$15M Valuation cap until 7/27/21; $18M thereafter
Seizures, Epilepsy, and the Numbers
A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain that usually affects how a person appears or acts for a short time. Some seizures, known as convulsive seizures, trigger wild-shaking movements. But, most seizures are non-convulsive and hard to recognize, often confused with staring spells or inattentiveness.
Epilepsy is a debilitating neurological condition characterized by recurring, unprovoked seizures and does not discriminate when it comes to age, gender, and ethnicity. In many parts of the world, people with epilepsy and their families suffer from stigma and discrimination – even here in the US.
Epilepsy may occur as a result of a genetic disorder or an acquired brain injury, such as a trauma or stroke. During a seizure, a person experiences abnormal behavior, symptoms, and sensations, sometimes including loss of consciousness. Seizures are the main sign of epilepsy. Some seizures can look like staring spells. Other seizures cause a person to fall, shake, and lose awareness of what’s going on around them. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy when they have had two or more seizures.
Source: Epilepsy.com (Epilepsy Foundation)
Epilepsy is one of the most common conditions affecting the brain. When counting both children and adults in the US, about 5.1 million people in the US have a history of epilepsy and about 3.4 million people in the US have active epilepsy (1.2% of the total US population).
Source: Epilepsy.com (Epilepsy Foundation)
Seizures interfere with day-to-day life and bring social, emotional, and financial stress. Seizures and side effects of medications may make it harder to focus at school or work. Most states don’t allow individuals with epilepsy to drive or operate machinery until they have been seizure-free for a certain number of months. As a parent with a child with seizures, it can be difficult to find caregivers or figure out how much independence to give while keeping your loved ones safe.
Meet Amy and David: Parents' Perspective on Epilepsy
The goal of treatment is to stop seizures while maintaining a good quality of life. Taking medication and monitoring for seizures is a core part of the life of a person with epilepsy. Seizure monitoring can be really stressful. People with epilepsy frequently do not know if they have had a seizure although they do sometimes notice the after-effects such as missed time or a headache. Caregivers can miss seizures because they may not be in the same room or not know if an event is a seizure. Take a moment to watch the video of Amy and David sharing the parent’s perspective on epilepsy.
People taking anti-seizure medications may experience side effects including dizziness, fatigue, weight gain, speech problems, memory problems, and more. These side effects can be really bad, so much so that 40% of patients choose not to take their medications regularly. It can be difficult for people with epilepsy to communicate their side effects to clinicians and explain how the side effects are impacting them.
With Unreliable Seizure Data, Doctors are Guessing
A Clinician's Perspective
Patients expect their physician to make the best decisions possible with the goal of stopping seizures as fast as possible with minimal side effects. The problem is physicians rarely have an accurate picture of how patients are doing from a seizure standpoint and side effect tolerability.
With more than 99% of seizures occurring outside of the hospital setting, neurologists today must rely on patient-reported seizure data, which is the current standard of care as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Neurology. However, studies have shown patient-reported data to be more than 50% inaccurate!
This means that doctors are guessing which of the > 20 medicines are likely to work for a given patient. The current standard of care of patient-report data for measuring treatment outcomes results in a prolonged trial-and-error treatment cycle.
In the featured video, Dr. David Ficker, neurologist with the Epilepsy Center at UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, explains the "trial and error" treatment approach. For people with epilepsy, the cycle results in poor quality of life, poor treatment adherence, and excessive costs.
Source: UC HealthCincinnati, "Diagnosis and Treatment of Epilepsy – What’s New? - Dr. David Ficker"
A Pharma Perspective
Pharmaceutical companies also rely on self-reported seizure data to measure the outcomes of their drug trials. However, given the inaccuracy of self-reported seizure data pharmaceutical companies have stayed away from developing new therapies for certain types of epilepsy. The current first line of therapies for absence epilepsy, the most common type of epilepsy in children, was developed more than 50 years ago. As one pharma company told us,
We’ve stayed away from sponsoring clinical studies in absence epilepsy due to difficulty of detecting seizuresExecutive, Pharma Company
It’s too risky for the pharmaceutical companies to bet on a new treatment when the outcome they are measuring is so unreliable.
Using a Patient's Eye Movements, Doctors Can Get the Data They Need
Eysz is developing an AI-driven digital health solution - to measure neurological progression, intervention efficacy, and side effects and provide the data clinicians need to assist them in developing a personalized care plan for their patients with Epilepsy.
The eye-tracking system records passive eye movements and the data is then retrieved by the Eysz’s AI platform to measure seizures and side effects. The platform then produces a physician report with information about trends, historical seizure activity, and personalized dose response.
With our solution, we believe by enabling personalized care:
High Costs, No Improvement in Outcomes
There has been no improvement in epilepsy outcomes in the last 30 years while direct costs related to epilepsy have more than doubled in the last 10 years to $28 Billion!
Fewer Seizures and Side Effects
Wait Times, Admissions, Stays
Accelerated at a lower Cost
Recent proof-of-concept studies carried out at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital demonstrated that Eysz is driven by a robust algorithm that can record even the subtlest seizure types.
Eysz has met with the FDA and is currently conducting their development study to refine the algorithm. A second FDA meeting is planned to discuss the validation study with the FDA - the final study required before submission for FDA clearance.
