Jun 17, 2021

Nurosene: Building better brain health through precision, preventative medicine

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Nurosene Health Inc. ("Nurosene" or the "Company") (CSE: MEND), is a healthtech company focused on mental wellness. The company’s mission is to provide individuals with the power to take control of their mental well-being by developing personalized solutions to monitor and optimize brain function via an integrated approach. Powered by an exceptional team of neurologists, product engineers, medical doctors, and industry/capital markets veterans (CEO is former SVP Strategy of Beats by Dre), Nurosene is extremely well positioned to advance precision medicine through the development of three core technologies that seamlessly interact with one another to create holistic, personalized, data-driven treatment plans:

  • Nuro App”, a mobile application that leverages the company’s proprietary holistic “4x4TM” methodology to collect both passive and active user data to optimize daily habits and nutrition;
  • A proprietary blend of nutraceutical supplements that have been rigorously studied by the scientific community to target specific neural deficiencies;
  • An artificial intelligence platform that integrates quantifiable metrics via wearable devices and behavioral data from the mobile application to create personalized treatment plans. The AI algorithm is the piece de resistance of the company’s technology portfolio, integrating both passive data gathered from wearable devices (heart rate, blood oxygenation, eye tracking), biologic biomarkers taken from patient’s blood (DNA expression, methylation, microbiome, etc), and user-inputted information (supplementation, diet, sleep, etc) to draw correlates to mental states (depression, anxiety, etc). As users engage with the mobile application, the AI algorithm accumulates data which enables the app to provide personalized lifestyle and supplementation strategies.

What really separates Nurosene from other technology driven solutions to mental health is the level of scientific rigor that has gone into developing their predictive analytics, and their data-driven approach to identify active nutraceutical compounds which can supplement individual treatment plans. Daniel Gallucci's vision is to democratize mental wellness by providing free access to the Nuro App, which will not only provide much needed treatment to millions of those suffering in silence, but also feed their AI platform with the data needed to optimize its predictive analytics. The company is at the forefront of personalized, precision medicine; developing new modalities to change the way mental health is treated. And by every indication, they are going to stay that way.

“The mind and the body will do whatever you ask it to do. You can be successful one day and fail the next. It’s about constantly evolving, constantly pursuing, and constantly trying to be the best version of yourself.”
~ Richard Sherman, Nurosene Ambassador

The Story

Many of the companies that we feature involve some element of personal motivation for embarking on these challenging drug discovery and development projects. A personal impetus is one of the differentiating factors between Big Pharma and startup biotechs, the former driven purely by ROI, and maybe the most important. Nurosene’s story began out of the urgent need to help a friend (for the sake of anonymity, we will call him “John”) suffering from the disease that robs us of joy and makes us question our purpose: depression. Like many people suffering in silence, John’s life appeared full and rich on the exterior, which only served to belie the true nature of his mental wellbeing and make it more difficult to get the help he needed. Thankfully, John’s  family managed to provide him with the medical attention he needed, and he began working with Nurosene’s Chief Innovation Officer, Daniel Gallucci, to explore the structural and functional issues afflicting his brain. Daniel has worked as a functional neurologist and researcher for over 20 years, honing his treatments that focus on the brain and body. He has an extensive history of working with high profile professional and amateur athletes, as well as patients with a variety of complex neurological conditions and traumatic brain injuries. Due to the nature of functional neurology, to date his work has been confined to private, highly specialized clinical environments. Seeing first hand the limitations of private centers, both in access and cost, Mr. Gallucci was committed to finding a better way than the traditional clinical model. Nurosene was born as an initiative to digitize his unique approach to brain health and full-body wellness to the community at scale at no cost.

