Cyberkinetics to Participate in NIH Grant for Development of Implants for Restoring Neurological Function.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.; PROVIDENCE, R.I. and CLEVELAND -- Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc. (OTCBB: CYKN; "Cyberkinetics"), Brown University, and the Cleveland FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) Center at the Case Western Reserve University announced that they will act as a consortium pursuant to a five-year, $6.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support the development of Cyberkinetics' BrainGate Neural Interface System (BrainGate System). The grant was awarded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, both constituents of the NIH. The goal of the BrainGate System is to provide a reliable, fully implantable and wireless neuroprosthesis that enables paralyzed people to use their own limbs to perform tasks such as eating, drinking, and controlled breathing, as well as to regain bowel and bladder function.
According to the terms of the grant, Cyberkinetics may receive up to $2.5 million of the total grant award during the five-year period covered by the agreement. The grant represents non-dilutive funding for the development of the BrainGate System.
"We are extremely gratified that the NIH recognizes that the BrainGate technology holds promise in the effort to improve the lives of people with central nervous system injuries and disorders," noted John P. Donoghue, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Cyberkinetics and Director of the Brain Science Program at Brown University. "Having already demonstrated proof-of-concept for the BrainGate technology to enable paralyzed people to control a wide range of external devices for enhancing independence and increasing mobility, this grant is designed to further develop the BrainGate implant."
"This award is an important step in Cyberkinetics' strategy to utilize non-dilutive grant funding to support development of the BrainGate technology," added Timothy R. Surgenor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cyberkinetics. "We believe this grant, the second major NIH grant award for the BrainGate System developed by Brown University and Cyberkinetics, is a significant endorsement by the NIH. The award underscores the potential value of our technology to someday offer paralyzed people increased independence and control of their lives."
"The Cleveland FES Center, through collaborative projects, advances the study and integration of FES technologies, and applies them to real human needs," stated P. Hunter Peckham, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Cleveland FES Center and Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedics at Case Western Reserve University. "It is heartwarming to hear the personal stories from research volunteers with FES implants whose quality of life is tremendously improved with restored function."
About the BrainGate Neural Interface System
The BrainGate Neural Interface System is a proprietary, investigational brain-computer interface (BCI) consisting of an internal sensor to detect brain cell activity and external processors that convert brain signals into a computer-mediated output under the person's own control. The sensor is a tiny silicon chip about the size of a baby aspirin with one hundred electrodes, each thinner than a human hair, that can detect the electrical activity of neurons. The sensor is implanted on the area of the brain responsible for movement, the motor cortex, where it detects and transmits neural signals to computers that analyze the signals.
The ultimate goal of the BrainGate System development program is to create a safe, effective and unobtrusive universal operating system to enable those with motor impairments to quickly and reliably control a wide range of devices, including computers, assistive technologies and medical devices, simply by thinking. In addition, the underlying neural sensing technology is being developed to enable detection, prediction and prevention of epileptic seizures. The fundamental groundwork for this human clinical work was conducted in the Donoghue Lab at Brown University and made possible by preclinical funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Through funding from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Cyberkinetics is already working with collaborators at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland FES Center to develop a neuroprosthesis designed to work with the BrainGate System to restore partial arm and hand function to individuals with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury.
About FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation)
FES is a method of applying low level electrical currents to the body to restore or improve function. A heart pacemaker is one example of an FES System. Another example of an FES System is one which employs an electrical current to restore movement by initiating muscle contractions in paralyzed extremities. The main components of an FES system are the electrodes, the stimulator, and sensors or switches. When FES is used to move muscles, current that pulses in the electrodes causes the weakened or paralyzed muscles to contract. Electrodes may be placed on the surface of the skin or implanted under the skin. The stimulator controls the strength and timing of the low-level pulses that flow to the electrodes. The sensors or switches control the starting and stopping of the pulses supplied by the stimulator. To be truly practical, an FES system needs to correct for changes in the environment and day-to-day changes in the user's body via a feedback method that can adjust the stimulation so that it accomplishes the desired movement. Some FES systems are currently available to consumers, others are undergoing clinical evaluation, and many are still in development. In the future, neuroprosthetic devices such as the one being developed under this contract will combine FES technology with direct control by the human brain to offer a fully functioning closed loop limb movement system for persons with upper extremity paralysis.
About the Cleveland FES Center
The Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center, a consortium of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Case Western Reserve University, and MetroHealth Medical Center, provides innovative options for restoring neurological health and function by developing advanced technologies and integrating them into clinical care. The Center's focus is to improve people's lives by supporting fundamental research in the neuro-muscular sciences, developing new technologies and methods, performing clinical evaluation and feasibility testing, and promoting the wide-spread deployment of new technologies through professional education and commercial partnerships. More information about the Cleveland FES Center is available at http://fescenter.case.edu.
About Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc.
Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc., a leader in the neurotechnology industry, is developing neural stimulation, sensing and processing technology to improve the lives of those with severe paralysis resulting from spinal cord injuries, neurological disorders and other conditions of the nervous system. Cyberkinetics' product development pipeline includes: Andara[TM] OFS[TM] Therapy for acute spinal cord injury, an investigative device designed to stimulate nerve repair and restore sensation and motor function; the BrainGate System, an investigative device designed to provide communication and control of a computer, assistive devices, and, ultimately, limb movement; and a pilot program in the detection and prediction of seizures due to Epilepsy. Additional information is available at Cyberkinetics' website at http://www.cyberkineticsinc.com.
Forward Looking Safe Harbor Statement
This announcement contains forward-looking statements, including statements about Cyberkinetics' product development plans and progress, potential development of proprietary inventions and benefits that may be realized by certain research programs. Such statements may be considered "forward-looking" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by the use of words like "may," "will," "could," "should," "project," "believe," "anticipate," "expect," "plan," "estimate," "forecast," "potential," "intend," "continue" and variations of these words or comparable words. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual future experience and results to differ materially from the statements made. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning our future expectations, plans, prospects and future operating results as well as projections of cash and marketable securities and sufficiency of funding for capital expenditures. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors including risks related to: our ability to secure regulatory approval for our products; our access to additional capital; our ability to obtain additional funding to support our business activities; our dependence on third parties for development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of our products; our development of products; our ability to obtain and maintain patent protection for our discoveries and products; and our limited operating history; as well as those risks more fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's Registration Statement on Form SB-2 (file no. 333-144333) and our other public documents filed with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date.
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|Date:||Aug 2, 2007|
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