Million-pound boost for Edinburgh medical tech firm behind digital Parkinson’s disease pen

Prof Richard Walker, clinical lead adviser to Edinburgh-based Manus Neurodynamica, pictured with a patient, prior to Covid measures.Prof Richard Walker, clinical lead adviser to Edinburgh-based Manus Neurodynamica, pictured with a patient, prior to Covid measures.
Prof Richard Walker, clinical lead adviser to Edinburgh-based Manus Neurodynamica, pictured with a patient, prior to Covid measures.
An Edinburgh medical technology company has secured a seven-figure financial injection to support the launch of a “digital pen” that can provide an early warning of Parkinson’s disease.

With the latest £1.2 million round of funding, Manus Neurodynamica will roll out its NeuroMotor Pen later this year, initially focusing on the UK and Benelux markets, while also progressing work to secure regulatory approval to start selling in US.

Some 145,000 people live with Parkinson’s in the UK and it is the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world. In addition to Parkinson’s, the technology can provide an early warning of other neurological conditions.

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The pen employs sensors linked with analytical software which analyses the slightest limb and hand movements to help doctors assess whether a patient has early signs of Parkinson’s or other neurological conditions.

As well as providing a “quick, inexpensive, non-invasive” aid to diagnosis, the CE-marked product is said to help with the ongoing monitoring of these conditions.

Investors in the latest funding round include the North East Innovation Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures, “profit-with-purpose” investor SIS Ventures and Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s venture fund.

Rutger Zietsma, chief executive of Manus Neurodynamica, said: “2021 looks set to be an extremely busy year for Manus. Having spent more than ten years developing, trialling and refining our first product, we can finally look forward to seeing our NeuroMotor pens implemented more broadly and making a real difference to the lives of people living with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions.

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“Through faster and simpler diagnoses and objective patient monitoring with digital record keeping, we can help streamline the pathway and deliver more successful treatment outcomes for the fastest growing neurological condition in the world.”

Led by Zietsma, the firm has spent more than a decade developing the product, from concept through to manufacture and roll-out. In January last year, the firm signed a five-year contract with stationery brand Stabilo to manufacture the pens in Germany.

Funding rounds, totalling £5m to date – including a £750,000 financing round, closed in May last year – have been led by HealthTech investors Par Equity with support from the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, and Old College Capital.

The pen has passed clinical trials with the NHS in the north-east of England and Scotland and is currently being used by Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust.

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Rob Halliday, fund manager, SIS Ventures, said: “Manus is one of Scotland’s most promising early stage medtech companies, with the potential to make a huge impact.

“With its disruptive technology, mission-led approach, and ambitious management team, Manus is exactly the kind of business we look to invest in at SIS Ventures. Working along with the other investors, we’re very pleased to support Rutger and his team through their next phase of growth and impact creation.”

Rick Charnley, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, added: “We’re big believers in the impact Medtech companies like Manus can have on an ageing society.”

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