Corante

About this author
Zack Lynch Zack Lynch is the executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT,Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies and SocialText, a social software company. He is currently writing a book on how neurotech is shaping business, politics and culture. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
Receive by email

GUEST AUTHOR ARCHIVES
Just Released the 2008 Tribalization of Business study - an in-depth look at how 140+ organizations are managing and measuring online communities

Brain Waves

August 26, 2008

Neurotech Innovation to be Analyzed

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

Innova.pngCasey and I recently met up in SF with Jason Davis, Assistant Professor of Strategy in the MIT Sloan School of Management, to explore his neurotech innovation project whose goal is to understand what makes neurotechnology innovations and ventures successful. It's great to see a serious innovation strategy expert excited about analyzing the rapidly evolving neurotech economy.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotech Industry

August 25, 2008

Governing Emerging Technologies Gordon Rearch Conference

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

GRC.pngI just spent the past week in Big Sky Montana participating in a five day conference on governing emerging technologies. There was far too much to begin to cover here, but I have to give kudos to the organizers David Guston and Rachel Ankeny for bringing together a broad group of speakers and contributors from across the globe. Three key emerging techs highlighted throughout the conference were neurotech, synthetic biology and nanotech.

Lone%20Peak.jpgOverall, it seems that the science and technology policy community (including industry) has the most comprehensive grasp of current and future emergent issues pertaining to nanotech. Developing dilemmas related to synthetic biology and its applications in biowarfare and implications for global security pose an ongoing, vexing problem for S&T; policy. S&T; policy issues related to advancing neurotechnologies seemed most fragmented with little coherence on what can or should be done with respect to the development and application of these technologies beyond therapy. Rightly so, many participants were quite alarmed with what could be on the neurotech horizon in terms of "perception shifting", neurolegal implications and the squelching of neurodiversity. Several participants, especially LSE's Scott Vrecko (who I met at last November's Neurosocieties conference in London), reminded the policy community to identity current issues in neuroscience rather than pondering "what ifs." That said, it was great to hear Natasha Schull's thoughts on the potential public policy implications of neuroeconomics research, George Khushf's presentation on the ethical implication of neural implants and Mike Chorost's pontifications on the future of neurodevice development.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuropolicy

August 14, 2008

Neurowarfare Futures Report Released

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

no-brain-01.jpgBack in March of 2003, I blogged here about neurowarfare and how the latest national intelligence reports were completely missing the boat on neurowar.

It took a few years, but after Jonathan Moreno wrote Mind Wars, the US defense community woke up and put together a committee, lead by Moreno. Last year I had the opportunity to speak on the current and future state of neurotechnology with the National Research Council committee convened by the Department of Defense who were focused on Military and Intelligence Methodology for Emergent Neurophysiological and Cognitive/Neural Science Research in the Next Two Decades.

The committee's report, "Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies," was released yesterday, highlighting some emerging possibilities including pharmacological landmines, lie detection, mind reading, cognitive enhancement and more. In my forthcoming book, Neurosociety, which is being published by St. Martin's Press in late spring 2009, I cover many of these ideas and more. Until then, I recommend reading the report.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurosociety

August 12, 2008

How Magic Fools the Brain

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

rabbit-hat.gifBenedict Carey at the NYTimes writes an entertaining piece today, While a Magician Works, the Mind Does the Tricks, which dives deeper into a recent article published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience that highlights how magicians "take advantage of glitches in how the brain constructs a model of the outside world from moment to moment, or what we think of as objective reality."

One great illusion explained in the article revolves around how our visual cortex processes stimuli has is seen in this trick by the Great Tomsoni. "The magician has an assistant appear on stage in a white dress and tells the audience he will magically change the color of her dress to red. He first does this by shining a red light on her, an obvious ploy that he turns into a joke. Then the red light flicks off, the house lights go on and the now the woman is unmistakably dressed in red. The secret: In the split-second after the red light goes off, the red image lingers in the audience’s brains for about 100 milliseconds, covering the image of the woman. It’s just enough time for the woman’s white dress to be stripped away, revealing a red one underneath."

