Blackfynn has announced a series of new partnerships, funding, strategic initiatives and team members that extend its position as the leading data platform for neuroscience and neurology.
Blackfynn’s HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based platform integrates all modalities of complex neuroscience and neurological data for rapid visualization, analysis and discovery of novel patterns. Blackfynn is using its proprietary data platform to develop disease-modifying therapeutic devices, drugs and clinical services for patients with neurological disease.
Partnerships and funding
NIH SPARC Other Transactions Award 1-OT3-OD025347-01
Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC), a Common Fund program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has selected teams to provide three Core functions for its Data and Resource Center (DRC), the main integrating component for the program. Blackfynn has been selected to develop the Data Core for the entire SPARC consortium. The goal of SPARC is to advance the peripheral neuromodulation field toward precise treatment of diseases and conditions by transforming the understanding of nerve-organ interactions. By mapping the innervation of organs, SPARC will enable the mechanistic development of next-generation therapeutic devices, providing new options across a wide range of diseases and conditions.
As part of the five-year DRC program, Blackfynn has received a substantial Other Transactions award that will enable the company to rapidly advance its platform and significantly grow its team. Blackfynn will interact closely with SPARC investigators, leadership, and the other DRC Core awardees working to map the nerves that innervate the body’s organs and use mathematical models to predictively simulate the effects of nerve activity on organ function.
“Development of a platform for the SPARC Consortium will allow us to post, share, visualize, annotate, and analyze data,” said Gene Civillico, Ph.D., Program Manager for SPARC in the Office of the NIH Director. “These capabilities will help us to accelerate neuromodulatory therapeutic development by breaking down research silos. Through the Other Transaction award mechanism, SPARC and our awardee teams have the flexibility to respond to changing needs and priorities in this rapidly evolving space.”
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Blackfynn are expanding their existing collaboration for a second time to include CHOP’s Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b). As part of this new collaboration, D3b will use the Blackfynn Platform to manage, integrate and analyze pathology, radiology imaging, genomic and clinical data to identify novel biomarkers of pediatric brain tumors and other rare pediatric diseases. In addition, the Blackfynn Platform will be interoperable with the Kids First Pediatric Data Resource Center, a collaborative initiative led by D3b and funded by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund to discover the causes of pediatric cancer and structural birth defects through the use of big data. Partner sites developing the Kids First Pediatric Data Resource Center include CHOP, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the University of Chicago, Children’s National Health System, the Oregon Health and Science University and Seven Bridges.
Moberg ICU Solutions
Moberg and Blackfynn announced a partnership focused on developing and commercializing applications of the Blackfynn data platform in combination with Moberg devices. Moberg patient monitoring devices collect and display continuous EEG and data from multiple physiological monitors to support decision-making by neurointensivists and improve outcomes in the neurointensive care unit. The combined Blackfynn / Moberg platforms will facilitate rapid integration and dynamic exploration of real-time streaming monitoring device data, combined with clinical and metadata, securely in the cloud. Clinical researchers will be able to obtain instant insights from the combined data, collaborate within and across institutions on large datasets to identify patterns and predict outcomes for patients and populations, and find candidate biomarkers of disease progression and treatment.
Moberg and Blackfynn will make their combined offering available initially for clinical research purposes. This will be a first-in-class offering that has the potential to improve clinical outcomes for patients, operational metrics for health systems, and costs for patients and payors alike. As the collaboration progresses, Blackfynn and Moberg intend to work together to demonstrate improved clinical outcomes for patients and to obtain necessary regulatory approvals for clinical care applications.
Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine is leading a clinical trial to study the use of an investigational, implantable neuromodulation device in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Baylor College of Medicine will lead a consortium of investigators that includes Brown University and the University of Pittsburgh. The Blackfynn platform will be used to facilitate multimodal data integration, exploration and collaboration among the investigators.
Deepening Blackfynn’s domain expertise in neuromodulatory devices
Blackfynn announced that Douglas Weber, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, with a secondary appointment in the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (a joint venture between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University), will join Blackfynn’s Scientific Advisory Board as Lead, Neuromodulation.
Dr. Weber is a former Program Manager at DARPA who spearheaded the agency’s programs in bioelectronic medicine, including DARPA’s Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX), Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx), and Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) programs.
“Doug’s experience, depth of scientific and technical knowledge, and vision in the field of neuromodulation and bioelectronic medicine is unparalleled,” said Amanda Christini, MD, President of Blackfynn. “We are thrilled to be working with Doug to define and implement Blackfynn’s strategy in next-generation neuromodulation devices.”
The Blackfynn Platform has broad applications in devices, drug development and patient care. While the company is pursuing each of these areas, Blackfynn’s expertise and collaborations in the field of neuromodulation give Blackfynn a unique competitive advantage in bioelectronic medicine, a core focus for the company. In addition to the SPARC collaboration announced today, Blackfynn is already working with the DARPA ElectRx program, and has been funded by DARPA to augment Blackfynn’s capabilities in therapeutic neuromodulatory devices under a separate SBIR grant announced earlier this year.
Launch of the Blackfynn Platform for academic research
Blackfynn is rapidly becoming the standard data platform for the neurosciences, and is committed to supporting and accelerating basic and translational research in academia. Consistent with this mission, Blackfynn will be launching a tailored version of the platform to the meet the needs of, and priced for, academic researchers. Launching at the November 11-15 meeting of the Society for Neurosciences (SfN) in Washington D.C., the platform will be made available initially to a select group of invited investigators and foundations, and subsequently broadly to the academic community. Several key researchers will already be using Blackfynn Academic at launch, including investigators at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Neuroengineering and Therapeutics, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Utah, the Epilepsy Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Blackfynn is a technology-driven, life-sciences company dedicated to transforming the way neurological diseases are diagnosed and treated. We combine high-quality patient data, proprietary software, and our multidisciplinary team of domain experts to drive transformational science and the development of effective therapies for the one billion people worldwide who are affected by neurological disease. We partner with pharma and biotech companies, device companies, foundations, government and academic medical centers to achieve this goal. For more information, please visit www.blackfynn.com.