2011 In Review

As 2011 comes to a close, it’s worth taking a look back at significant events in the neurotechnology industry during the year. This year marked the beginning of our second decade publishing Neurotech Business Report and as was true 10 years ago, the pace of new product development and promising research continues to be impressive.

One of the more interesting themes during the year was the growth of the consumer neurotech space. In January we shared in this space insights gleaned during our interview with NeuroFocus founder and neuromarketing pioneer A.K. Pradeep. In our August issue, contributing editor Victor Pikov explored the market for consumer neural interfaces, examining the marketing and engineering issues. And the 2011 Neurotech Leaders Forum featured a full-day on consumer neurotech, with presentations from device manufacturers NeuroSky, NeuroVigil, Magneceutical Health, and EmSense Corp. among others.

Some key M&A activity during the year included Boston Scientific’s purchase of the remainder of Intelect Medical for $60 million and Natus Medical’s purchase of sleep diagnostic firm Embla Systems for $16.1 million.

Venture capital funding remained strong during 2011. In January, Nexstim raised €11million in equity financing from European investors. Another European startup, Electrical Brain Synchronization Technologies, raised €3 million for its neurorehabilitation technology. And Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation in Germany raised a €13 million series A round for its MRI-compatible DBS system with navigation software.

In the U.S. Spinal Modulation raised $30 million in a series D round , ImThera Medical raised $4 million in a series C round, and Functional Neuromodulation raised $10.4 million from Medtronic and Genesys Capital for its DBS system for ALS. Two Israeli firms, Enopace Biomedical, and Nervomatrix Ltd., received $7 million and $3.5 million, respectively, in venture funding.

Perhaps the most significant device approval of the year was the Second Sight Argus II retinal implant, which received CE Mark in Europe. Other firms to obtain CE Mark were EnteroMedics for its Maestro RC system for treatment of obesity; Medtronic, for its peripheral nerve stimulation therapy, and St. Jude Medical, for its Genesis device for treatment of intractable chronic migraine.

Though FDA approvals were not as forthcoming as European approvals, Medtronic got FDA approval of its Symplicity renal denervation system for hypertension. Bioness received FDA clearance of its NESS L300 Plus device, and Synapse Biomedical got FDA approval of its NeuRx diaphragm pacing system for treatment of ALS.

We wish a prosperous 2012 to all our readers.

James Cavuoto
Editor and Publisher



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