The paper with many more explanations and links to video of a magician's performance can be found here.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Perception Shift

August 4, 2008

Neurosurgical Procedures for Download

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

Surg.pngJust discovered this site which aggregates videos of surgical procedures including a seventeen neurosurgical procedures. So if you are interested in watching a microneurosurgical microvascular decompression in trigeminal neuralgia go to SurgyTec.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurodevices

July 29, 2008

CollabRx - Arming You to Race for Your Cure

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

collabrx.pngCasey, Dan and I met with Marty Tenenbaum founder of CollabRx and Tony Ley its CEO last week to get up to speed on their strategy for providing tools to patient groups and virtual biotechs to accelerate the development of treatments for diseases that don't attract major pharmaceutical company research funding. Today's WSJ details Marty's personal cancer stories and the goals of CollabRx. We discussed several ways that NIO and the broader neurotech research community could benefit from CollabRx. More on that as things get solidified. In the meantime, I highly recommend getting up to speed on the company. If anyone can instigate a sea change in this arena, it's Marty and the amazing ecosystem of relationships he wields.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuropharma

July 22, 2008

Allen Spinal Cord Atlas Debuts

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

abif.pngThe Allen Institute for Brain Science on Thursday unveiled the Allen Spinal Cord Atlas, an online resource that shows how a mouse's complete set of 20,000 genes influences spinal cord development. The project should help scientists develop gene-based treatments and techniques to boost regeneration of damaged spinal cords.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurodiagnostics

July 2, 2008

Webcast of Entire Neural Interface Conference in June

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

NICOHIO.pngIf you missed the 38th Neural Interface Conference in Ohio last month, you can see all the presentations via webcast here. The general structure of the conference focuses on the DBS for day one; day two focuses on neural prostheses for restoration of motor and sensory function; and day three describes advances in cochlear prostheses and therapeutic effects of stimulation.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurodevices

Nasdaq NeuroInsights Neurotech Index Update

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

NERV0608.pngThe NASDAQ NeuroInsights Neurotech Index (NERV) underwent its biannual assessment resulting in the addition of three companies Adolor (ADLR), Noven (NOVN) and Somanetics (SMTS) and the loss of seven whose market cap dropped below the $200 million minimum, namely Alexza (ALXA), Aspect Medical (ASPM), Javelin (JAV), Micrus (MEND), Neurocrine (NBIX), Northstar Neuroscience (NSTR), and Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA). Realtime quote of NERV.

Index Performance: As of June 30, historical back-testing indicates that ^NERV is up 9% from a theoretical start date of June 2005, compared to respective gains of 7.5% and 17% for the S&P; 500 and the NASDAQ Biotech Index. The historical values prior to the Index launch are based on NASDAQ’s calculation of how the index may have performed over time if it existed. The back-tested Index Values are purely hypothetical and are solely for information purposes only. Back-tested Index Values do not represent actual Index performance and are not indicative of actual Index performance. The index began calculation on September 25, 2007.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: NERV - Neurotech Index

June 24, 2008

Neuromarketing from the Inside

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

obscan.pngJeffrey Goldberg undergoes a pretty extensive neuromarketing brain scanning process with the people at FKF Research which he explains in a most hilarious fashion in his new article My Amygdala, My Self in this month's The Atlantic.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuromarketing

June 23, 2008

An Anti-Shyness Drug

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

is_shy_070824_ms.jpgThe King of Trust, Paul Zak, touts oxytocin as a potential drug for shyness: "Tests have shown that oxytocin reduces anxiety levels in users. It is a hormone that facilitates social contact between people. What's more, it is a very safe product that does not have any side effects and is not addictive." The article contends that millions of people in the UK suffer from shyness, and one-in-10 people say it seriously affects their daily life.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Emoticeuticals

June 19, 2008

What's Your Brain Age - Take this 7 minute test

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

braintest.pngNIO member Cognitive Drug Research teamed up with Portfolio to develop an online test to determine your brain age (it takes 7 minutes). Very cool, but pay attention, you might be surprised to learn how old your brain is, I was 74. Might want to try a brain fitness product.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Cogniceuticals

June 10, 2008

CDER Neurotech Drug Reviewers Up 15 to 91

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

CDER%20Human%20Drugs.pngThe Center for Drugs Evaluation and Research is about halfway through its planned hire of 663 employees this year, and a significant portion of the new employees are division-level medical reviewers in the Office of New Drugs. So far the Division of Neurology Products has hired 8 new team members for a total of 51 while the Division of Psychiatric Products has added 7 for a total of 40. This is important progress as CDER currently fighting a wave of attrition, as long-time FDA employees leave the agency, either for retirement or for more lucrative jobs in industry and academia.View a division-by-division breakdown of the new hire, also for all of CDER.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuropharma

