SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Darmiyan, Inc. is pleased to announce the initial closing of a $6M Series Seed investment round led by the pharmaceutical giant Eisai, creating a major business collaboration opportunity between the two companies, one focused on advanced brain diagnostics, and the other focused on Alzheimer's therapeutics. IT-Farm and Y-Combinator (YC) also participated in the round.
Brought together by the Tokyo- and Palo Alto-based investment firm IT-Farm, the two companies ‒ Darmiyan and Eisai ‒ officially met in January 2020 at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco for scientific and technological due diligence. "We are excited to partner with Eisai through this investment and foresee a revolution in the Alzheimer's field through our business collaboration. For us, it was important to work with a lead investor who is knowledgeable and expert in the Alzheimer's field, who can help us access high-quality data, and is resourceful for the global expansion of our business. We are also grateful to IT-Farm and YC. IT-Farm has been by far our most active and helpful seed investor. They understand our technology very well and have been long-time advocates for innovative technologies at the interface of human health and IT. YC has been extremely resourceful and has helped us greatly to establish our foundation in Silicon Valley," said Padideh Kamali-Zare, PhD, Darmiyan's president and founder CEO.
AI-Powered BrainSee Moves Alzheimer's Drug Development Forward
BrainSee, Darmiyan's novel and proprietary technology (US patent 10573414), provides the long-awaited solution for early diagnosis, monitoring, and stratification of Alzheimer's disease. BrainSee's AI-powered algorithm takes the currently available standard clinical brain MRI and basic cognitive tests and generates brain maps and scores that indicate pathology at the earliest stages of the disease when treatments are feasible. BrainSee is a virtual microscope, built on over 40 years of cutting-edge neuroscience research combined with advanced medical image analysis and AI, and has received official approval from the late Prof. Paul Greengard, Nobel Laureate in Physiology/ Medicine 2000. The software is now being tested in major memory clinics and hospitals in the US and Canada through partnership with CABHI (Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, powered by Baycrest Institute).
Through reliable early detection, stratification and monitoring, Darmiyan unlocks a huge potential for pharmaceutical companies to develop and distribute their therapeutic solutions and get them into the hands of patients around the world. The key in dementia intervention is to provide a whole solution, where an effective early diagnosis and an effective treatment go hand in hand. Implementing such a whole solution requires a system where patients can get screened reliably and non-invasively and then those with higher chance of progression to dementia can start getting treatment as early as possible. Darmiyan and Eisai will work together to deliver on this important mission and provide the first whole solution for Alzheimer's disease.
Darmiyan was incorporated in September 2016 and became a YC-backed company in Summer 2017. Prior to the current funding round, Darmiyan had raised $4.5M in equity financing and government grants. The company has won numerous awards and recognitions including the TEDMED Hive Innovator in 2018 and CABHI's I2P2 & innovation awards in 2018 & 2019, respectively.
Eisai is a leading global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, with approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. It has been actively involved in the research and development of therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias for over 35 years. Eisai's recent announcement with Biogen of Aducanumab's promising results in October 2019 shook the Alzheimer's world.