There are currently more than 7 million Americans who are living with memory loss as a result of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s, or other cognitive impairments, but a novel treatment for these individuals is possible thanks to the research and engineering of a company called Nia.
Nia Therapeutics Inc is a biotechnology company who has developed an implantable brain stimulation technology to restore memory function to patients with memory impairment. According to Dan Rizzuto, CEO of Nia Therapeutics, “The company has developed a proprietary neurotechnology platform to interpret the complex brain activity related to memory, which provides a personalized therapy for each patient.”
Rizzuto, along with Mike Kahana, founded the Center City-based company back in 2014 after receiving $23 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency through its Restoring Active Memory project. Through their clinical testing since that time, Nia’s device has shown to restore brain activity associated with good memory and improve human memory.
The first clinical target was patients who suffered memory loss due to severe TBI, and in July of 2019, a chip acquired from Cortera Neurotechnologies allowed Nia to confirm the algorithm necessary for the therapy to be successful.
The device works by identifying unique patterns of brain activity in an individual, and continues to monitor the brain in order to diagnose memory function. The device then delivers stimulation at the precise moment necessary to keep the patient in a state of good memory performance.
In August 2020, Nia raised $1.5 million, totalling $4 million in overall funding which gave the company the capacity to grow their engineering team, perfect the device design, and begin the next phase of the prototype which will demonstrate full clinical functionality.