The Great Stem Cell Dilemma

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

SCD2.pngIn the "The Stem Cell Dilemma: Beacons of Hope or Harbingers of Doom?", co-authors Leo Furcht and William Hoffman tell the story of stem cell science and explains the latest developments and how research will give new meaning to human sexuality and reproduction. I recommend reading the book and if time taking a look at the authors discussing their book on C-SPAN Book TV. Here they discuss transplants, Leonardo da Vinci's role in biomedical engineering and about how neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's will "break the bank" given the aging boomer population.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurosociety

June 3, 2008

NeuroVigil Takes DFJ Venture Challenge Award

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

NeuroVigil.pngEarly-stage neurodiagnostics company NeuroVigil was awarded $250,000 in seed funding, the top prize of the DFJ Venture Challenge held last week. The La Jolla-based company works to analyze brain activity using a single, non-invasive probe. The company ultimately plans to apply its findings toward the sleep, transportation and pharmaceutical industries. The competition consisted of 16 teams gathered from 12 West Coast universities. The teams were judged by a panel of 10 venture capitalists from DFJ's network. Congrats to the NeuroVigil team@

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category:

Experimental Man Project Goes Live

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

Don't miss David Ewing Duncan's ongoing experiments on himself at ExperimentalMan.com

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: NeuroWave 2050

May 30, 2008

Write Congress Today in Support of the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

NNTI%20graphic.pngWith the recent introduction of the National Neurotechnology Initiative (NNTI) Act in the House (H.R. 5989) and the Senate (S.2989) earlier this month, the time has come to ramp up a national grassroots campaign in support of the NNTI and I would like to ask for your help. It is imperative that we get a substantive amount of Congressional support as quickly as possible as we are targeting Congressional hearings prior to the August break.

Take action: We need to flood Congressional fax machines and mail boxes with individual letters of support from key constituents like you over the next four weeks. I urge you to visit NIO's Take Action webpage

Here you can download sample letters to customize and send. Full instructions appear on that webpage, as well as a link to help access your representatives' contact information and fax numbers.


Spread the word:
Because of limited resources and an aggressive legislative schedule, it is absolutely vital that we build a network of support for this bill. Please forward this appeal along with a personal note of support to your network of contacts and ask that they express their support to Congress and share with their networks as well. Please forward onto co-workers, board members, researchers, clinicians, nurses, patients, advocacy groups, friends, family, anyone with a stake in elevating therapies and cures for brain related illnesses.

We need your help - and ten minutes of your time - to secure Congressional support for newly introduced legislation designed to dramatically accelerate new treatments for brain and nervous system injuries and illnesses. This legislation stands to significantly improve the lives of more than 100 million Americans. Take 10 minutes to protect your future brain.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: NIO

May 29, 2008

Wall Street Journal Goes with Neuroeconomics-focused Personal Finance Columnist

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

money%20brain.pngThe Wall Street Journal hired Jason Zweig, a senior writer and columnist for Money magazine, to be its new personal finance columnist. Zweig is also currently a guest columnist for Time magazine, and he was the mutual funds editor for Forbes before joining Money magazine in 1995. He is the author of the recently published Your Money & Your Brain: How The New Science Of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich (Simon & Schuster, 2007), which looks at how neuroscience can be applied to investing.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuroeconomics

The Neurodevice Revolution Continues Unabated

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

Monkey.pngThe NYTimes reports in Monkey's Control A Mechanical Arm with Their Thoughts that two monkeys learned how to feed themselves with the use of robotic arms, which were attached to electrical sensors in their brains that transmitted signals to control movement. "The more we understand about the brain, the better we'll be able to treat a wide range of brain disorders, everything from Parkinson's disease and paralysis to, eventually, Alzheimer's disease and perhaps even mental illness," said the device creator.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurodevices

May 16, 2008

Extensive Article on the Brain Industry in Conde Nast Portfolio

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

DED.pngDavid Ewing Duncan, columnist at Conde Nast Portfolio, writes the most comprehensive article on the neurotech industry written to date in a major publication. The Ultimate Cure comes complete with overviews of neuropharma and neurodevice treatments in development, detailed discussions with Casey and I about NeuroInsights, NERV, NIO, and the NNTI, as well as great interviews with many of my favorite characters from across neurotech including Don DeBethizy and Sam Barondes.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotech Industry

