Fraunhofer MEVIS joins the european project IMPACT

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Sapiens announces start of IMPACT, a 5M€ European project to improve Deep Brain Stimulation

Sapiens announces start of IMPACT, a 5M€ European project to improve Deep Brain Stimulation


Munich, Germany, and Eindhoven, the Netherlands, November 12, 2012 - Today, an international consortium, led by Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation B.V., a medical device company, has announced the official start of IMPACT, a collaborative European project focusing on the development of an innovative patient-specific approach for Deep Brain Stimulation therapy. IMPACT aims to improve the lives of Parkinson's disease patients by reducing the disease side-effects through deep brain stimulation.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is an established treatment for Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia. DBS can be considered as a 'brain pacemaker'; mild electrical stimuli are delivered to the brain via implanted leads, to reduce symptoms like tremor, slowness of movement, stiffness and impairment of balance. For Parkinson's disease alone, over 50,000 patients are diagnosed each year in Europe.

Due to the lack of personalized treatment options, around 15-30% of DBS patients suffer from stimulation-induced side-effects. IMPACT is a 5.0M€ project sponsored by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Union that aims to tackle this lack of personalized treatment options in the next four years.

The consortium partners will contribute according to their respective expertise to the development of a direct-feedback image-based expert tuning tool to improve the positioning and programming (tuning) of Steering Brain Stimulation (SBS) implants in a patient-specific manner. The system will combine pre- and post-operative imaging data, high-resolution electrical recordings of the patients' brain activity and bio-statistical data about DBS target areas to better analyze and avoid the stimulation-induced side-effects from which some patients continue to suffer. The initial development work is expected to be completed within 24 to 36 months. The project shall report results in four years from now.

"Brain-model-based tuning is an unexplored field and is the key for moving DBS from a last-resort therapy to a clinically superior solution that is tailored and evidence-based. The IMPACT consortium is uniquely positioned to translate the therapeutic benefits that steering brain stimulation can provide to clinical practice", says Hubert Martens, Director Clinical Science & Applications and Co-Founder of Sapiens.

More information about IMPACT can be found at:

About the consortium
Led by Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation B.V., the consortium brings together three clinical partners: the University Hospital Cologne (Germany), ICM: the Brain & Spine Institute (France), and University Hospital Umeå (Sweden), these hospitals will provide the clinical expertise and research data; three SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) companies: Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation B.V.(Netherlands), Twente Medical Systems International B.V. (Netherlands), and ICsense N.V. (Belgium), will provide software, hardware and equipment expertise; and two technical research partners: Linköping University (Sweden) and Fraunhofer MEVIS and Fraunhofer MEVIS Project Group on Image Registration (Germany) will provide the algorithm expertise.

About Sapiens
Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation is an emerging medical device company whose mission is to bring a revolutionized concept of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to more patients who can benefit from this advanced treatment of degenerative or functional brain disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia and other currently emerging indications.

Sapiens' ambition is to improve the therapeutic outcome of DBS, to shorten and simplify the clinical procedure, and to improve patient comfort. Sapiens' high-resolution probe enables the reduction of stimulation-induced side-effects by precisely steering the tiny stimulation currents to the intended target area. The SureSuite® products, SurePlan®, SurePlace® and SureTune®, provide an integrated, image-based solution for planning and programming an optimal DBS treatment. SureStim®, the Sapiens implant, is MRI-conditionally safe, and controls the steering.

With offices in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and Munich, Germany, Sapiens was founded in 2011. The Company is a spin-out of Royal Philips Electronics, and is backed by Wellington Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Life Sciences Partners (LSP) and the Wellcome Trust. Its Steering Brain Stimulation probe, implant and image-guided programming are based upon patents-pending technologies.


Hubert Martens
Director CS&A
Sapiens Steering Brain Stimulation
Tel. +31 40 8002100