Medicortex Finland Receives an Innovation Grant for the Development of Diagnostic Kit for Traumatic Brain Injuries


Turku, Finland -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/18/2016 --Medicortex Finland Oy received an innovation grant of 15 000 € from the Runar Bäckström Foundation (Runar Bäckströmin säätiö), a foundation that supports innovation activities to help Finnish companies establish their positions within the international competition. In its 2016 call, the Foundation granted a total sum 285 000 € to 18 applicants including Medicortex Finland Oy, who will use the grant for the development of a user-friendly, portable diagnostic system for the detection of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The diagnostic kit will be based on novel biomarkers that the company has discovered in body fluids.

Last year, Medicortex established a new diagnostic division/arm to its core business with the goal of developing a biomarker diagnostic test that would reliably establish the severity and extent of brain injuries. The companion diagnostic will be coupled with Medicortex's signature pharmaceutical therapy that will limit the long-term effects of brain injuries.

Information on the Runar Bäckström Foundation can be found here: (pages in Finnish and Swedish):

Void in Treatment and Diagnostics: Quest for a tool for traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

According to Medicortex's CEO, Adrian Harel, Ph.D., MBA, the real reason TBIs are insidious and so damaging is due to the cascade of physiological events that follow brain trauma. "In the hours, days, and weeks following the injury, the increased permeability of the neuronal membrane allows for an excessive influx of metal ions and circulating free radicals which cause a series of protein degradation cascades and oxidation, leading to widespread molecular damage and neuronal cell death. In short, the damage expands if not treated after the initial trauma.

"Unfortunately for TBI sufferers, there are currently no treatments available. Not surprisingly, the medical community is well aware of the importance of early intervention in all forms and degrees of TBI. However, none of the currently available therapies really address TBI in the inclusive manner necessary to help reduce or even reverse damage already sustained," adds Dr. Harel.

Athletes and sports professionals are currently amongst the population most likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury. Football players certainly aren't the only brain-injured sports figures in the news. The sports world surely remembers Michael Schumacher, the German race car driver and Formula One winner, who suffered a near-fatal ski accident and a serious brain injury. No matter how much attention these stories receive, the real story of sports-related TBI lies in the sheer magnitude of the problem. It is estimated that TBI and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) cause 9.6 million hospitalizations in Europe annually, with total costs in excess of €64 billion.

Presently, there are no reliable diagnostic tool exists for evaluating the extent and severity of brain injury. Medicortex is working towards the identification of a brain injury biomarker and incorporating it into a quick and accurate diagnostic kit that can be easily used by healthcare professionals. The ideal kit will not only diagnose the presence of a brain injury, it will also quantify its severity and indicate the treatment needed. In addition, the kit could become a key component of efficacy testing and an end point in all future clinical trials in TBI.

Numerous studies have found evidence that even one minor concussion can lead to long-term neurodegeneration. The symptoms of TBI occur as a result of repeated head trauma and include sleep disturbance, problems with concentration, nausea and seizures. When left untreated, these symptoms can develop into more severe neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Many football players, boxers and hockey players suffer from memory problems, early-onset dementia, or even, in some rare cases, post-traumatic Parkinsonism.

Medicortex Finland is seeking investments to support the development of a diagnostic device and initial clinical studies for assessing the biological activity and lack of toxicity of its pipeline compounds.

About Medicortex
Medicortex Finland Oy ( is a start-up pharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying biomarkers in order to reliably assess the severity and extent of brain injury. Medicortex Finland's secondary mission is to develop new treatments for TBI. Medicortex was founded by Dr. Adrian Harel in 2014 in Turku, Finland, and operates as a privately owned company. Dr. Harel has a track record in leadership of early-stage drug discovery companies and business management.

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Adrian Harel, Ph.D., MBA
Itäinen Pitkäkatu 4 B, 4th floor
FI-20520 Turku Finland
Tel: +358 (0) 400 4888 17
Fax: +358 (0) 2251 0100