May 15, 2008

Yet Another Reason to Exercise and Eat Right

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

A new study suggests that heavy adults have higher rates of psychiatric disorders. Using data from a national health survey of more than 40,000 Americans, researchers found that obese adults were up to twice as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions as normal-weight adults.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues

NINDS Cooperative Program in Translational Research Update

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

NINDS.png I spoke with Joe Pancrazio yesterday who brought me up to speed on the the NINDS Cooperative Program in Translational Research. The program is intended to catalyze the development of partnerships between basic and clinical investigators, and to stimulate agreements between the academic and industrial sectors, so that translational research in neuroscience can flourish as a cooperative, iterative process leading to new and effective interventions for neurological disorders. The program in Translational Research is implemented through three coordinated cooperative agreements mechanisms, and NINDS program staff will have a significant, although not dominant, role in the planning and execution of the supported activities. It is intended for the extramural research community to use the translational research initiatives flexibly and creatively, and in whatever combinations are necessary, to achieve the most rapid and effective development of clinical interventions for neurological disorders. NINDS is the only neuroscience institute that participates in this program, although other institutes have some kind of translational activities.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurodevices

May 14, 2008

Neurotheology Rising - The Neural Buddhists

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

shutterstock_2149425.jpgDavid Brooks continues his quest to discuss everything in terms of neuroscience. This week in The Neural Buddhists he declares, "Just as 'The Origin of Species' reshaped social thinking, just as Einstein’s theory of relativity affected art, so the revolution in neuroscience is having an effect on how people see the world.

He goes on, "This new wave of research will not seep into the public realm in the form of militant atheism. Instead it will lead to what you might call neural Buddhism." The implications of which he suggest will be the following. "First, the self is not a fixed entity but a dynamic process of relationships. Second, underneath the patina of different religions, people around the world have common moral intuitions. Third, people are equipped to experience the sacred, to have moments of elevated experience when they transcend boundaries and overflow with love. Fourth, God can best be conceived as the nature one experiences at those moments, the unknowable total of all there is."

And he so aptly ends with, "We’re in the middle of a scientific revolution. It’s going to have big cultural effects." I think Brooks will be a fan of The Brain Wave when it is released next May.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotheology

May 13, 2008

Another Reason to Eat Right and Exercise

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

Being obese can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 80 percent, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues

May 12, 2008

National Neurotechnology Intiative Act Introduced in Both House and Senate

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

NNTI%20HR%205989.pngI am extremely happy to share that the NNTI was introduced into the House and Senate last week! This is a major milestone for the industry and for those suffering from brain-related illnesses.

BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES INTRODUCE BILL TO BATTLE BRAIN-RELATED ILLNESS

National Neurotechnology Initiative Act seeks to accelerate development of new treatments for brain and nervous system ailments

SAN FRANCISCO & WASHINGTON, D.C., May 7, 2008 – A bipartisan team of prominent members of both houses of Congress introduced today the National Neurotechnology Initiative (NNTI) Act, a bill designed to foster new discoveries and accelerate the development of new and safer treatments for the one in three Americans living with a brain-related illness, injury or disease.

Championing the NNTI, Senators Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) and Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representatives Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI 1st) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 18th) have called upon Congress to reverse the growing economic burden generated by brain-related illness, which has reached $1.3 trillion per year in the U.S. due to healthcare costs and lost income.

"The sheer numbers speak for themselves: There are 100 million Americans suffering from a brain-related illness, with an enormous economic burden that continues to grow as the population ages," said Zack Lynch, Executive Director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization. "For a modest investment, Congress has the opportunity to streamline research efforts, accelerate the development of new treatments, promote innovation by small businesses and have a meaningful impact on the lives of those suffering from devastating diseases and injuries.”

Designed to increase the speed at which discoveries reach the market, the NNTI employs targeted increases in funding to improve Federal research coordination and ease bottlenecks that inhibit the development of treatments for brain-related illnesses. The bill accomplishes these goals with less than 4 percent of the total Federal neuroscience research budget - $200 million – and reflects a more balanced disease-cost to research-dollars-expended ratio.

“With nearly one in three Americans suffering from some kind of neurological illness, disorder, or injury, I believe it is time we take a serious look at how we approach and fund research into neuroscience and neurotechnology,” Senator Domenici said. “Neuroscience dovetails nicely with the work I’ve long advocated for greater research on the brain and nervous system disease and disorders, particularly in relation to mental health. This new legislation, I believe, offers an excellent vehicle for us to make greater advances in this area.”

