Neuromod Closes €30 Million Financing to Expand Availability of Lenire®
• Equity investment led by Panakès Partners with venture debt provided by European Investment Bank
• Financing round follows recent US FDA granting of De Novo approval to Neuromod’s Lenire tinnitus treatment device
Dublin, Ireland, 13th April 2023: Neuromod Devices Ltd, an Irish medical device company specialising in neuromodulation, has successfully closed a €30 million financing to further commercialise its tinnitus treatment device, Lenire.
Tinnitus, commonly referred to as ‘ringing in the ears’, is the perception of sound without an external source and affects 10-15% of the global adult population[i]. Lenire has shown in large scale clinical trials to reduce tinnitus severity[ii],[iii],[iv]. The device has recently been granted De Novo approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is available throughout Europe.
As part of the overall financing, a €15m expansion of the Series B was led by Panakès Partners with participation from existing investor Fountain Healthcare Partners. An additional €15m in venture debt was provided by the European Investment Bank.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to launch Lenire in the USA and pursue opportunities in the US Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs following the device’s recent FDA De Novo approval. The first US patients will start treatment for their tinnitus in April 2023.
Neuromod will also expand the availability of Lenire to additional European countries, including Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden, and further next generation product development.
Since Neuromod’s previous round of funding in October 2020, the organisation has made significant progress commercialising Lenire, expanding the device’s availability throughout Europe, establishing a wholly owned US subsidiary, Neuromod USA Inc, and securing US market approval from the FDA.
Commenting on the news, Dr. Ross O’Neill, Founder & CEO of Neuromod said “We are delighted to announce the successful completion of our Series B2 financing and to welcome new investors Panakès and the European Investment Bank. Europe has a long history in leading the world in hearing innovation. We are proud to add to that tradition by bringing our landmark tinnitus treatment Lenire to the millions of sufferers in Europe and the USA. This investment will help us to expand availability of Lenire in Europe, launch the product in the US and pursue opportunities in the USVA and DoD following our recent De Novo grant from the FDA.”
“There are more people in the world with tinnitus than with hearing loss. Tinnitus is one of the largest unmet clinical needs globally and is the number one cause of service-connected disability among US veterans and military personnel. Despite this, there has been practically no innovation in the tinnitus area. This financial support will ensure that, once again, Europe leads the way as Neuromod addresses this huge unmet need in the hearing area.” Dr. O’Neill continued.
Thomas Östros, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, commented, “Tinnitus impacts the lives of millions of people and investment to develop new treatments is essential. The European Investment Bank supports cutting edge world class medtech companies and is pleased to provide €15 million venture debt financing to enable Neuromod to commercialise and expand access to tinnitus treatment technology.”
The management of tinnitus continues to pose a significant burden on healthcare systems. A recent study estimated the socioeconomic costs of tinnitus in Germany at €21.9 billion per annumvi. In the USA, tinnitus was the most prevalent service-connected disability compensated for by the US Veterans Benefits Administration with more than 2.7 million veterans compensated in 2022[vii]. It’s also estimated the Veterans Benefits Administration paid out more than $4.9 billion through its Veterans Compensation benefits program for tinnitus alone in 2022[viii].
Alessio Beverina, Managing Partner of Panakès, who will join Neuromod’s board, said, “Tinnitus remains a significant problem for patients around the world and an important cost for healthcare systems globally. Panakès is proud to support Neuromod’s continued work to meet this challenge with their ground-breaking product Lenire; I’m particularly excited at the possibility to improve the life of tinnitus patients and looking forward to working closely with Neuromod’s team.”
Dr. Manus Rogan, Chairman of Neuromod and Managing Partner of Fountain Healthcare Partners commented, “We're proud to continue to support Neuromod as the organisation takes the next step forwards in their mission to improve quality of life for millions of people living with tinnitus. I’m delighted to welcome Alessio Beverina to Neuromod’s board at an exciting time for the company as they work towards making Lenire more widely available.”
Lenire is a bimodal neuromodulation device which works by delivering mild electrical pulses to the tongue, through an intra-oral component called the ‘Tonguetip®’, combined with auditory stimulation through headphones to drive long-term changes in the brain to treat tinnitus. To date, the device has been used in large-scale clinical trials with over 700 patients.
The first of these trials, TENT-A1, represents one of the largest and longest followed-up clinical trials ever conducted in the tinnitus field and was the cover story for the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine in October 2020. The trial enrolled 326 participants and 86.2% of treatment-compliant participants reported an improvement in their tinnitus symptom severity after a 12-week treatment period[ii],[iv].
