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Neuroscience Software Company Raises $23M in Early Funds

Brain circuits illustration

(HypnoArt, Pixabay)

17 Sept. 2021. A company developing neuroscience data collection and analytics tools for clinicians and researchers raised $22.8 million in its first venture round. Rune Labs, a three year-old enterprise in San Francisco, designs software that integrates data from medical equipment and wearable devices to provide more precise diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases and analytical tools for clinical trials.

Rune Labs aims to bring together neurological data from a wide range of sources into databases for analysis. The company’s technology seeks to integrate and synchronize these data from electrophysiology systems, brain images, and wearable devices from large numbers of patients and over longer periods of time. Rune Labs says its databases provide large-scale data volumes for detailed analytics, including deep learning algorithms. And the company says it partners with drug makers and academic medical labs to help design therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders.

As an example of the large-scale neurological data becoming available for analysis, Rune Labs points to a recent study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology that captures data from Parkinson’s disease patients undergoing deep-brain stimulation. This technique implants electrodes in affected parts of the brain to treat the disorder, which up to recently was conducted mainly in hospitals. In this study, the researchers collected data from more modern and compact implanted devices patients could wear over longer periods of time, including at home.

The study team captured two-way data from five patients for up to 15 months, amassing more than 2,600 hours of data that enabled the researchers to identify and validate neurological biomarkers for each patient during their normal daily activities. The researchers were led by Ro’ee Gilron, a postdoctoral fellow at University of California in San Francisco, and lead neuroscientist at Rune Labs.

Expand technology platform to more disorders

In a blog post about the study, the company says …

This is a big deal because Parkinson’s, like most neurological conditions, can vary significantly over the day, day-to-day, in response to different environmental pressures, and in response to medication and diet: any in-clinic snapshot will only give a limited picture of a patient’s overall disease phenotype.  By contrast, this publication shows 2500 hours of brain sensing over days, weeks, and months across 5 individual patients, including quantitative tremor and dyskinesia labels from wearable devices and patient-reported outcomes for medication and symptoms.

Rune Labs raised $22.8 million in its first venture funding round, led by technology investor Eclipse Ventures in Palo Alto, California. Joining the round are Rune Labs’ earlier investors DigiTx Partners and Moment Ventures. Rune Labs, according to Crunchbase, raised nearly $6.5 million in two seed rounds between September 2019 and October 2020.

“Since our founding in 2018,” says Rune Labs founder and CEO Brian Pepin in a company statement, “we have made substantial progress in the development and implementation of our brain data software platform. This financing will enable us to expand the number of patients, clinicians, and researchers using our platform to inform precision therapy development and delivery for patients with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and depression.”

Eclipse Ventures identifies health care infrastructure as one if its investment targets. The investment company also announced yesterday a $19.5 million first-round investment in Safely You, a spin-off enterprise from University of California in Berkeley, developing systems using artificial intelligence to detect detect and help prevent falls in people in assisted-living facilities.

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