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Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc. and Brown University Sign Collaborative Research Agreement

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    Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc. and Brown University Sign Collaborative Research Agreement

    September 08, 2005 09:01 AM US Eastern Timezone

    Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc. and Brown University Sign Collaborative Research Agreement

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 8, 2005--
    Research and Licensing Agreement Provides Neuroscience Researchers at Brown Access to Human Clinical Data Gathered during Testing of the BrainGate(TM) Neural Interface System

    Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc. (OTCBB:CYKN) (Cyberkinetics) and Brown University today announced that they have signed a collaborative research and licensing agreement that would give certain neuroscience researchers at Brown access to commercially valuable clinical research data provided by Cyberkinetics. The agreement will support further basic neuroscientific research that could lead to additional proprietary inventions. Cyberkinetics was founded in 2001 based upon research led by John P. Donoghue, Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Cyberkinetics will allow specific researchers at Brown University access to certain human clinical data obtained through the Company's research and development programs in exchange for the Company's right to a range of options to exclusive worldwide licenses for any proprietary inventions derived from the work done by the researchers based upon Cyberkinetics' data. The BrainGate(TM) System, currently in clinical testing, is designed to enable those with severe motor impairments the ability to communicate, move their limbs and operate a wide range of medical devices simply by using their thoughts.

    Eligible neuroscience researchers at Brown may apply for access to the data through the Office of the Vice President of Research at Brown, which will arrange joint approval with Cyberkinetics. Faculty will be able to publish results of research based on the Cyberkinetics data, using a timeframe recommended by the National Institutes of Health for research that may involve patentable inventions. Brown is the first research university with access to these human trials datasets.

    Andries van Dam, Vice President for Research at Brown, said the two-way exchange of technology will enhance a virtuous cycle that extends the University's neuroscience research enterprise and brings important technologies to the public. Brown's relationship with Cyberkinetics has helped move the University's research into the commercial setting rapidly and efficiently," van Dam said. "Now that relationship is poised to provide a direct benefit to research programs planned or under way by our faculty. The ground-breaking work by John Donoghue and his colleagues has set the stage for exciting and profound new research in one of the most important areas of neuroscience."

    "The clinical data being generated in the BrainGate(TM) program represents a unique opportunity to conduct basic and applied research into the how the human brain works," said Timothy R. Surgenor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cyberkinetics. "We are pleased to be able to provide our collaborators at Brown access to our data to support their research, while at the same time strengthening and reinforcing our ability to deliver technology and solutions to unmet medical needs."

    Surgenor continued, "Our portfolio already includes three issued patents that have been licensed, as well as a large number of owned and pending applications - some of which have published - covering brain-computer interfaces and numerous other clinical applications of Cyberkinetics sensor technologies. Through our agreement with Brown, we expect to continue to expand our leading position in the field of brain-computer interface technology."

    About the BrainGate(TM) System

    The BrainGate Neural Interface System is a proprietary brain-computer interface (BCI), an investigational device currently in clinical trials, that consists of an internal sensor to detect brain cell activity and external processors that convert these brain signals into a computer-mediated output under the person's own control. The sensor is a tiny silicon chip about the size of a baby aspirin with one hundred electrodes, each thinner than a human hair, that can detect the electrical activity of neurons. The sensor is implanted on the surface of the area of the brain responsible for movement, the motor cortex. A small wire connects the sensor to a pedestal that is placed on the skull, extending through the scalp. An external cable connects the pedestal to a cart containing computers, signal processors and monitors that enable the study operators to determine how well study participants can control devices driven by their neural output - that is, by thought alone. The ultimate goal of the BrainGate System development program is to create a safe, effective and unobtrusive universal operating system that will enable those with motor impairments resulting from a variety of causes to quickly and reliably control a wide range of devices, including computers, assistive technologies and medical devices, simply by using their thoughts.

    Cyberkinetics is currently conducting two pilot clinical trials of the BrainGate(TM) System. In its first pilot clinical trial currently underway, clinical researchers are testing the safety and feasibility of the BrainGate in those with severe paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury (SCI), muscular dystrophy, or with "locked-in" syndrome (tetraplegia and the inability to speak) secondary to stroke. Previously published results from this study of the BrainGate System have demonstrated that a person with severe paralysis may be able to control a computer cursor in order to operate external devices, as well as to operate a prosthetic hand. Enrollment for the BrainGate SCI study is currently open through the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Sargent Rehabilitation Center.

    In a second pilot trial announced August 22, 2005, researchers are testing the BrainGate System in those with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) and other motor neuron diseases. The study is being conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The two primary goals of this pilot clinical study are to characterize the safety profile of the device and to evaluate the quality, type, and usefulness of neural output control that participants can achieve by using their thoughts.

    I'm certainly far from the most informed member of this site, there are those of you who know much more about cure research than me, but in my opinion THIS is the first generation of the cure we're all waiting for. Once we have established consistent control of external devices with thought.... isn't feedback the next step? Once you have control of and feedback from an external device directly from/to the brain............ isn't that what we used to experience from our limbs?