In June 2022, the results of the second large-scale clinical trial, TENT-A2, were published in the highly-regarded journal Nature – Scientific Reports. TENT-A2 showed that changing the stimuli patients received after six weeks of treatment could result in a further clinically significant reduction in their tinnitus severity[iii],[iv]. 95% of treatment-compliant participants reported an improvement in their tinnitus symptom severity after 12 weeks of treatment[iii],[iv]. When followed up with 12 months after treatment had ended, 91% of treatment-compliant participants reported sustained improvement in their tinnitus severity[iii],[iv].
A third large-scale clinical trial, TENT-A3, was designed to meet the FDA’s rigorous De Novo requirements and carried out from March to October 2022 at three independent sitesix. 70.5% of patients with moderate or worse tinnitus reported a clinically significant improvement in their tinnitus severity following six weeks of treatment with Lenire, after six weeks of sound-only treatment provided clinically insignificant improvement. Further results from the trial are currently in preparation for peer-review and publication in a scientific journal.
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About Neuromod Devices Ltd
Founded in 2010, Neuromod Devices Ltd. is a medical technology company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Neuromod specialises in the design and development of neuromodulation technologies to address the clinical needs of underserved patient populations who live with chronic and debilitating conditions. The lead application of Neuromod’s technology is in the field of tinnitus, where Neuromod has completed extensive clinical trials to confirm the efficacy of its non-invasive neuromodulation platform in this common disorder. For more information visit www.neuromoddevices.com.
Lenire is the first non-invasive bimodal neuromodulation tinnitus treatment device shown to soothe and relieve tinnitus in a large-scale clinical trial. Lenire has CE-mark certification for the treatment of tinnitus under the supervision of an appropriately qualified healthcare professional in Europe and has received a De Novo grant of approval by the US FDA. Further details about Lenire including a list of providers can be found at www.lenire.com.
About Panakès Partners
Panakès Partners is a Venture Capital firm, based in Milan, which invests in the most ambitious companies and teams, developing revolutionary technologies and products, in the field of life sciences, aiming to improve the lives of people around the world. Panakès, founded in 2015 by Fabrizio Landi, Alessio Beverina and Diana Saraceni, has €250 million under management. www.panakes.it.
About Fountain Healthcare Partners
Fountain Healthcare Partners is a life science venture capital fund with offices in Dublin and New York. Founded in 2008, Fountain is Ireland’s largest dedicated life science venture capital fund with more than €300 million under management.
Fountain invests in entrepreneurs and companies with disruptive technologies or products that have a clear pharmacoeconomic benefit and a defined pathway to commercialisation, value enhancement and exit. Fountain typically leads or co-leads its investments and has sourced private and public deals from start-ups, corporate spin-outs and turnaround situations. For more information please visit: www.fh-partners.com.
References & Notes
(i) Baguely et al., Tinnitus, The Lancet (2013), sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673613601427
(ii) Conlon et al., Sci. Transl. Med. 12, eabb2830 (2020)
(iii) Conlon et al., Different bimodal neuromodulation settings reduce tinnitus symptoms in a large randomized trial, Sci Rep, doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-13875-x (2022)
(iv) As measured by THI. THI or Tinnitus Handicap Inventory is a clinical standard for measuring the impact of tinnitus on someone’s day-to-day life. Measured on a scale of 100, the higher the score, the greater the impact of tinnitus. Reducing a person’s THI score should correspond to improved quality of life by reducing how their tinnitus is affecting them.
(v) R. Biswas et al., Tinnitus prevalence in Europe: a multi-country cross-sectional population study, The Lancet Regional Health (2021), doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100250
(vi) Tziridis K, Friedrich J, Brüeggemann P, Mazurek B, Schulze H. Estimation of Tinnitus-Related Socioeconomic Costs in Germany. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 22;19(16):10455. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191610455. PMID: 36012089; PMCID: PMC9407899.
(vii) US VA Benefits Report Fiscal Year 2022: benefits.va.gov/REPORTS/abr/docs/2022-abr.pdf
(viii) According to va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/past-rates-2022 the 2022 10% disability rate was $152.64 per month. 2,703,665 veterans benefits.va.gov/REPORTS/abr/docs/2022-abr.pdf receiving 12 payments of $152.64 for tinnitus results in $4.952 billion. The VA assigns a 10% disability rating to tinnitus: benefits.com/veterans-disability/tinnitus-most-common-va-disability