"While our ability to understand how the brain works grows each day, our ability to understand and repair brain illnesses remains limited," said Senator Murray. "For the millions of Americans that suffer from a brain-related illness, and the thousands of Americans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD, a new federal commitment to research and treatment can't wait. This bill will place a premium on sharing the information researchers gain everyday and will support ongoing but underfunded programs at NIH.”

“With so many Americans suffering from brain-related illnesses, it is crucial for us as a society to maximize our efforts and continue learning about the many facets of the brain, leading to a healthier life for all Americans,” said Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

“The time has arrived to offer a serious and comprehensive legislative approach to help the countless Americans struggling and living with brain and nervous system illnesses,” said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. “To not act on this important issue is to relegate millions of our citizens to second class status and a lifetime of disabilities. This legislation would develop a comprehensive federal response to research and treatment for brain related diseases. I urge my colleagues to join us in this most noble endeavor.”

Download and Read NNTI Act (H.R. 5989 / S. 2989)

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: NIO

May 2, 2008

The Future of Neurotechnology and Beyond at CIMIT next week

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

CIMIT.png

Join me this Tuesday from 4-6 in Boston when I speak at the weekly CIMIT forum at MGH on the The Neurotechnology Industry: 2008 and Beyond. I will explore trends driving the development of next generation drugs, devices and diagnostics for the brain and nervous system including trends in public and private financing, public policy initiatives and technologies. Joining me in the second hour will be Steven Schiff, MD, PhD, Director, Penn State Center for Neural Engineering will be presenting, Towards Model Based Control of Epileptic Seizures. Steven Schachter, MD, Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Neurotechnology Program Leader, CIMIT will be moderating the event. Click here for a podcast about the event. Click here to read more about this Forum. As an aside Steve Schacter and I are hosting a CIMIT/NIO Epilepsy Innovation Forum in Boston on Wednesday which will bring together over 50 of the leading neurodevice focused epilepsy researchers, entrepreneurs and investors. Should be fantastic day!

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotech Industry

Neurotech Industry Conference 2008

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

2008NeurotechConference.jpg

Next week is our 3rd annual Neurotech Industry Investing and Partnering conference. We are hosting it in Boston this year and to our pleasant surprise the event is nearly sold out. There is a fantastic line up of nearly 50 neurotech executives who will be sharing how their drug, device or diagnostic will reshape their marketspace. I'm definitely looking forward the meeting and networking with the other attendees from across commercial neuroscience as well. Hope to see you there.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotech Industry

April 18, 2008

Socialtext Launches Human-focused Wiki Dashboard

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

ST.pngSocialtext, the leading enterprise wiki software company just launched it's people-centric dashboard. As an advisor to Socialtext, I am continually impressed by how often this innovation-focused company creates new value for its users.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: X-tra

April 17, 2008

Nature's Poll on Cogntive Enhancement

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

CCELogoLg.jpg.w300h303.jpgNature published the results of a recent poll regarding cognitive enhancement detailing the use of ritalin, provigil and beta-blockers. Out of the 1400 people who took the survey, 62% had taken Ritalin, 44% had used modafinil, 15% beta blockers, while 80% believe healthy adults should be permitted to take these drugs if they wish to do so, despite their known addictive properties. These are some pretty tall numbers suggesting the uses of cogniceuticals for neuroenablement continues to increase as we move towards the neurosociety. I also recommend taking a look at Nick Bostrom's piece on the need to retool regulatory paradigms to deal with enhancement.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Cogniceuticals

April 11, 2008

Neural Environmentalists and the Great Forgetting

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

David Brooks in today's NYTimes posits The Great Forgetting. A pretty hilarious, but insightful piece on personal and societal memory lapses.

"In the era of an aging population, memory is the new sex...Society is now riven between the memory haves and the memory have-nots.

Neural environmentalists will emerge from the slow foods movement, urging people to accept memory loss as a way to reduce their mental footprint. Meanwhile, mnemonic gurus will emerge offering to sell neural Viagra, but the only old memories the pills really bring back will involve trigonometry."