Nurosene's core tenant is the democratization of mental health treatment by:

  • Destroying the stigma surrounding depression and other mental afflictions while...
  • Providing accessible, affordable treatment options involving a...
  • Holistic approach - combining behavioral modification, psychotherapy, and pharmacologic intervention to address the many ambiguous causal factors underlying mental illnesses. Nurosene has already made tremendous strides along each of these 3 pathways by engaging brand ambassadors to publicly discuss their internal struggles, developing the Nuro App and distributing it for free, and conducting their own research to unlock the power of plant-derived nutraceuticals for enhancing brain function and correcting neural malfunction.
“We believe The future of health will have pharmaceutical companies moving to precision preventative medicine. Currently nutraceuticals and vitamins are being used with minimal impact for this purpose, but with our proprietary AI technology, we are beginning to utilize novel machine learning to uncover the landscape of preventative medicine by replacing disease names with mechanistic, actionable insights about precise groups of people. By using data both from our app, and from our partners, we will be able to guide people to optimal brain health in order to optimize wellbeing. Simultaneously, we will be discovering the therapeutics of the future that will impact development, mental health and aging.”
~ Nurosene PR

Mental Health

Destroying the stigma

Let’s face it. We all know someone that has suffered, or is currently suffering, from mental health disorders. And if no one comes to mind then you simply aren’t paying enough attention. Depression has been highly stigmatized due to its inexplicable origins, association with a lack of drive or willpower, or some type of moral failing (“your life is precious, don’t be an ingrate for all that you have!”). How can a CEO making $500,000 a year, with a model wife and 5 vacation homes, ever understand despair? Mental illnesses are insidious, laying low until a triggering event raises its ugly head, robbing the diseased of joy and casting a shadow over life’s most simple and accessible pleasures. It is estimated that over 10% of the world’s population is affected by major depression, and at least 20% of children and adolescents are currently suffering from some type of mental disorder (www.worldbank.org/en/topic/mental-health). These numbers are almost assuredly underreported, as diseases such as major depressive disorder and bipolar are notoriously difficult to diagnose and many people are still afraid to explicitly acknowledge their suffering. The World Bank estimates that over 264 million people worldwide are currently affected by depression, and ~80% receive no treatment due to the stigma, cost, and lack of competent mental health providers around the world. Fortunately, mental health advocacy groups have made it their mission to spread awareness to declassify these conditions as personal weakness or moral failings, and appropriately describe them as diseases rooted in brain physiology.  If you or a loved one is suffering in silence, you must understand that you are not broken, and you are not alone.

Major depressive disorder: diagnoses and treatments

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is an illness that affects mood and basal neural functions, such as sleep and appetite, motor function, and cognition. The vast array of clinical symptoms and patients’ individual history of comorbid mental afflictions, such as mania or paranoia, make MDD difficult to diagnose. Mental illnesses lie along a spectrum and clinicians have developed scoring systems to categorize them. In the case of MDD, four major risk factors stand out: childhood trauma, gender, triggering life events, and personality traits. Some of these factors merely associate with MDD (e.g., gender), and others are most likely causal (e.g., stressful life events). For many people, MDD is a chronic condition that recurs throughout the patient’s life (especially if they were first diagnosed as a child). A long-term solution to this chronic condition is still in high demand.

The most common treatments for MDD are psychotherapy, antidepressant medications, such as typical antidepressants like SSRIs and atypical antidepressants such as Wellbutrin, and (horrifically) electroconvulsive treatment. While “talk therapy” can help patients develop new conceptual frameworks to reframe their negative thoughts, there is little evidence to show that therapy alone alleviates depressive symptoms. Antidepressant medications are usually prescribed alongside psychotherapy and provide short-term relief at the expense of long-term side effects such as sexual dysfunction, weight gain, and apathy. The effectiveness of these treatments is highly patient dependent, but the field of psychiatry has not yet developed a model to assess each patient’s unique chemical makeup to optimize the treatment plan.

What is clear is that there is a unique “signature” for each person that predicts their likelihood of experiencing a major depressive episode and their responsiveness to proposed treatments. Unlike a somatic (meaning “related to the body”) disease such as cancer, there is limited genetic information that can predict an individual’s predilection for mental illnesses and efficacy of different treatment modalities. Multiple factors are at play, and capturing personalized data is the only way to provide effective treatment.

