Tal Medical is a clinical stage neuroscience company developing non-invasive neurostimulation treatments for brain disorders. We aim to redefine the clinical practice of psychiatry and neurology by introducing safe, effective medical devices as standards of care. Our initial focus is on depression and sleep.
The company was founded in 2010, after in-licensing exclusive rights to the novel Low Field Magnetic Stimulation (LFMS) technology from McLean Hospital, a teaching hospital of Harvard University. LFMS is a non-invasive brain stimulation technology that produces sub-threshold electric fields to modulate brain circuitry involved in depression.
LFMS was serendipitously discovered at McLean when bipolar depression patients unexpectedly reported an immediate mood elevating effect following a custom MRI protocol in a research study. This rapid anti-depressant effect was later confirmed in two randomized controlled studies in bipolar patients. These studies showed a single 20 min LFMS session produced effect greater than drugs typically achieve in 4-10 weeks. A larger randomized, controlled study later showed effect in major depressive disorder (or unipolar depression), albeit with a higher, 60 min dose repeated over four days. Optimal therapy duration (i.e., number of days to repeat the treatment) and long-term effect durability have not yet been established.
These studies utilized an investigational table-top LFMS device; Tal is currently developing a portable helmet-like device for commercial use.
In 2016, we started a new non-invasive neuromodulation effort in sleep. Our sleep therapy, targeting chronic insomnia patients, is being rationally designed based on our knowledge of sleep biology. The approach utilizes certain aspects of the LFMS technology, but uses parameters optimized for modulating sleep, and a custom-designed wearable capcoil. The sleep program is in its early stages, before technical proof of concept.