Belfast-based Cumulus raises €6.9m for its ‘Fitbit for the brain’

Company formerly known as BrainWaveBank secures further funding from backers

Belfast-based Cumulus Neuroscience, which has developed what it describes as a "Fitbit for the brain", has secured £6 million (€6.94 million) in investment.

Formerly known as BrainWaveBank, the company has developed a wireless electroencephalogram (EEG) headset and proprietary software platform that use advanced analytics and machine learning to measure cognitive fitness.

Users wearing the headsets are asked to perform simple cognitive tasks with the results diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and psychiatric conditions such as depression and schizophrenia.

The company was founded in January 2015 by Ronan Cunningham, Brian Murphy, Siggi Saevarsson and Urs Streidl. Its headset can objectively probe neuronal integrity, network connectivity and the strategies the brain uses to compensate for neuronal damage. This information is then stored on its platform which uses artificial intelligence-based data analysis to generate insights more quickly and help determine treatment outcomes.


Nervous-system therapies

The company said it intended to use the funding to further accelerate the development of central nervous system (CNS) therapies.

“This funding will allow us to build on the ground-breaking advances we have made in remote, frequent monitoring of brain activity and cognitive function in the home, in partnership with leading developers of digital biomarkers,” said Mr Cunningham, the company’s chief executive.

“We believe our integrated next-generation platform can improve the execution of clinical trials by yielding significant time and cost savings, adding meaningful value to the next generation of [CNS] therapies,” he added.

The investment was led by the Dementia Discovery Fund, a £250 million specialist venture-capital fund investing in, and creating, biotech companies pursuing transformational therapeutic approaches for dementias including Alzheimer's disease. LifeArc, a self-funded medical research charity, also participated, as did the UK Future Fund.

The funding brings to £9.7 million the total raised to date by Cumulus Neuroscience.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist