UCLA spinout nabs $10M Series A to diagnose, track traumatic brain injury

Neural Analytics' Transcranial Doppler device--Courtesy of Neural Analytics

Neural Analytics is developing portable transcranial Doppler ultrasound devices that it expects could be used by first responders and emergency room physicians to accurately assess mild to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussions. The new $10 million investment will back continuing research studies, clinical testing starting next year and the ongoing development of new products.

Neurological exams, cognitive testing and imaging such as a computed tomography scan or magnetic resonance are the current approaches to assessing and diagnosing TBI. About 3.8 million Americans a year have a concussion and the associated symptoms vary widely, which can make a concussion tough to diagnose. An estimated another 1.7 million people in the U.S. have a TBI annually, in addition to those with concussions.

The startup is studying athletes at high risk of TBI using its Transcranial Doppler measurements that are made via ultrasound to measure brain blood flow velocity. It likens the technology to a fetal ultrasound for pregnant women, which it noted has no known side effects.

The Series A brings the total raised by Neural Analytics up to $13 million, including a $3 million seed round last year. New investors include venture firm JSR Limited and Taiyu Capital, a subsidiary of Chinese CRO TigerMed.

Founded in 2013, Neural Analytics spun out of the University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Neurology.

"We welcome JSR Limited and Taiyu to our multinational syndicate of top tier investors," said Neural Analytic co-founder and CEO Leo Petrossian. "This remarkable level of interest and significant capitalization demonstrates high confidence in our team and the excitement around the launch of our clinical trials early next year."

- here is the announcement