Nurosene is addressing these shortcomings by developing a holistic, data-driven, personalized approach to understanding the causal factors of mental illnesses and developing predictive analytics to create customized treatment plans.

The Nurosene Advantage

A precision, personalized approach

Nurosene’s approach to building better brain health involves 3 parallel pathways, the first of which is the development of the “Nuro App” to assist users in developing better daily habits. The Nuro App collects passive data from wearable devices as well as user-inputted information to “teach” their artificial intelligence (AI) platform. This approach is a unique way to organize massive amount of data so that relationships across multiple variables will emerge in terms of how behavior, nutrition, and supplementation affect mental health. A cornerstone of this approach is the ability to utilize a unique self-learning algorithm that can sort poorly labelled and noisy data instead of using methods that attempt to explain all phenomena explicitly (a “parametrized” approach requires much more knowledge of all the variables that have predictive power). The AI platform uses methods for finding patterns among subpopulations of Nuro App users. These insights will be fused with biologic biomarkers, such as, RNA-Seq, DNA methylation, and the composition of the gut microbiome (which is a major producer of serotonin) to create personalized treatment plans consisting of behavioral modifications and pharmacologic solutions. This is the perfect fusion between user experiences, genetic/biological data, and AI in order to impact the way we create medicine.

What really separates Nurosene from other technology-driven solutions to mental health is the level of scientific rigor that has gone into developing their predictive analytics, and their data-driven approach to identify active nutraceutical compounds and lifestyle modifications that can treat mental illnesses. The company is at the forefront of personalized, precision medicine to change the way mental health is treated. And by every indication, they are going to stay that way.

Professional athletes

Nurosene has developed the “Nuro Pro” version of the mobile app specifically for athletes, supported by the company's Mental Health Advisory Board that includes NFL Star Richard Sherman and Decorated Olympian Michael Phelps. Professional athletes are elevated to superhuman status, regarded as immune to the struggles of everyday life and the "normal" human condition. Ironically, professional athletes and other high-earning professionals are often more susceptible to mental illness due to the immense pressure and public nature of their jobs. The Nuro Pro application beautifully illustrates Nurosene's core philosophy of democratizing mental health by building a platform for professional athletes to address their own struggles with mental health, further deconstructing the stigma, and providing an easily accessible tool to optimize their performance and relieve anxiety/depression.

The Pro version of the app integrates performance training data for professional athletes to create customized, sports-specific training recommendations. Nuro Pro uses the company’s AI algorithm to provide insight into player performance so that coaches and athletes can make more informed decisions relating to their mental and physical game. The training programs focus on increasing awareness on the field, and help reduce anxiety and depression. The Nuro Pro platform has 2 programs: Nuro Academy and Nuro Elite. Nuro Academy focuses on developing optimal brain health for young athletes, since the formative years are critical for brain development. The Nuro Elite platform is designed for adult athletes to focus on brain training for pre, in, and post season exercise. Nurosene has partnered with Dutch Connections Football Club (DCFC) to pilot the Nuro Academy program. This pilot program will focus on drills and activities for 200 young athletes and will feature weekly cognitive drills to measure positive changes in brain function, cognitive flexibility, leadership skills, and a reduction in stress and anxiety. This program will generate a plethora of data that will help train the company’s proprietary AI algorithm, building a more robust platform.

Nutraceuticals

Nutraceuticals hit the public consciousness after the film “Limitless”, starring Bradley Cooper, was featured on the big screen. The premise of the movie is that the human brain is not operating at 100%, but there exist in Nature brain-amplifying compounds that can unlock the untapped bandwidth. In atypical Hollywood fashion, the film may have actually gotten this right. Nutraceuticals are alternatives to pharmaceuticals that are classed as dietary supplements by the FDA. These compounds are often derived from plants and may improve health, delay aging, and prevent chronic disease (although by law, nutraceutical producers cannot make claims that they target any specific disease). While there are no FDA approved nutraceuticals on the market, researchers have shown promising results for these compounds taken in various combinations for the treatment of diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and neurological disorders. Many of these nutraceuticals have antioxidant activity, which counteracts the oxidative stress that plays a role in many diseases. In a review titled “New Concepts in Nutraceuticals as Alternative for Pharmaceuticals”, the authors investigated published papers about the different effects of nutraceuticals as alternatives to approved pharmaceuticals. They discovered that there is strong scientific evidence that nutraceutical compounds have beneficial activity against a number of important diseases:

