Israeli startup Theranica, maker of migraine-zapping device, nabs $45m investment

Financing part of ongoing Series C round as company readies for commercial expansion in US

Ricky Ben-David is a Times of Israel editor and reporter

The Nerivio device developed by Theranica Bioelectronics is worn on the upper arm to stimulate the body's neural pathway and fight migraine pain. (Courtesy)
The Nerivio device developed by Theranica Bioelectronics is worn on the upper arm to stimulate the body's neural pathway and fight migraine pain. (Courtesy)

Israeli startup Theranica, the developer of a medical device to treat acute migraines, has pulled in a new investment of $45 million for an ongoing Series C round the company plans to finalize in the fall.

The investment was led by Philadelphia-based health-focused VC firm New Rhein Healthcare Investors, with participation from existing investors aMoon, a premier Israeli health tech investment fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Tel Aviv-based LionBird, Finnish firm Takoa Invest, and Corundum Open Innovation.

The company said in a statement Monday that due to high interest from investors, it has extended the Series C round and is planning a final closing in October.

Theranica plans to use the funding to expand the company’s commercial activity in the US.

Founded in 2015, the Netanya-based firm developed the Nerivio, a device worn on the upper arm that uses smartphone-controlled electronic pulses, known as remote electrical neuromodulation (REN), to wirelessly stimulate the body’s neural pathway at the onset of a migraine. The FDA-cleared device is available through prescription to adult and adolescent patients (over 12 years of age) in the US for the treatment of episodic and chronic migraines.

The device is also available for purchase in Israel, with a prescription.

Migraine is a common neurological condition that affects an estimated 10% of people worldwide. Available treatments include over-the-counter pain-relieving medicine such as acetaminophen and anti-nausea drugs, triptan medication, which cause blood vessel constriction and can’t be used by people with a history of cardiovascular conditions, and preventative medication such as beta-blockers.

In January, Theranica released promising results of a large-scale, peer-reviewed analysis of over 23,000 treatments using REN as a standalone, drug-free treatment of migraine. It showed that in 66.5% of treatments, REN was used by itself for pain relief.

The analysis “reinforces that REN provides a safe, efficacious and stable treatment option for acute treatment of migraine, both as a standalone and as an adjunct therapy. This is a very important component in the migraine therapy toolbox,” said Dr. Jessica Ailani, director of the MedStar Georgetown Headache Center and professor of clinical neurology in the Department of Neurology, and the lead author of the study.

The analysis builds on a previous clinical trial that also demonstrated strong efficacy.

The Nerivio was also ranked in CB Insights’ Game Changers for 2020 and was named to TIME Magazine’s “100 best inventions” in 2019.

Dr. Shimon Eckhouse, chairman and co-founder of Theranica, said that the company has been “encouraged by the amazing feedback we have received from the tens of thousands of patients already using Nerivio and are determined to make Nerivio a first-line therapy.”

Eckhouse is a leading Israeli medical entrepreneur who had a hand in founding some two dozen Israeli startups including Syneron Medical, which focuses on cosmetic surgery procedures, medical laser company Lumenis, and Real View Imaging, the developer of a 3D holographic display and interface system.

Eckhouse said “Theranica’s excellent clinical data and positive feedback from both patients and providers, combined with our strong financial position, will enable us to bring our solutions to millions of patients in the US and worldwide,” noting that “more than half of the 40 million Americans who live with migraines are unsatisfied with their current treatments,” according to a May 2021 survey by the National Headache Foundation.

“In spite of several decades of new medications, millions of individuals still suffer from frequent debilitating migraine headaches,” said Theranica CEO Alon Ironi in a company statement.

Ironi said that, over the years, the company has worked on ensuring that patients get significant clinical benefits from using the Nerivio, that healthcare providers “have confidence” in prescribing the Nerivio for migraine relief, and the insurance companies understand the importance of providing access to Nerivio.

“With this triad demonstrated, we needed the appropriate funding to unleash the huge potential of Nerivio in the US,” said Ironi.

Most Popular
read more: