Belfast-based Neurovalens secures funding for clinical trial

Company seeking to use technology to treat anxiety and PTSD

Neurovalens founder Dr Jason McKeown

Neurovalens founder Dr Jason McKeown


Belfast health-technology company Neurovalens has secured new funding to carry out clinical trials into the use of its technology for the treatment of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.

The company, which specialises in non-invasive neuro-technology to tackle health challenges, including metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity, secured a grant of £225,000 (€264,000) from Invest Northern Ireland to support the development of the technology.

The funding will help the company to undertake a series of clinical trials on the safety and efficacy of using the technology as treatment for anxiety disorders. The trials will be run in collaboration with Ulster University, Coleraine, and the University of California, San Diego.

The company has developed medical devices to deliver low-level electrical stimulation to deep parts of the brain and nervous system in a non-invasive way, eliminating the need for implanted electrodes.

“Anxiety disorders are unfortunately the most common mental health disorders across the world, and in the US alone affect around 20 per cent of the population,” said chief executive Dr Jason McKeown.

“PTSD accounts for approximately eight million individual cases. We believe that offering much earlier, non-invasive intervention could be really transformative for someone who is struggling with their mental health.”

Reimbursement status

Chief financial officer Niall Quinn said the primary focus is to achieve reimbursement status for all its medical devices within the US healthcare market, accelerating its FDA approval plans and move to the next stage of commercialisation.

Last year, Neurovalens raised £5.2 million from UK and Irish investors to expand existing clinical trials, fund new ones and develop the technology to be used to treat wider range of conditions.

“Neurovalens has created a buzz across the world with the introduction of non-invasive innovative health technologies which aim to support consumers with varying health concerns,” said Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s director of innovation, research and development. “The company first started out on our Propel Programme and since then we have continued to support it to grow through job creation, R&D and marketing activities. It’s great to see another NI company recognise the value of investing in R&D to support competitiveness, job creation and export led growth.”