BIOS, a neural engineering startup from Cambridge, UK announced today that it will open a new Montreal office after closing a $4.5 million seed round from investors in the UK, Canada and Silicon Valley.
The Y Combinator graduate, formerly known as Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems (CBAS), will use the funding to double its tech team and develop its core neural interface. The Montreal office will be the first R&D office outside of Europe.
According to Techcrunch, BIOS’ first product is described as akin to a “USB connector for the body” and has been used to develop a Prosthetic Interface Device (PID) that allows amputees to connect a range of prostheses directly to the nervous system. The PID is about to enter clinical trials and enables neural signals sent by a person’s nervous system to be interpreted and in turn control a connected artificial body part.
“We have an incredible team already made up of experts from a huge range of fields, that come together to make this incredibly complex technology work seamlessly,” said CEO Emil Hewage. “Their expertise ranges from machine learning, neuroscience and medical robotics to biotechnology and medical specialists, but we’re looking forward to growing the team even further and to expand into Montreal.”
The investment round is led by Real Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, and Ariel Poler, founder of the Human Augmentation syndicate on AngelList.
Cofounded by computational neuroscientist Emil Hewage and bioengineer Oliver Armitage, BIOS is developing neural interfaces to enable AI-based treatments on organs and nerve systems throughout the body. BIOS will use the funding to progress its core neural interface technology and expand access to its neural data and biomarker tools, allowing partners to develop disease-specific treatments on top of its data and interface. The company initially focused on the first implementation of their neural interface technology in their “USB connector for the body” product, the Prosthetic Interface Device (PID) – designed to allow amputees to connect a range of prostheses directly to the nervous system, which is heading for clinical trials in the near future.