BrainTale funding will accelerate imaging analysis platform

BrainTale-care will help diagnose and monitor neurological disorders, including ALS

Patricia Inácio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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The French medtech company BrainTale has raised €4.5 million (about $4.9 million) to support the development of a noninvasive imaging analysis platform to help diagnose and monitor amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological disorders.

The platform, called BrainTale-care, is a digital medical platform that examines MRI scans to detect alterations in the brain’s white matter — regions that contain mostly nerve fibers connecting different brain regions.

White matter makes up about 80% of the human brain, and BrainTale believes “its exploration could lead to major discoveries in neurology, notably in improving disease diagnosis,” the company says on its website.

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Using sensitive and reliable measures of microstructural alterations in white matter, the company has already developed some prognostic solutions that may improve diagnosis and monitoring in people with neurological conditions, and help assess treatment response. One of the company’s tools also can predict recovery from coma in patients who experienced cardiac arrest or brain trauma.

“After 15 years of academic research and 5 years of investment, the solutions developed by BrainTale are finally available to patients and my colleagues,” Louis Puybasset, chairman of the scientific advisory board and co-founder of BrainTale, said in a press release.

“Responding to the unmet medical need that has been the driving force behind this ambitious project since its inception is one of the major challenges of the coming years, and BrainTale’s development is perfectly in line with this dynamic,” Puybasset added.

Marketed as a “software as a service,” or SaaS, the platform includes proprietary biomarkers that reliably assess the integrity of deep white matter. These biomarkers were developed to correlate with traditional clinical scores, enabling patient classification and aiding in decision-making.

Data from a past clinical trial show that BrainTale’s platform identified abnormalities in the white matter of ALS patients using a type of MRI imaging analysis called diffusion tensor imaging.

The platform detected changes that correlated with the loss of motor neurons — the nerve cells that control motor movement and are damaged in ALS — even in patients without clinical signs of neuronal degeneration.

Funding details

“Our team will be able to accelerate our innovative developments to make BrainTale biomarkers a reference for the benefit of patients suffering from neurological disorders,” said Vincent Perlbarg, president, scientific director and co-founder of BrainTale.

The funding scheme was led by Capital Grand Est and Mutuelle d’assurance du corps de santé français (MACSF), as well as business angels and healthcare professionals, with contributions from a Deeptech plan from Bpifrance Grand Est.

“We are proud to include BrainTale in our portfolio of e-health start-ups. This investment is perfectly in line with MACSF’s strategy of helping to improve the world of healthcare,” said Sébastien Couvet, head of the MACSF Group’s e-health portfolio.

Julie Rachline, president of Lallian, the life sciences integrator that supports BrainTale since its foundation in 2018, said: “This fundraising is a decisive step for BrainTale, and enables us to look forward with ambition to our next development milestones.”

“The commitment of Capital Grand Est and MACSF by our side reinforces our strategy to establish BrainTale’s brain measurement as a reference, in particular to enable drug developers to accelerate the development of new therapies in a more agile and efficient way, bringing a new dynamic in neurosciences,” added Rachline, who also is CEO of BrainTale.

Virginie Miath, investment director at Capital Grand Est, added: “We are delighted to be able to support BrainTale in this acceleration phase alongside MACSF and an experienced and talented management team. BrainTale offers a disruptive product that combines digital health with cutting-edge fundamental research, key ingredients for success.”