Medicortex has raised over a million dollars. Adrian Harel is its CEO.
Medicortex is dedicated to improving the diagnosis and treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries. How would you describe Medicortex in a single message?
President Barack Obama launched the BRAIN Initiative in order to inspire people like me to get involved with global brain research. I wanted to improve the treatment and diagnostics of TBI. Why did it all start?
What have you accomplished so far? I received my PhD in Neuroscience from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and I was a researcher at Washington University. I have managed several companies. With new ideas in my mind, I applied for financial support for research and development offered by the Finn government and set up the activities in the city of Turku. Medicortex is developing a kit that can detect concussions in a matter of minutes.
A proof-of-concept human trial and a more comprehensive clinical validation study are the next steps in the development of the biomarker. The company showed that the biomarker could differentiate brain injured persons from healthy individuals, that the structure of the biomarker was characterized, and that certain binders were identified which specifically recognize the biomarker. A quick diagnostic test will be performed on the binder.
I was the first scientist to use glycan markers for concussion diagnostics. My previous experience in neurobiology and glycan analysis led to the idea. The team I put together proved the hypothesis. I am the CEO of Medicortex. Dr. Mrten Kvist was hired to understand the clinical perspective in more detail. Dr. Vlimaa has expertise in medical device development. Mr. Haavisto is a master student in biotechnology and is working as an assistant in the clinical trials and test development. Two additional team members supervise regulatory aspects and marketing plans. We bring together all aspects of the research to develop a test kit for quick and easy detection of concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
A 1.1 million dollars grant from the USA Department of Defense provides funding for continued clinical development of the company’s diagnostic kit for rapid detection of mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions. The funds will be used to strengthen our research team and to expand our programs from the clinical sample collection to a prototype kit. The next step in collecting more comprehensive clinical evidence is supported by the award. How will you use the funding round?
What are you planning to achieve in the next few years? The test kit can be used to detect brain injury biomarkers from non-invasive body fluid samples. We have discovered and identified some unique biomarkers and are developing them into a rapid diagnostic kit. It is possible to detect brain injury in the field with a kit. There will be less need for expensive and laborious head scans, which are not sure how to detect concussions and mild injuries. Even a small hit can cause a person’s brain to go into a state of trauma which can lead to a concussion. It can lead to bad conditions.
The next mission is to conduct a clinical trial to confirm the importance of the biomarker in the clinical trial of children. In the next two years, the mission will submit a regulatory application.
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