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurosociety

April 10, 2008

All is Possible

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

M93~Never-Give-Up-Winston-Churchill-Posters.jpg

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: X-tra

April 8, 2008

Chinese Neuroscience Activity

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

Action Potential, the blog for Nature Neuroscience, has an excellent post on recent funding trends in Chinese neuroscience along with some interesting history with respect to funding levels.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Economic Geography

March 19, 2008

NIO Public Policy Tour 2008 Recap

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

I'm pleased to report that the Neurotechnology Industry Organization's second annual public policy tour in Washington DC last week was a resounding success. As this event demonstrates, NIO's influence and impact on commercial neuroscience continued to grow as we help connect the diverse spectrum of neurotechnology companies and advocates to policymakers.

US%20Capitol.jpgOn March 12 and 13, NIO members met with over fifty elected representatives on Capitol Hill and over thirty officials at the FDA and CMS to discuss the opportunities and obstacles facing those working to improve the lives of patients with brain and nervous system ailments. A full description of our meetings and listings of those we met with can be found here, and below I'll recount some of the highlights.

Capitol Hill

NIO representatives canvassed Capitol Hill in support of the National Neurotechnology Initiative (NNTI), NIO's flagship legislation created by NIO members. Elected representatives and their key staff members expressed substantial interest in the legislation and its promise to help ease bench-to-bedside bottlenecks, accelerating the development and commercialization of treatments and cures for brain-related illnesses.

In particular, Congressional representatives were interested to learn more about how the NNTI will:
· Increase coordination and efficiency of research among federal agencies
· Impact treatments important to the military, such as for TBI and PTSD
· Address aging illnesses whose economic burden threaten the economy
· Secure the U.S.'s position as the world's leader for this rapidly growing industry

During the afternoon Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), a champion for mental health, announced at a reception for NIO members that he plans to introduce the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act in the House of Representatives. Thanks to the superb advocacy work of our tour participants, we have already received indications that several co-sponsors plan to sign on in the very near future.

CMS and FDA

The next day many tour participants continued high-level meetings on Capitol Hill while others traveled to the offices of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to introduce NIO and discuss ways for the industry to work with CMS to support our objectives.

Among other important topics of conversation, CMS solicited and NIO agreed to develop a horizon scanning project to identify brain and nervous system drugs, devices and diagnostics that will likely impact CMS reimbursement within the next 2-5 years. See here for additional topics of discussion and important contacts at the organization for NIO members.

Later the entire NIO policy tour group reconvened at the FDA where we met with officials from CDER, CBER and CDRH. Meeting highlights include an overview of the Critical Path Opportunity Program (including an in-depth discussion on CPO 38 - issues affecting epilepsy trials -- at the request of NIO member The Epilepsy Therapy Project); developing more effective working relationships with CDRH; and some of CBER's most pressing technological needs. See here for more in-depth information about the meetings and a full participant list from the FDA.

Next Steps

Following these meetings, there will be several more opportunities for NIO supporters to promote the NNTI within Congress (stay tuned for more on how you can specifically help) as well as form key working groups to strengthen our burgeoning alliances with the FDA and CMS.

I'd like to thank all of our participants and partners who worked so hard to make this event such a success. Without the commitment from Accera, Adlyfe, Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Alseres Pharmaceuticals, BiotechPartnering Solutions, Boston Scientific, Brain Aneurysm Foundation, Cogmed America, Cognitive Drug Research, CorTechs Labs, Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Epilepsy Study Consortium, Feinstein Kean Healthcare, International Neuromodulation Society, Kappametrics, K&L; Gates, KidsDx, Medtronic, NeuroInsights, NeuroNexus Technologies, NeuroScience Associates, Neurotech Development Foundation, Neurotech Network, Neurotech Reports, North American Neuromodulation Society, Pfizer, PhotoThera, Posit Science, and Sound Pharmaceuticals, this would never have been possible.

I look forward to working with each of you again - and those of you unable to attend this year - on NIO's third annual public policy tour of Washington DC in March 2009.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: NIO

February 23, 2008

Brain Fitness Market Panel Video

Email This Entry

Posted by Zack Lynch

Dakim.pngFor those of you unable to make the Brain Fitness Panel last week, a video of the entire 1.5 hour panel is available now on the web. If you are at all interested in the space, I recommend picking up a cup of tea and watching the whole thing. The panel answered many crucial questions regarding the growth, development and future of this emerging neurotech market. On a related note, one of the panel companies, Dakim, just announced the closing of a $10.6M Series C. Another good sign that this market is gaining traction.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Brain Fitness