Mercia EIS Funds

SleepCogni receives grant funding to continue their quest to improve sleep science

As part of a collaborative R&D program, the UK’s Innovation agency have co-funded SleepCogni’s exciting research and development into helping resolve the global epidemic of insomnia. SleepCogni is being developed to help clinicians and healthcare professionals treat the many people suffering from sleeping problems more effectively and successfully. This takes funding and investment into SleepCogni to over seven figures in the last months, following a recent £485,000 investment led by Mercia Fund Management.

The new funding by Innovate UK allows the company to advance their research and development, using a clinical trial, (150 subjects over 1,490 research nights). SleepCogni offers a real intervention for long term suffering insomniacs. Furthermore, it allows the company to increase its world class team building on Dr Van de Werken’s appointment as Chief Scientific Officer in 2016 and locate to the Kroto Innovation and research Centre within the University of Sheffield.

Problems falling to, or maintaining sleep (insomnia) is a widespread problem. One in three people have had problems sleeping and The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) consider these sleep related problems a “global health epidemic.” Sleep is a cornerstone of performance and health and has been associated with major diseases. Rand Europe estimates the economic costs of poor sleep at a staggering $680 billion across five OECD countries.

Current treatments either work partially, are only a short term solution or can even be damaging (e.g. sleeping medication). SleepCogni is a credible solution to sleep issues, integrating several scientifically founded treatments into a bedside personal medical device. It integrates the gold standard in alleviating insomnia, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for insomnia (CBTi), and a range of other features to help the user initiate and maintain sleep. SleepCogni offers a real intervention for users to manage their own insomnia.

SleepCogni takes environmental, physiological and behavioural measures to a research grade level, to then offer an effective intervention through our patented personal and dynamic biofeedback and active input. Through historical accurate data we will then be able to advise and prescribe personalised treatment plans to increase the natural drive for sleep that may be currently be suppressed by environmental, mental or physiological factors. Data generated across individuals can be used to optimise treatment further and generate new knowledge on insomnia to help all users sleep better.

After a previous user study with Sheffield Hallam University and pre marketing activity, it was clear that insomniacs actually want a medical grade device that is clinically proven. Not just another consumer device making claims without substance. Trials commence later in the 2017 with Sheffield Hallam University, final clinical trials will be completed 2018 and products available in Q1 2019 after further fund raising.

Dr Maan Van de Werken, Chief Scientific Officer and chronobiologist, said: “We are very excited about our current progress in research and development. Validation and further development is ongoing, and we are planning our clinical trials, in collaboration with scientists from both Universities in Sheffield and internationally, in the Netherlands. We are committed to use our technology to help people that suffer from issues related to sleep.”

Dr Ash Patel, board member and Investment Manager at Mercia Fund Management, said: “We are excited to be supporting what could potentially be a game changing patented technology, this is a global issue that is crying out for a clinical solution.”

Innovate UK grant feedback: “If the project is successful, and SleepCogni is demonstrated to have a major impact on sleep, this could have a significant impact on a large proportion of the population – both economic and social. The potential benefits of SleepCogni could be relevant across a wide section of society and the verification of performance would support its use in the clinic. This substantiates the use of public funding for the project.”

Rich Mills, CEO, said: “I suffered from insomnia for over a decade. Just monitoring when you are or not asleep or my bedroom environment never helped my sleep initiation. Sleep is pretty complex and unique to the sufferer but there is some clear science that you need to understand to build the bigger picture. Our company may be creating the perfect clinical personalised algorithm to help the user wind down and sleep better. More importantly SleepCogni allows the user to manage their own insomnia.”