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Connell C - LB Mar 2022

Charco raises $10m for wearable device to ease Parkinson’s symptoms

Charco Neurotech, a medtech company that develops solutions for people with Parkinson’s, has raised a $10 million seed investment round, co-led by technology investors Amadeus Capital Partners and Parkwalk Advisors, with participation from University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners, Mint Venture Partners, and existing investors, including Crista Galli Ventures.

The financing is the largest European seed round this year and the sixth largest globally for healthtech devices, according to Pitchbook.

Charco is a Cambridge-based, Imperial College spinout. Its first therapeutic device, CUE1, provides life-changing neuromodulation therapy. Based on more than two years’ research with patients and clinicians, the discrete, non-invasive wearable device delivers individualised peripheral nerve stimulation designed to alleviate motor symptoms such as slowness, stiffness and freezing while walking.

Charco co-founder Lucy Jung said: “Parkinson’s symptoms go way beyond tremors or freezing. It slowly takes away simple pleasures in life. We conceived CUE1 to give patients their lives back. This funding will enable us to proceed with our first, limited launch, while we work to ensure our manufacturing line is robust and produces consistent high-quality devices. We’ll be able to expand our team, particularly in customer support, so we can help every user of the CUE1 set up their device and get the greatest possible benefit from using it.”

Charco co-founder Floyd Pierre added: “We’re pleased to be able to draw on the support and advice of experienced healthtech investors like Amadeus. We’ll now be able to allocate even more time and resources to R&D while investigating entry into new territories, to make the CUE1 available to everyone who needs it around the world.

Pierre Socha, partner at Amadeus Capital Partners commented: “Parkinson’s is, sadly, the world’s fastest growing neurodegenerative condition. Yet, there is no effective treatment and the mainline therapy – a drug called Levodopa – is 50 years old and its benefit to patients is limited. There are an estimated 10 million people with Parkinson’s worldwide, and that number is increasing due to a myriad of factors such as an ageing population. We’re looking forward to helping Charco realise its mission and fully commercialise its technology, particularly by scaling up B2B sales, alongside its direct-to-consumer approach.”

Martin Glen, director, Parkwalk Advisors said: “Parkwalk is delighted to be able to make an investment into Charco, following on from the earlier investment by the Imperial College Innovation Fund investment last year, as the company has made impressive progress with its efforts to develop a non-invasive wearable device to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s.”

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