September 16, 2019
Cerenion, a company that has developed the first practical way of evaluating the function of the brain in intensive care and predicting its recovery after a serious medical incident, closed an investment round led by Springvest.
Springvest is an investment platform which brings unlisted growth company shares available for a wider group of investors. Cerenion became acquainted with Springvest after a representative had a meeting with Cerenion at Slush last year. In March the following year, Cerenion and Springvest took their discussions further to see if they were a right fit for investment. They were, and six months later Springvest made their decision.
Icebreaker invested in Cerenion in January of 2018; a co-investment with Butterfly Ventures. We invested in Cerenion because of their deep-tech approach and the strong team behind it. The technology is groundbreaking. In intensive care units, a patients heart and lungs can be monitored; so why not the brain? Cerenion has developed technology that works by reading the data from electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets, analysing the data and then giving a brain score called C-Trend™ and other parameters for doctors to then base their professional decisions on.
Roots in Academic Research
Cerenion was founded by a strong millennial team with medical, computer science and business administration backgrounds. The product is based on research conducted at the University of Oulu by Jukka Kortelainen and Eero Väyrynen who have both worked in a range of research roles focusing on EEG analysis. Jukka has extensive experience in the brain monitoring field. During his postgraduate studies he visited in Baltimore, Maryland (United States) and did his doctoral thesis on EEG anesthesia depth measurements. Jukka, now the Chief Medical Officer, founded Cerenion with Timo Koskela, the CEO, Eero Väryrynen, the CTO, and Ilkka Juuso, the COO.
“The origins of our technology lie in several years of research at the University of Oulu in Finland and we are only now beginning to see the first patents come through,’’ says Dr. Jukka Kortelainen, Chief Medical Officer and head of IPR Management at Cerenion. “We have filed 12 patent applications on our technology worldwide, and expect to obtain at least three patents later this year,’’ continues Dr. Koskela.
Next Generation Brain Monitoring
The C-Trend™ technology has the potential to improve the quality and cost of intensive care. The problem with the current solutions is to do with time and money; which usually go hand-in-hand in the medical field. When it comes to monitoring the brain function of patients who are in intensive care, one would need an EEG specialist to do the interpretation of the EEG recording. In addition, setting up the traditional EEG cap on patients’ head to read the EEG is also a time consuming process. Cerenion provides a quicker and easier method as Cerenion’s software can be deployed on new easy-to-setup wireless EEG devices. The C-Trend™ technology (which has received trademark status) reveals the status of the brain as one simple score, and as such, allows for brain monitoring to be done without continuous interpretation required from an EEG specialist.
With the added funds, Cerenion plans to expand their market reach — especially now that they have trademarks in the US as well as Europe. The funding will allow Cerenion to initiate sales in Europe, integrate their technology with third parties as well as advance the permit process in the US.
We at Icebreaker wish to congratulate Cerenion on their investment and wish them good luck on their future expansion!