Large Market Opportunity with Minimal Competition
There are roughly 3.4 million people with epilepsy in the US of which roughly 2.7 million people have seizures associated with loss of consciousness (LOC), with an additional 150,000 new people diagnosed with epilepsy each year. The US market represents only a fraction of the global market, with room to expand to Europe and Asia – as there are over 70 million people suffering from epilepsy internationally. In addition, there are more than 75 new investigational drugs entering into clinical trials to treat epilepsy that would benefit from software like Eysz to monitor patients enrolled in these studies and optimize their treatment.
Eysz have validated the market opportunity and need, as part of the National Science Foundation I-Corps program.
Eysz’s business model targets two primary customers: providers (neurologists) and the pharmaceutical market. Eysz will employ a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for providers charging a fee per patient per month that leverages existing reimbursement codes and allows for the application for additional codes in the future. Pharmaceutical researchers will be charged a flat fee per patient screened in a clinical study.
Currently, the primary competition is paper-based and digital seizure diaries that track patient self-reported outcomes. However, there are companies that have developed or are developing solutions to track seizures but the underlying technology (eg. accelerometers, electromyography ) limits the type of seizures they can address. Other technologies (i.e, EEG-based wearables) can cover all seizures types but have difficulty identifying clinical seizures. At Eysz, we are focused on developing a solution that can cover all seizure types with a clinically accepted sensitivity and specificity. More importantly, we believe our solution will allow us to not only focus on seizure outcomes but also non-seizure outcomes.
An Experienced, Diverse Team On a Mission to Improve Quality of Life for People with Epilepsy
Neurologist with dual certification in epilepsy and neurology with over 10 years’ experience directing the clinical epilepsy and research program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland.
Leads the algorithm development for Eysz solution. He completed his undergraduate degree in computer science and has deep experience applying machine learning methods. His PhD from UCSD focused on extracting signals from a complex medium.
Leads our Product Development efforts and GMT Strategy. Brings 20+ Years Medical Device Experience in Product and Project Management, Product Launch, and Alliances having worked at companies such as Siemens Healthineers, Varian, and Omnicell.
Dr. Fisher is Maslah Saul MD Professor and Director of Stanford Epilepsy Center. He had research awards from the Klingenstein Foundation, EF, CURE and NIH. He published 160 per reviewed articles and 4 boks. He was named 1996-2016 in the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Fisher is Past-President of the American Epilepcy Society and has served on the Board of the ILAE and as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Epilepsia. His research is on new devices to treat epilepsy.
Dr. Blumenfeld’s clinical and research work focused on epilepsy, cognition and brain imaging. He directs Yale’s Clinical Neuroscience Imaging Center (CNIC), a new multi-disciplinary core facility for innovative study and treatment of brain disorders. Teaching activities include a textbook titled Neuroanatomy Through Clinical Cases, Sinauer Assoc., Publ. 2002, 2010.
Dr. Milford has over 15 years experience in developing high technology instrumentation. He was CTO of Eyefluence, which was developing the next generation eye-tracking wearable technology, up until October 2016, when purchased by Google. He continued to develop eye interaction reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets. He now serves as the President of Parallel Rules consulting firm.
Practicing neuropsychology for over 12 years. She is also the head Neuropsychologist in the Epilepsy department at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.
Making Investing Accessible to the Epilepsy Community
If Eysz can garner so much attention from prominent organizations, why crowdfund? At Eysz, we know that to transform epilepsy care we cannot do it alone and it will require the support of the entire Epilepsy Community – patients, friends, families, clinicians, caregivers, nurses, and colleagues. We are offering this crowdfunding opportunity to engage the community and join us in our mission to transform epilepsy care. Our goal is to have investment in Eysz accessible to the community we hope to serve as well as traditional investors.
Investment Terms: Crowd SAFE with $15M valuation cap until 7/27/21 (9am PST/12pm EST) and $18M valuation cap thereafter
A SAFE is a Simple Agreement for Future Equity, whereby an investor makes a cash investment into a company in order to receive company equity at a later date, in connection with a specific event. The Crowd SAFE is a modified SAFE that is better suited for crowdfunding.
Awards, Achievements and Other Newsworthy Items
February 12. 2020
The annual pitch competition at SPIE Photonics West 2020 showcased two photonics-focused tracks, recognizing six winners in healthcare and deep tech.
Epilepsy Foundation Awards $200K in Grants to Support Development of Innovative Products for Epilepsy Diagnosis & Treatment.
The winners of the Startup Pitch Awards have been announced! Congratulations to Dr. Rachel Kuperman and the team at Eysz for their innovative tool for detecting seizures #epilepsy.
September 30, 2020
Eysz, Inc. is developing an algorithm and software solutions to reliably and affordably detect seizures in an ambulatory setting using existing smart glass technologies.
As a member of the fifth class of Ferolyn Fellows, Rachel had heard about the program’s ability to take her career to the next level thanks to a recomendations from Ferolyn alumna Maria Artunduaga, MD.
The goal of his study is to develop a comfortable system that uses a wearable eye-tracker similar to eyeglasses to assist people with epilepsy in counting and measuring the severity of seizures. Participants will wear an eye-tracker during a routine EEG.
June 19, 2019
Now in its third year, the CTIP Catalyzing Pediatric Innovation Grant remains competitive. CTIP received over 100 Letters of Intent for our 2019 Catalyzing Pediatric Innovation Grant and is enthusiastic about cutting-edge solutions...
January 27, 2021
Eysz is pleased to announce that we have been selected to the Spring 2021 Cohort for the National Institute of Health I-Corps program - an intensive 8-week program that provides funding, mentoring...