Record Set for Implantable Brain Tech: Blackrock Neurotech Celebrates 30,000 Patient Days

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 3:27 AM HST

Blackrock Neurotech's powerful brain-computer interface technology gives people with paralysis and neurological disorders the ability to perform life-changing tasks and increase independence

SALT LAKE CITY, June 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackrock Neurotech, the leader in brain-computer interface (BCI) technology, has announced a record-breaking milestone–30,000 days of in-patient BCI research, roughly 20 times longer than any other implantable BCI technology reported to date.

Blackrock Neurotech Logo (PRNewsfoto/Blackrock Neurotech)
Blackrock Neurotech Logo (PRNewsfoto/Blackrock Neurotech)(PRNewswire)

"Most people have the perception that implantable BCIs are still in the early days of research, but the fact is, our products are guided by safety and efficacy data dating back to 2004. We've been restoring patient function for almost two decades, as demonstrated by this milestone, and we believe the technology is ready to move out of the lab and into patients' homes," said Florian Solzbacher, co-founder and Chairman of Blackrock Neurotech.

Of the individuals who have participated in implantable BCI research studies–a group Blackrock refers to as "BCI Pioneers"–the majority have used Blackrock's technology. While there may be different methods for implanting BCIs, Blackrock remains committed to the direct-to-brain implant approach, which has demonstrated the greatest functionality of any human-tested implant. As a BCI Pioneer thinks of movement, Blackrock's interface gathers highly accurate signals from individual neurons in the cortex. Those brain signals are then translated into digital commands, enabling Pioneers to naturally and intuitively execute complex functions. Over the past eighteen years, Blackrock's cutting-edge devices have enabled Pioneers to perform tasks such as eating, drinking, typing, making art, even controlling robotic arms–with just their brain signals.

"Moving individual fingers and other fine detailed movements, you really need something that can pick up the high-resolution data that a direct-brain approach enables," says 31-year old Ian Burkhart, whose Blackrock implant lasted more than seven years and enabled him to regain motor and sensory control of muscles in his arm and hand. Over that course of time, Ian was able to type, move objects, feel sensations, even play Guitar Hero.

In terms of safety, Blackrock's technology has chronic safety and efficacy data cited in 116 peer-reviewed journal articles, and no FDA-reported serious adverse events related to the BCI since trials began in 2004.

To improve upon existing surgical methods, this past year Blackrock announced a partnership with industry leader ClearPoint Neuro to develop a portfolio of custom navigation solutions including consumables, hardware, software and robotics that will streamline and scale implantation, while reducing the risk of surgical complications. In addition, Blackrock is working to develop new materials that improve the safety of the device and ensure less impact on surrounding tissue. Blackrock hopes these innovations will help pave the way for more widespread patient adoption in 2023.

"It is really quite simple: direct data means better data which means greater potential for fundamental improvement in patient care. Our BCI is currently the only method shown to have long term, real life utility and restore patient movement, communication, and even sensation. Future applications may include the restoration of hearing and vision, treating or mitigating pain, lessening depression–we really believe the possibilities are endless," said Marcus Gerhardt, co-founder and CEO of Blackrock Neurotech. "All of these efforts require a continued focus on innovation and partnerships, areas where we've made great strides."

As for Burkhart, whose implant was removed in 2021 at the conclusion of his study, if given the chance, he says he would do it all over again. "Knowing the technology and knowing where it's going–I definitely would do it again because I know it's something that would improve my quality of life."

Blackrock Neurotech plans to submit MoveAgain, their first commercial BCI device, to the FDA in 2022.

About Blackrock Neurotech

Blackrock Neurotech, formerly known as Blackrock Microsystems, is dedicated to the clinical translation of brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. Blackrock, founded in 2008, is the world's leading platform company for BCI technology and the development of implantable solutions that improve human lives. Blackrock's precision electrode technology is at the core of many worldwide innovations in BCI, enabling dozens of early users (known as "BCI Pioneers") to SeeAgain, HearAgain, MoveAgain and more. For more information, visit www.blackrockneurotech.com.

Press Contact:
Sara Batchelder
blackrock@lightspeedpr.com
LSPR/M for Blackrock Neurotech

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