Neurology, business

MindWeavers to launch software to improve brain function

21 August 2007

MindWeavers, a spin-out company from the University of Oxford, is launching a series of 'brain exercise' computer game products after securing £558,000 of new investment capital.

MindWeavers has also converted to plc status in anticipation of a planned listing on the PLUS Markets that will see the Company seeking to raise an additional £1 million.

The company creates and sells software that exercises specific areas of the brain to improve human performance ‘by design’. The Company’s software is based on research that has shown that the neural systems in the brain are ‘plastic’ and malleable throughout life, and that effective instruction can alter brain function. In particular, breakthroughs in neuroscience have led to a new understanding of how the brain learns language.

MindWeavers’ Phonomena product is designed to enhance the neural pathways that process sounds and has been proven to dramatically improve the language skills of children suffering from dyslexia.

MindWeavers is extending its software range into brain health products and in September will launch MindFit, the first in a series of ‘brain exercise’ computer game products, targeted at ‘baby boomers’ wishing to keep their minds active in order to slow, delay and protect against the effects of ageing. This move into the adult brain health market follows the Company’s acquisition of BrainBoost, a business which develops software to protect against cognitive decline, founded by Baroness Susan Greenfield, world expert in neuro-development and degeneration.

Chief Executive, Bruce Robinson, said: “We are delighted with the success of the fundraising, which exceeded our expectations and bodes well for our anticipated admission to the PLUS Markets. The new funding will enable us to exploit wider opportunities for our brain training software.

“Phonomena currently provides support for children with language-based learning difficulties. We will now be developing additional versions of Phonomena aimed at parents who are concerned that their children are falling behind at school or who simply want to give their children the best start in life.”

MindWeavers is also exploring opportunities for specific versions of Phonomena in the emerging field of auditory processing disorder, for which the current product is being recommended by Great Ormond Street Hospital, and with cochlear implant users who have reported dramatic improvements in their hearing after using Phonomena.

Mr Robinson commented on plans for MindFit: “We are finalising plans to launch MindFit, an innovative brain exercise product, onto the UK market in early September. MindFit has been developed by our partners, CogniFit, with whom we have signed an exclusive distribution agreement, and carries the endorsement of Baroness Greenfield. It assesses, trains and has been proven to improve a range of abilities known to decline with age.

“We are also currently undertaking a clinical study of the MindWorks software we developed jointly with CogniFit, which aims to protect brain health in patients who have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer’s.”

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