NeuralDx seeks $1.5m to commercialise mental illness diagnostic device

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NeuralDx plans to use the funds to manufacture the first commercial prototypes of its EVestG device.

Australian medical technology company NeuralDx is seeking to raise $1.5 million to commercialise its device that subjectively diagnoses psychiatric and neurological disorders such as major depression and Alzheimer’s.

Called EVestG, the device is a world-first technology that delivers an objective measurement of brain function that supports clinical diagnosis of psychiatric and neurological disorders within minutes.

According to research by Mindgardens Neuroscience Network, more than 700,000 Australians suffer from serious mental illness each year, resulting in costs exceeding more than $60 billion per annum.

“EVestG is to the mind what an electrocardiogram (ECG) is to the heart; a diagnostic tool measuring the neural activity of the brain, but significantly less expensive, more convenient, accurate and versatile than EEG, PET or fMRI scans,” NeuralDX chief executive officer Dr Roger Edwards explained.

Proven diagnosis tool

The EVestG device enables clinicians to objectively diagnose a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders with increased accuracy via digital biomarkers.

“Mental illness is the number one global health issue costing communities trillions of dollars in treatment, management and lost productivity each year, as well as untold suffering and suicide,” Dr Edwards noted.

In some instances associated with a bipolar disorder diagnosis, 69% of sufferers report receiving a misdiagnosis which can go on for over 10 years before being effectively treated.

NeuralDx’s device provides a quick, painless, convenient and minimally invasive objective test of a patient’s neural responses to determine common brain disorders.

“A meta-study of over 50,000 subjects in the UK have shown that doctors get the diagnosis of depression wrong more than 50% of the time, during the first few consultations, not because they are incompetent – there just hasn’t been an objective tool like EVestG to assist in diagnosis,” Dr Edwards added.

Sixteen researchers have worked on the technology, with close to $10 million of university, government and private funds invested into EVestG over the past 12 years.

Ready for global commercialisation

NeuralDx is seeking a $1.5 million capital raising to manufacture the commercial prototypes of the device for regulatory approval.

“The funds raised will assist NeuralDx in bringing its first product to market which will be a smaller, more compact version of the current model, suitable for manufacturing,” said Dr Edwards.

Three EVestG devices have been built and tested, with one device currently in operation at the University of Manitoba, Canada as well as patents registered in several countries including Australia, the US, China and Japan.

The company’s research team was also finalist in the 2015 Australian Museum’s Eureka Award for Excellence in Multi-disciplinary Scientific Research.

NeuralDx is planning to list on the ASX in the near to mid-term.