Sapiens secures €10m from Wellcome Trust, MJFF, Agentscap


Netherlands-based Sapiens has secured €10m in additional funding from the UK’s Wellcome Trust, The Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF), and Dutch government organisation Agentschap to develop its steering brain stimulation proposition to treat Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders.

The financing will supplement an initial €13m Series A funding round with Wellington Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and LSP in May this year.

Sapiens has received a Strategic Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest charity organisation. This €3.5m equity investment will facilitate the development of specific components of Sapiens’ high-resolution, thin-film-based probe technology.

Richard Seabrook, head of business development at the Wellcome Trust, said, “Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has proven to be a life-changing therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease. By refining the technology and reducing side effects, this project promises to bring back quality of life to more patients living with this debilitating disease.”

The company has also been awarded a $370,000 research grant from The Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF), as part of their Therapeutics Development Initiative 2011. This foundation sponsors research and development programs to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease and to develop improved therapies for those who live with the illness.

“Our Foundation invests in accelerating the transition of promising treatment options for Parkinson’s disease into clinical practice,” said Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of MJFF. “The potential in the Sapiens approach to DBS to make a difference in Parkinson’s disease treatment is reflected in our funding decision.”

In addition, Agentschap provided €5m funding for the development of Sapiens’ high-resolution probe, as well as a €1.5m grant in collaboration with the departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology of the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, and Twente Medical Systems International, which specialises in developing high-precision electrophysiological products.

Wellcome Trust also recently participated in a $91m financing round for US osteoporosis and women’s health specialist Radius Health.

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