Aug 7 2013
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Third Eye Diagnostics, Inc. $500,000 to advance development of the CerePress™, a non-invasive, handheld intracranial pressure (ICP) monitor. The CerePress™ is targeted for use in combat theaters, hospital ER's, medical transport vehicles, and sports events (e.g., NFL, NHL, college and high school athletics) for the rapid diagnosis of brain injury.
ICP monitoring is critical for early diagnosis, earlier intervention, and improved outcomes in patients with brain injury, e.g., concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, hydrocephalus and other neurological disorders. The Phase II grant will enable 3ED to further develop the technology and prepare it for commercialization.
In 2010 the NSF awarded 3ED an SBIR Phase I grant to develop and perform early trials of a prototype CerePress™ system. "The successful Phase I prototype demonstrated the ability to rapidly and non-invasively measure central retinal venous pressure (CRVP) and correlate it to ICP" says Anthony Bellezza, Ph.D., COO of Third Eye Diagnostics and the grant Principal Investigator. "Independent clinical trials of the CerePress™ technology against invasive measures demonstrate an excellent correlation." The company reports published studies showing a Pearson's correlation coefficient r=0.94.
According to Terry A. Fuller, Ph.D., CEO of Third Eye Diagnostics, "the non-invasive, handheld and portable CerePress™ ICP monitor will enable medical practitioners and first responders to rapidly monitor and triage patients with potential head injuries. The present standard of care requires surgically inserting a sensor into the cranium through an access hole drilled through the skull. As a result, invasive techniques are limited to patients who are critically ill. We believe that the CerePress™ will provide an early medical intervention option that will lead to better patient outcomes and reduce unnecessary procedures and payer costs."
The CDC reports 2.3 million new cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the U.S. civilian population each year and 10 million worldwide according to the WHO. An additional 1.1 million U.S. patients every year suffer from conditions that lead to elevated ICP, placing them at risk for brain damage and death. Furthermore, the U.S. military reports that approximately 188,000 troops have suffered a TBI since 2000.
Third Eye Diagnostics, Inc. is located in Bethlehem and Jenkintown, PA. Its management has over 30 years of entrepreneurial business management and product development experience in the neurological and ophthalmic fields. 3ED has established clinical partnerships with institutions and neurosurgeons at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University, Boston University Medical Center, St. Elizabeth Medical Center/Tufts University, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center (Portland, OR), St. Luke's University Hospital (Bethlehem, PA) and State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate University Hospital. The CerePress™ has been funded in part by the National Science Foundation, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeast PA (BFTP), angel investors and management.