Using machine learning to monitor brain activity for abnormalities
Boston-based startup Beacon Biosignals, which applies AI to neurotechnology, has closed a $27m Series A funding round.
General Catalyst led the round, with Casdin Capital also participating.
Among the new angel investors was Andy Beck, CEO of AI-based diagnostic software firm PathAI.
The newly secured proceeds will go towards scaling the company’s computational biomarker discovery platform. It is also planning on building out its network of expert neurologists for database curation and AI-augmented safety assessment reporting.
"Beacon is dedicated to helping our biopharma partners accelerate novel therapeutics to reach patients with significant unmet need,” said Jacob Donoghue, co-founder and CEO of Beacon.
Mark up your mind
Founded in 2019, Beacon Biosignals developed a machine learning platform for Electroencephalography (EGG) – a technique for capturing brain activity to diagnose abnormalities.
Beacon’s platform contains a large database of clinical EEG data, which its machine learning algorithm uses to identify neurobiomarkers and determine drug activity and therapeutic efficacy on the brain.
Neurobiomarkers can also be used to detect some diseases at earlier stages.
Traditionally, EEGs are extremely labor-intensive, and patients often face variability in clinician expert interpretation of scans.
Beacon claims its platform alleviates these issues and is designed to “scale the interrogation of large brainwave datasets with unprecedented throughput and capability.”
The new capital brings its total funding to date to $30m.
As part of the deal, Robin Washington, previously CFO at Gilead and current board member of Google parent Alphabet, Salesforce, and Honeywell, will join Beacon Biosignals' board of directors.
Upon announcing the closure of its Series A round, Beacon said it is now looking to pursue partnerships with “leading” pharma and biotech companies.
It enjoys existing partnerships with Novartis, Praxis Precision Medicines, and Idorsia.
“The breadth and variety of successes we've had working with our pharma partners demonstrates just how critical it is to quantifiably measure the effects novel therapeutics have on the brain," Donoghue said. "Reliable and replicable quantitative endpoints help drive faster, better-powered trials."