Sep 19, 2022
Andre Mercanzini is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Aleva Neurotherapeutics which has worked in directional Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) device leads for Parkinson's and other diseases.
***This podcast is sponsored by Iris Biomedical, check out their Neurotech Startup Services here***
Top 3 Takeaways:
"My advice to PhD students postdocs, physician inventors, and professors working on neuro technologies is that you have to work on something that will make a major change in patient outcomes. It cannot just be incremental. If it has any signs of only being incremental, it will be very difficult to get funded. It will be very difficult to get your early adopters to sign up and use or test your device. It's always a difficult metric to determine what that means. Is it a 20% improvement in symptoms? Is it a 40% improvement in symptoms? Is it treating a disease that is not treatable today? That is really the major choice you have to make as an entrepreneur in your own technology is whether your work will make a significant change in patient outcomes."
0:30 "Do you want to explain what Aleva does a little bit and a little bit of your background?"
3:30 "What would you say that is a special thing in Lausanne that maybe other places could copy or are not able to copy?"
5:00 "Let's talk about Aleva"
6:45 "Iris Biomedical ad sponsorship"
7:15 "What's DBS and how did Aleva get started? You were saying this spun out of your PhD work. What did that look like then? And maybe how has it changed now?"
13:15 "Why is having directional leads was such a design problem?"
16:45 "What has the evolution been in the last decade, and then maybe what's future directions?"
20:30 You raised $70 million to get through the regulatory pathway, this seems like alot, couldn't you do it with 5 or 10 million?
23:30 Surgeons often like to stick with what they know, do you know if there would be a demand for what you are making?
25:45 Do you want to talk about wearables and how this fits in with your company?
29:00 "What advice do you have for people who want to follow in your footsteps and want to, create, raise $70 million and do you have to be in Switzerland to do this?"
31:45 "You've raised a lot of money and so is that good or bad and aren't you worried about being diluted too much?"
34:00 " Is there anything that we didn't talk about that you wanted to mention?"