NeuraLight, an Israeli company developing objective and sensitive biomarkers for neurological disorders and NeuroSense Therapeutics, and Israeli medtech firm developing treatments for severe neurodegenerative diseases, are working together on a new technology that utilizes artificial intelligence AI to detect ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The companies will do so by advancing the science of digital biomarkers in the detection and monitoring of neurological diseases.
NeuraLight’s platform uses proprietary computer vision and deep learning algorithms to extract over 100 occulometic markers from facial videos captured with a standard webcam. NeuroSense is conducting a Phase IIb PARADIGM trial, which is a double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the efficacy of NeuroSense’s lead combination drug candidate, PrimeC, in the treatment of ALS.
The NeuroSense-NeuraLight collaboration entails sharing and tracking patient data to advance the identification and use of ALS digital biomarkers in a parallel study conducted by NeuraLight. This collaboration marks NeuraLight’s first clinical trial and comes on the heels of NeuraLight’s $25M Series A raise.
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According to the Mayo Clinic, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a-my-o-TROE-fik LAT-ur-ul skluh-ROE-sis), or ALS, is a progressive nervous system disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control.
ALS is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the baseball player who was diagnosed with it. Doctors usually don’t know why ALS occurs. Some cases are inherited.
ALS, explains the Mayo Clinic, often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in a limb, or slurred speech. Eventually, ALS affects control of the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. There is no cure for this fatal disease.
So, as with many diseases, early detection is crucial to treating ALS and helping to allay its symptoms.
“There is compelling value in the use of precise biomarkers to diagnose and track the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. We are very pleased to work with the stellar team at NeuraLight who are pioneering the development of digital oculometric biomarkers, which complement our extensive evaluation of biological markers of ALS,” said NeuroSense CEO Alon Ben-Noon. “We believe these tools have the potential to enable patient stratification and increase the likelihood of success in a future NeuroSense pivotal trial of PrimeC in the treatment of ALS. This is a first step in what we envision as a long-term collaboration with NeuraLight in ALS as well as future studies we plan for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.”
Founded by CEO Micha Breakstone and CTO Edmund Benami as well as scientific co-founder Gil Shklarski who previously served as CTO of Flatiron Health, NeuroSense Therapeutics, Ltd. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing treatments for patients suffering from debilitating neurodegenerative diseases. NeuroSense believes that these diseases, which include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, among others, represent one of the most significant unmet medical needs of our time, with limited effective therapeutic options available for patients to date. Due to the complexity of neurodegenerative diseases and based on strong scientific research on a large panel of related biomarkers, NeuroSense’s strategy is to develop combined therapies targeting multiple pathways associated with these diseases.
NeuraLight was founded this year by Micha Breakstone, who co-founded Chorus.ai, a sales platform based on natural language processing and enables the extraction of insights from sales staff discussions in order to boost their chances of success. In July that company had a big exit when it sold to ZoomInfo for $575 million in cash.
Teleneurology is a form of Telemedicine that enables neurology to be practiced when the doctor and patient are not present in the same place, and possibly not at the same time.