Syntropic raises seven figures for light-based depression treatment

Prototypes of Syntropic's brain stimulation device are undergoing testing.
Syntropic raises seven figures for light-based depression treatment

Syntropic Medical, an Austrian spinout of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), has raised early-stage funding of an undisclosed seven-figure amount. The round was led by xista science ventures and AWS, the promotional bank of the Austrian federal government.

Syntropic’s treatment for Major Depressive Disorder is a brain stimulation device based on a light stimulation protocol that was discovered by the Siegert Group at ISTA. The treatment could allow the brain to more flexibly form new connections by softening its stabilising structures, the perineuronal nets. 

By re-establishing the plasticity that the brain exhibits in childhood, clinicians could potentially alter detrimental structures more easily. Notably, the treatment is non-invasive which makes it far more attractive to psychiatrists treating MDD and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The overall aim of the treatment is to improve cognitive capacity in patients, and Syntropic hopes to provide a new treatment option for those who have failed to achieve an adequate response from traditional pharmaceutical therapies.

The device is currently in a pre-clinical stage with prototypes undergoing testing.

CEO Mark Caffrey explained: “Approximately 70% of patients taking pharmaceutical antidepressants do not achieve remission and up to 25% stop taking them due to severe side effects. Unfortunately, these numbers are not good enough. It is therefore crucial that we begin to develop entirely new ways to treat these disorders. This is why the discoveries of Dr. Venturino and Prof. Siegert are so exciting, as they open up the potential for a completely new treatment modality that is free of side effects and simple for patients to use.”

“By developing a neuromodulation-based approach for mental health disorders Syntropic Medical is addressing a market with a pressing need and significant potential. We are excited to partner with this ambitious team in commercializing the promising and innovative discoveries made at the Siegert Lab at ISTA,” added Florian Resch, Managing Partner at xista science ventures.

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