leading the Series A were Broadview Ventures and Hatteras Venture Partners joined by four others. Release, FierceBiotech