Omniscient Neurotechnology rakes in $29M to map out the electrical networks of the brain

Long gone are the days of treating the brain like an unknowable black box, now that a slew of neurologists and medtech developers have found the tools to map out everything inside.

In the latter category is Omniscient Neurotechnology, an Australian startup developing artificial intelligence software to analyze the networks of electrical connections unique to each person’s brain.

With the recent close of its series B funding round, which brought in $40 million AUD for Omniscient—or about $29.3 million U.S.—the company hopes to cross the crucial line between developing high-potential, but still largely theoretical, technology and weaving those methods into actual clinical use.

To do so, Omniscient will use the financing to expand market access for its existing brain-mapping platforms, in part by growing its global sales team. It’ll also accelerate its R&D pipeline and add to the science and engineering teams behind those efforts to advance neurological research and develop new hardware.

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So far, Omniscient has built two platforms to map out and analyze the brain’s electrical networks. Both use machine learning to draw this information from MRI scans.

Infinitome offers up analysis for use in research settings, with a platform for studies that aim to better understand how diseases such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and others impact the brain's electrical connections and potentially help identify useful biomarkers.

Quicktome, meanwhile, was designed for clinical use. The platform gives neurosurgeons a clearer picture of the inner workings of their patients’ brains ahead of major operations—mapping out the areas responsible for speech, movement and thought. Ultimately, with the help of brain-mapping AI, Omniscient aims to provide surgeons with a way to perform more precise and safer procedures that preserve essential functions.

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“If you look at a brain scan today, many disorders such as depression are invisible—there’s nothing physically there to see,” said Michael Sughrue, Omniscient’s co-founder and chief medical officer. “Observing the brain’s connections tells a very different story.”

"Brain surgery is where we wanted to start, because neurosurgeons have an urgent need for brain mapping to guide surgical decisions," Sughrue said. "Our software processes MRI scans to provide a detailed map of an individual’s brain networks, specifically tailored to each patient.”

Quicktome was cleared by the FDA for pre-op use earlier this year. It has also received regulatory clearances in Canada and Australia.