HOUSTON – (Jan. 24, 2023) – Rice University today announced that Motif Neurotech, a neurotechnology company developing minimally invasive bioelectronics for mental health formed through the Rice Biotech Launch Pad, closed an oversubscribed Series A financing round of $18.75 million.
The round of financing was led by Arboretum Ventures , with participation from new investors KdT Ventures, Satori Neuro, Dolby Family Ventures, re.Mind Capital and existing investors Divergent Capital, TMC Venture Fund, PsyMed Ventures, Empath Ventures and Capital Factory.
Proceeds from the Series A financing will be used to advance the development of Motif’s lead product, the DOT microstimulator, a miniature brain pacemaker that is designed to precisely stimulate the brain to restore healthy circuit activity to treat mental health disorders. The initial indication Motif is pursuing for the device is treatment-resistant depression (TRD), a form of major depressive disorder (MDD).
“Minimally invasive bioelectronics are the future of mental health treatment,” said Jacob Robinson, CEO and founder of Motif Neurotech. “Thirty percent of patients with depression don’t respond to two or more medications, and there is a significant need for additional treatment options that are effective and easily accessible. The DOT microstimulator is a wireless, battery-free device designed to be implanted in a 20-minute outpatient procedure with the capability for at-home therapy. This round of financing will allow us to bring this technology into a clinical study for patients with TRD.”
Tom Shehab, managing partner of Arboretum Ventures, said, “This is a pivotal moment for the company as it closes its Series A in addition to the recent successful completion of the proof-of-concept first-in-human implant of the DOT stimulator device. We believe Motif’s device will greatly improve the quality of life for patients who have been diagnosed with difficult to treat mental health disorders, including TRD. We are proud to lead this round of financing with this world-class team.”
Amy Kruse, chief investment officer of Satori Neuro, and Tom Shehab, managing partner of Arboretum Ventures, will join the Board of Directors at Motif Neurotech, alongside Anthony Arnold, president and CEO of Sensydia Corporation, and Jacob Robinson, professor of electrical and computer engineering and bioengineering at Rice.
Motif published a preprint on medrxiv that demonstrates a millimeter-sized brain stimulator in a human subject. In intraoperative studies, the team showed that its miniature implants could safely and effectively stimulate the human brain without contacting the brain surface. The group further showed its implants provided safe and effective brain stimulation in large animal studies lasting over 30 days.
About Motif Neurotech
Motif Neurotech is pioneering wireless minimally-invasive neuromodulation therapeutics for mental health. The company’s lead product is a miniature implant in development for treatment resistant depression. Motif’s implant is enabled by wireless magnetoelectric power transfer technology developed at Rice University and founded by Rice faculty Jacob Robinson and Kaiyuan Yang and physicians Sunil Sheth and Sameer Sheth. For more information visit www.motifneuro.tech. Follow us on LinkedIn and @motifneuro.
About the Rice Biotech Launch Pad
The Rice Biotech Launch Pad is a Houston-based accelerator focused on expediting the translation of Rice University’s health and medical technology discoveries into cures. This initiative is designed to help advance internally discovered platform technologies from concept to clinical studies and commercialization. The Rice Biotech Launch Pad will identify and support highly differentiated projects while driving the expansion of Houston as a world-class medical innovation ecosystem. The accelerator will bring together local researchers with a network of industry executives. Rice’s bioengineering department is a world-renowned institution that is currently ranked in the top 10 universities for its bioengineering programs by U.S. News & World Report. Its faculty is highly distinguished, having received awards and distinctions from institutions including the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences and MacArthur Foundation. For more information, please visit https://biotechlaunchpad.rice.edu/.