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Nexstim is IST Prize Winner

22 March 2006

Nexstim Ltd. was awarded the 2006 European IST Prize Winner in Vienna, Austria on 22 March.

HELSINKI, Finland—March 22, 2006--Nexstim Ltd., a Finnish company, has developed a new method to study and treat the brain

The method developed by Finnish-based Nexstim Ltd. has been awarded the European IST Prize, one of the best-known technology awards in Europe.

Nexstim Ltd. was awarded the 2006 European IST Prize Winner in Vienna, Austria on 22 March. The company has developed and holds a worldwide patent on equipment capable of measuring the functionality and health status of the central nervous system. The new method is called Navigated Brain Stimulation, NBS. The equipment indicates how the different parts of the brain react when a magnetic pulse, increasing or decreasing brain activity, is targeted at them.

The candidates for the 2006 European IST Prize were selected from among over 200 European applicant companies. In 2004, the technology developed by Nexstim Ltd. was awarded the INNOFINLAND 2004 prize.

Discovering the functional reactions of the brain

  • I regard the prize as a notable acknowledgement for internationally recognised neurology research and Finnish product development in the field, emphasises Jukka-Pekka Särkkä, Managing Director of Nexstim Ltd.
  • Mapping the functioning of the brain has so far been difficult. Using the NBS equipment, it is possible to target an accurate impulse to any site of the cerebral cortex and then measure how a specific site or the whole cortex reacts. The results can be documented and reliably repeated if required.

The brain stimulation equipment by Nexstim Ltd. is being used at over 20 hospitals all over the world and in Helsinki, Kuopio, Turku and Oulu in Finland.

  • The global market for the research, diagnosing and rehabilitation of brain-related diseases amounts to over 500 million euros annually.

Typical applications for the equipment include, according to Jukka-Pekka Särkkä: the planning and follow-up of the rehabilitation of diseases involving the brain, in particular, stroke and traumas; the rapid location of motor cortex / areas to be avoided in brain surgery; and the testing of psychiatric diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

According to various research institutes, over 150 million people suffer from depression, 100 million from stroke, 38 million from Alzheimer's and other dementia-causing diseases annually. Brain surgery is required by 500 patients per one million inhabitants. The population is becoming older, which increases the annual costs of over 1,000 billion euros incurred in the treatment of brain diseases.

Additional information:

Jukka-Pekka Särkkä
Managing Director
Nexstim Ltd.

Elimäenkatu 9 B, FI-00510 Helsinki, Finland
Direct +358-9-2727 1715
Mobile +358-40-5389 593, Fax +358-9-2727 1717,
jukka-pekka.sarkka (at) nexstim.com

Nexstim Ltd. in a nutshell

Nexstim Ltd. was founded with the help of the TULI project of the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) in the year 2000 to commercialise ideas and inventions developed in projects sponsored by Tekes and the Foundation for Finnish Inventions at the BioMag Laboratory of the Helsinki University Central Hospital. BioMag belongs to the Helsinki Brain Research Center, which combines wide expertise from the University of Helsinki, the Helsinki University of Technology and the hospital.

Nexstim Ltd. employs 20 persons. The company's turnover in 2004 amounted to 1.95 million euros. The principal owners are the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (Sitra), capital investors and the company staff.

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