Digital health start-up neotiv secures seed funding from High-Tech Gründerfonds
From basic research straight to a digital medical product: this vision has been turned into reality by neotiv. The team headed by Chief Executive Officer Dr. Chris Rehse and dementia researcher Prof. Emrah Düzel develops user-friendly apps that are able to measure the psychological effects of Alzheimer’s disease in its early stage. The Magdeburg-based start-up is thus bringing the latest findings in the field of neurodegenerative disease research to mobile apps for private users, doctors and drug development.
The technology is based on memory tests that have been specially developed for this purpose in comprehensive scientific studies at national and international levels. The scores obtained in these tests indicate whether specific brain regions are functionally compromised. neotiv not only delivers a snapshot of a patient’s mental capacity, but also enables a long-term, high-frequency monitoring of memory. This type of monitoring enables a dynamic tailoring of possible preventative and therapeutic measures.
In doing so, neotiv is overcoming a major obstacle between high-tech research and widespread translation. Doctors and scientists have for years been able to visualize the onset and spread of Alzheimer’s disease with the aid of special imaging procedures. However, these imaging procedures are complex and expensive, and are available to specialised institutions only. The same limitations apply to diagnostic procedures based on cerebral spinal fluid taps. The team led by neotiv has been able to demonstrate that their newly developed memory tests are able to capture the imaging and CSF-based biomarker changes of Alzheimer’s disease. These tests form the basis of the neotiv app.
By introducing these tests into a mobile app, neotiv aims to ensure that users are easily able to track the development of the disease, even in its earliest stage. This is a basic prerequisite for tackling a range of problems linked to the early diagnosis and, above all, the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. The app will help health-conscious individuals to optimise changes to their lifestyle in a preventative manner so as to reduce dementia-related risks in a targeted way. It will also enable doctors to detect changes brought on by Alzheimer’s and to monitor the course of treatment. Drug developers can also use the app to make a more efficient pre-selection of trial candidates according to the early stages of the disease. The app also provides them with improved and high frequency monitoring of treatment effects.
“With neotiv, our aim is to provide a comprehensive support tool for treating memory and dementia-related disorders. We therefore expect to become the key to more individualised, non-pharmaceutical – but also pharmaceutical – treatments in the future,” says co-founder Prof. Emrah Düzel. Dr. Chris Rehse adds: “neotiv is seeking to make a lasting contribution to people’s health by also working closely with important institutions within the healthcare system, such as the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). Furthermore, we are looking to remain firmly rooted in the field of memory research and make the findings accessible to the wider public.”
neotiv is being supported in the launch of the product on the growing e-health market by the Flying Health Incubator in Berlin. Research work is also being monitored and supported through the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s (BMWi) EXIST Transfer of Research programme.
neotiv is a spin-off of the Otto von Guericke University in the German city of Magdeburg in close collaboration with the Magdeburg site of the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). neotiv incorporates the latest scientific findings from the fields of neuroscience and dementia research into mobile software that can be used on smartphones and tablets. Our work focuses on the development of a digital assistant that can monitor and aid users’ memories and provide support for patients with dementia.
In the last two years, a first prototype of the neotiv app has been built and tested for validity and user-friendliness on the basis of the ego.-Gründungstransfer programme of the state of Saxony-Anhalt. With the launch of the EXIST Transfer of Research programme in August 2017, an app will now be developed for the market with funds provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) for research. neotiv will be assisted by the Flying Health Incubator in Berlin throughout the entire process. It will also be supported by the Transfer and Start-up Center (OVGU) in Magdeburg and will work closely with the state of Saxony-Anhalt.
About Flying Health Incubator
The Flying Health Incubator provides digital health start-ups with an exclusive environment to ready diagnosis and therapy applications for market entry – with the focus always on the health benefits for patients. It has also amassed a network of partners spanning the entire healthcare system. Buoyed by this ideal form of synergy, the digitalisation of healthcare is being actively shaped in the Flying Health Incubator.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
Launched in 2005, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a powerful engine that drives the success of high-tech start-ups. Armed with expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, the experienced team of investment managers and start-up experts guide top companies on their journey from launch to success. HTGF focuses on high-potential start-ups active in the sectors of software, media, internet, hardware, energy and automation, life sciences (medical technology, diagnostics, biotechnology) and chemicals. With EUR 886 million in investment volume across three funds (EUR 272 million in HTGF I, EUR 304 million in HTGF II, and a targeted volume of EUR 310 million for HTGF III) and an international network of partners, HTGF has already financed close to 500 start-ups.
This group also includes a number of success stories, such as Mister Spex, Rigontec GmbH, 6Wunderkinder, Next Kraftwerke GmbH and Cumulocity, as well as Juniqe, an online shop for art enthusiasts. To date, external investors have injected over EUR 1.5 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,200 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in almost 90 companies. Investors in this public-private partnership include the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Banking Group and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as a number of well-known companies active in the industry, science and media spheres.