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Start-up raises CHF 3.2m to aid device for neurological disorders

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Medtech start-up machineMD from the Sitem StartUp Club (SSC) convinced investors and secured CHF 3.2 million – oversubscribing its seed round by 50%. machineMD is developing a medical device for the early diagnosis of neurological disorders including brain tumours via neuro-ophthalmic examinations.

The company is a spin-off of the University Hospital of Bern, Inselspital, founded by Prof. Mathias Abegg, and a team of entrepreneurs and medical device experts. Its goal is to bring the diagnostic quality of a highly qualified tertiary care specialist to primary and secondary care.

In collaboration with Inselspital, CSEM and Helbling, the company was awarded an Innosuisse project of CHF 1.25 million to fully develop a prototype device. The seed funding of CHF 3.2m is complemented by a convertible note of CHF 1.2 million committed in 2021, which will now be converted into equity. machineMD was further supported by a financial contribution from the Canton of Bern. The market launch of machineMD’s first product is planned by the end of 2023.

machineMD is developing a diagnostic device that enables standardised and automated neuro-ophthalmic examinations. Combining virtual reality and artificial intelligence, the device will measure biomarkers such as eye and pupil movements that can be used in the early diagnosis of brain diseases such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and brain tumours. It will allow doctors and optometrists to perform eight fully automated examinations within 10 minutes and provide objective measurements.

The lead investor in this seed round is the Guido Fluri Foundation, which is committed to improving the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumours. The Guido Fluri Foundation is a leading member of the investor club associated with the Sitem StartUp Club (SSC) in Bern, led by president Daniel Buser.

Dominic Senn, CEO of machineMD, said: “This seed round showed us the Sitem StartUp Club is not only a place where medtech start-ups get office space, find a lively community and coaching, but also gave us access to an exclusive and active investor club. For us, as well as for other medtech start-ups, such a comprehensive funding offer with a strong financing component is a key success factor that shows how well Bern is positioned in the field of translational medicine.”



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