Synchron Expands Advisory Board as Brain-Computer Interface Device Stentrode™ Advances into Patients in US Clinical Trials

NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Synchron, a brain computer interface (BCI) company, today announced the expansion of its advisory board comprised of industry pioneers, to provide strategic guidance in support of the Company’s clinical development plans, corporate strategy and growth.

The members of the advisory board are visionaries across the technology, neuroscience and medical device industry, which include Edward Chang, MD, Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at UCSF, Max Hodak, former Neuralink Co-founder and President, Jordi Parramon, PhD, President of Medical Devices at Google Verily Life Sciences, and Earl Slee, former Medtronic senior executive. The recent appointees will join Synchron’s current advisory board, which includes Tim Denison, PhD, Josh Duyan, Victor Rodrigues and Marc Slutzky, MD, PhD.

“Our brain computer interface is pioneering a new frontier in the treatment of neurological disease. We’ve strengthened our advisory board as we advance our flagship device, the Stentrode, into patients in the US this year,” said Thomas Oxley, MD, PhD, CEO of Synchron. “I’m both honored and thrilled to work with Edward, Max, Jordi and Earl, who will play an invaluable role in guiding our strategic decisions as we advance our endovascular brain computer interface to treat individuals with a significant unmet medical need, beginning with patients with severe paralysis.”

Synchron has developed an endovascular brain computer interface that is designed to access every corner of the brain using its natural highways, the blood vessels. It takes around two hours to implant a Stentrode device with a minimally invasive procedure. This breakthrough platform launches a new frontier for the treatment of neurological diseases: Neurointerventional Electrophysiology (Neuro EP). The technology will transform three medical verticals: prosthetics, therapy, and diagnostics.

“I believe that using the blood vessels will be the solution for the wide adoption of BCI,” said Jordi Parramon, PhD. “After decades of promise, BCI is ready to help patients in need. Synchron’s approach now seems obvious,” added Edward Chang, MD.  

Synchron is the only company to receive FDA approval to conduct clinical trials of a permanently implanted BCI. The company’s novel BCI technology leverages the blood vessels as the natural highways to the brain.

New Advisory Board Members:

Edward Chang, MD, is Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Chang is a neurosurgeon who has been researching ways to translate signals from the brain for more than a decade. His lab’s work at UCSF restored a person’s ability to communicate by decoding brain signals sent from the motor cortex to the vocal tract. As part of Facebook’s multi-year collaboration with his lab (concluded in 2021), the milestone study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which demonstrated direct decoding of full words from the brain activity of a person unable to speak due to paralysis. Dr. Chang also has extensive experience treating patients with a variety of disorders including epilepsy and brain tumors.

Max Hodak is an entrepreneur and technologist. He is currently CEO of Science, a biology-driven technology company focused on the brain. Previously, he founded Neuralink, where he served as President from inception through early 2021, and Transcriptic, a robotic cloud laboratory for the life sciences, where he was CEO for the first five years. He recently invested in Synchron.

Jordi Parramon, PhD, is the President of Medical Devices at Google Verily Life Sciences, Alphabet Inc.'s research organization devoted to the study of life sciences. He brings more than 20 years of experience in medical devices. Prior to joining Verily, Jordi was at Boston Scientific and also Advanced Bionics. Jordi has authored more than 60 distinct patent families with 200+ granted patents worldwide. He played a key role in the development of Boston Scientific’s VerciseTM PC, a Deep Brain Stimulation System. This is an implantable device that sends electrical pulses through wires to specific parts of the brain to help reduce tremor and involuntary muscle movement in patients with advanced levodopa-responsive Parkinson’s disease.

Earl Slee, MBA, led six mergers and acquisitions and two major distribution deals during his tenure as Medtronic’s vice president of Technology, Strategy and Business Development. Among these deals was the company’s acquisition of Medina Medical and its self-expanding mesh embolization coil technology for the treatment of brain aneurysms. Slee holds 24 US patents, and currently serves as a board member for several medtech companies.

About the StentrodeTM
Synchron’s flagship technology, the Stentrode, is an endovascular brain implant designed to enable patients to wirelessly control digital devices through thought and improve functional independence. Synchron’s foundational technology, a motor neuroprosthesis (MNP), is implanted via the jugular vein using common neurointerventional techniques, and does not require drilling into the skull or open brain surgery. The system is designed for patients suffering from paralysis as a result of a broad range of conditions, and aims to be user friendly and dependable for patients to use autonomously.

About Synchron, Inc.
Synchron, a brain interface platform company, is a leader in the field of implantable neural interface technology. The company is in the clinical stage with a commercial neuroprosthesis for the treatment of paralysis and is developing the first endovascular implantable neuromodulation therapy. Future applications may include the potential to diagnose and treat conditions of the nervous system, including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, depression, and hypertension, as well as non-medical solutions. Headquartered in New York City, Synchron has offices in Silicon Valley, California and R&D facilities in Melbourne, Australia.

Media Contact
Tara DiMilia