Cognito Therapeutics raises $73M to advance study on Alzheimer's patients

Steven Loeb · March 23, 2023 · Short URL:

The company's wearable uses light and sound to restore electrical activity in the brain

Alzheimer’s affects more than 6 million Americans, most of them over the age of 65, and is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. making it one of, is not the largest unmet healthcare need.

One of the reasons it's so hard to treat the disease is we don't have a universal theory and understanding of the brain: we know what various parts of the brain do, but we don't actually understand the etiology and the functionality of the brain at a level that we do with something like cardiovascular disease. 

Cognito Therapeutics is a company looking to change that to change that with a medical device that delivers both visual and auditory stimulation to treat neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

The company is currently recruiting people to participate in a non-invasive wearable device study that delivers sensory stimulation, and has the potential to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, from the comfort of their home. Now, Cognito will be able to advance this study now that it has announced a $73 milion Series B financing.

The round was led by FoundersX Ventures with participation from all existing investors along with new investors Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), Starbloom Capital, IAG Capital and WS Investment Company (Wilson Sonsini’s venture arm). This latest round brings its total amount raised to $93 million.

Founded in 2016, Cognito's wearable, which is a regulated medical device, uses light and sound, rather than magnets or electrical stimulation.

By shining specific frequencies of light and having specific frequencies of sound, every time that sound or that light triggers the optic, or the auditory nerves, those nerves fire and every time that light activates the optic nerve, the optic nerve fires an electrical impulse into the brain. By controlling and modulating the frequency of these light and sound stimulation, Coginto's wearable can actually get the brain to start naturally firing at this frequency.

The device is put on the patient while an EEG is running so it can see the brain immediately start to respond. It can modulate the target in the patient while they're sitting in front of them, and it can show that it's starting to regenerate the brain's ability to communicate with certain frequencies that are seen in healthy patients but which are missing in Alzheimer's patients.

Cognito has already been able to show that, by producing the right stimulation, it can get the brain to start to work towards the path of restoring the balance within the brain, and it does this with electrical activity across the brain, which immediately starts to impact brain function.

In addition to Alzheimer’s, the company is also focused on Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and ischemic stroke.

In addition to the the new funding, it was also revealed that Dr. Rick Kuntz, MD, MSc, former Senior Vice President, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of Medtronic and Helen Liang, founder and Managing Partner at FoundersX, have joined the Board of Directors at Cognito. 

“This funding will accelerate development of Cognito’s home-based wearable device which has the potential to be a novel, safe, disease-modifying therapeutic approach to treat neurodegenerative diseases, starting with Alzheimer’s," Brent Vaughan, CEO of Cognito Therapeutics, said in a statement.

"I am also delighted to welcome Dr. Kuntz to our team. His experience as the CMO and CSO of Medtronic, where he was instrumental in building their leading neuroscience medical device business will be extremely helpful to Cognito as we advance our technology for the millions of patients with neurological disorders." 

You can see our recent interview with Vaughan on the VatorNews podcast below:

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