Alzheimer’s Disease

“Nutraceutical antioxidants such as curcumin, lutein, lycopene, turmerin and β-carotene may exert positive effects on specific diseases by combating oxidative stress. The growing trends in nutraceutical usage are due to the belief that these compounds are able to postpone the development of dementias such as AD.[30] There are several recently published papers showing the positive effects of different nutriceutical plants such as Zizyphus jujube, Lavandula officinalis on AD, learning or memory.[32,33,34]”

Cardiovascular Disease

“Nutraceuticals in the form of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n−3 PUFAs) together with physical exercise are recommended for prevention and treatment of CVD. The molecules such as polyphenols alter cellular metabolism and signaling, which is believed to reduce arterial disease.[44,45]”

Cancer

“Carotenoids are a group of phytochemicals responsible for different colors of the foods. They have antioxidant activities and effective on cancer prevention. Recent interest in carotenoids has focused on the role of lycopene in human health, especially in cancer disease.[66]”

“Lycopene contained vegetables and fruits exert cancer-protective effect via a decrease in oxidative stress and damage to DNA.[67]”

“Chronic inflammation is associated with a high cancer risk. Chronic inflammation is also associated with immune-suppression, which is a risk factor for cancer. Ginseng is an example of an anti-inflammatory molecule that targets many of the key players in the inflammation-to-cancer sequence.[69]”

Diabetes, eye disorders, autoimmune diseases, obesity, Parkinson’s…. the list goes on. Plant-derived therapies that can cure cancer? Too good to be true? Read the paper if you are not convinced.

It is unequivocal that nutraceutical compounds have the potential to treat many diseases. This is an understudied area of research and has huge potential. The global dietary supplement market is expected to reach $300B by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 8.3%. Nurosene is leading this area of research by developing two nutraceutical product lines, that target specific brain structures and biochemical functions. There are over 500 biochemical processes in the human body, so a systems biology approach is needed to elucidate how they all work together. This line of research begs for a “big-data” solution: Nurosene’s AI platform.

Nutraceutical product lines

The Nuro Foundational Line is Nurosene’s first product line, consisting of two supplements, Nuro Drive and Nuro Restore. These nutraceuticals are designed to work together to keep the patient balanced and help them achieve optimal function by maximizing energy levels and minimizing stress and bodily inflammation.

The Nuro Everyday Line is the company’s second product line consisting of three proprietary blends that are designed for consistent immune, neurological, and gut/microbiome function.

Working in harmony

Nurosene’s nutraceutical product line complements the Nuro App by providing more information that can be used to inform behavioral and nutrition modifications. The supplement tracker prompts the users for information about their basic health, and then follows up on a monthly basis to shape the individual’s personal treatment journey. This information is used to train the company’s AI platform, which becomes more useful as data is consistently fed into the Nuro App.

Nurosene’s business model includes their own research into brain health. They are committed to a scientifically backed, data-driven approach to designing their nutraceutical compounds. There is nothing arbitrary about these formulations. The company has realized that a holistic approach must be employed to optimize an individual’s mental health. There are so many lifestyle and biologic factors at play, and they must all be captured and analyzed by an AI platform. The company plans to integrate 3rd party technologies to gain insight into biomarkers, such as DNA and blood test data, that can be used to further characterize an individual patient’s chemical makeup and design better treatment solutions. Nurosene is leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to identify optimal nutraceutical compound combinations and then conduct human clinical trials to demonstrate clinical efficacy.

Key Catalysts for Growth

Click to enlarge

Management and Ownership

  • Ranj Bath, CEO and Director - Inspirational leader with 20 years of experience in various senior-level marketing and branding roles. Previously, VP Corporate Strategy at Beats Music, where he worked with the brand through a $3Bn acquisition by Apple. Avid investor and advisor across a number of health, wellness and technology companies, including being an early-stage investor in Bulletproof and Classpass.
  • Daniel Gallucci, Chief Innovation Officer and Director - Trained functional neurologist, osteopath, exercise physiologist, and exercise scientist, with experience working in-clinic with top athletes. Daniel has completed fellowships in Traumatic Brain Injury, Vestibular Dysfunction and Rehabilitation, Developmental Disorders, and Neurochemistry. He is currently researching multimodal neuroimaging, digital phenotyping, and their impact on health and performance.
  • Blake Sing, Chief Financial Officer - Finance professional with hands-on experience in operational and corporate finances. He began his career with Ernst and Young (EY) Toronto as part of the assurance practice, serving publicly listed companies and financial institutions. He most recently held finance leadership roles in companies within the cannabis industry, including the transition to legalization, public offerings, consolidation, and financial reporting. CPA, CA
  • Jamie Hackett, VP Product Development - 12+ years’ experience in marketing and technology, developing mobile and desktop applications at large public firms and non-profits.
  • Joseph Loren, VP Engineering - 10+ years’ engineering experience with a background in cognitive science. Led engineering for multiple startups and corporate institutions including American Express, Under Armor, the NGL, and GE.
  • Bill Tyler, VP Sales - Seasoned global sales executive in nutritionals, OTC,  pharmaceutical, and CPG. Built and led an award-winning team at Jamieson Laboratories where he spent 15+ years of his career.
  • Dr. Kaveh Kavoosi, Progressive Medicine - McGill University doctorate. Currently an Emergency Medicine Physician, advocate and educator of alternative therapeutic strategies.
  • Joshua Pong, Creative Director - 20+ years of experience in senior design and concept art. Previously worked on brands including Stussy, Kanye West Pastelle, Yeezy, Disney, EA games, and Microsoft Games.

Nurosene is supported by a Board of Directors with extensive experience in technology, neuroscience, mental health, and the capital markets.

Share Structure

Nurosene has a tight share structure with less than 40 million shares fully-diluted. Insiders own nearly ½ of the total shares and all insider shares are under a one year escrow agreement. This leaves an extremely tight free trading float of less than 18 million shares.

Nurosene has strong financial backing from a who’s who list of entrepreneurs and health tech investors. The company also has a strong cash position with C$9 million in its treasury.

The Verdict

We believe that Nurosene is fully capable of supporting their $100M valuation. The company is pursuing multiple commercializable products that seamlessly integrate into one another. They are creating a self-contained mental wellness ecosystem for their technology, in a similar vein as Apple, wherein users immerse themselves in the technology and have no desire to experiment with competing options. Institutional money appears to agree, as Canaccord, Beacon, Haywood, Raymond James, Stone Castle Investment Fund, and RBC have all taken positions in the company. Nurosene is generating revenue through their precision nutraceutical product line, which is being used to fund their research and development and build a mental wellness community. The company is rapidly evolving from a “MedTech” to a “PharmaTech” company through their nutraceutical drug discovery and development initiative. Given the size of the market and the enormous medical need for advanced treatments for mental illnesses, Nurosene could very well achieve a $500M-$1B valuation once their clinical trial programs are underway.

Disclosure

Author owns Nurosene shares at the time of publishing and may choose to buy or sell at any time without notice. Author has been compensated for marketing services by Nurosene.

DISCLAIMER:

The work included in this article is based on current events, technical charts, company news releases, and the author’s opinions. It may contain errors, and you shouldn’t make any investment decision based solely on what you read here. This publication contains forward-looking statements, including but not limited to comments regarding predictions and projections. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. This publication is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Always thoroughly do your own due diligence and talk to a licensed investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions. Junior resource and biotechnology companies can easily lose 100% of their value so read company profiles on www.SEDAR.com for important risk disclosures. It’s your money and your responsibility.

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