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Kirin : Kirin Invests in Flow Neuroscience Inc., a Swedish Startup That Offers A Wearable Brain Stimulator to Help Mental Health

08/23/2021 | 09:51am

TOKYO - The KIRIN HEALTH INNOVATION FUND (KHIF), a corporate venture capital (CVC) took a stake in Flow Neuroscience Inc. (Flow Neuroscience), on July 8, 2021. Flow Neuroscience is a Sweden-based start-up company that develops the innovative wearable device and mobile application at home setting. This treatment offers a non-pharmaceutical alternative to conventional treatments that requires hospital visit.

A joint CVC between Kirin Holdings Company, Ltd. and Global Brain Corporation.

A New Treatment for the Growing Number of Depressed Patients

The number of people with mental disorders is increasing year by year around the world, especially in advanced countries. In recent years, electrical brain stimulation methods that require less effort and have fewer side effects than drug treatments are being noticed. Flow Neuroscience now offers the most accessible brain stimulation tool that does not require hospital visits, allowing for lower-effort treatment.

Flow Neuroscience 's Strengths and Collaboration with the Kirin Group

Through this investment, the Kirin Group, with its background in health sciences and brain research, and Flow, with its cutting-edge technology, hopes to generate synergies to positively contribute to mental health issues from the perspective of prevention.

At-home treatment Headset and Mobile App Combination

Flow's headset sends electrical stimulation to improve mental disorders that can be easily done at home, in addition to a mobile application that delivers cognitive behavioral therapy via a virtual therapist, to support recovery from depression. At present, they already sell in Europe as a consumer healthcare product. Flow Neuroscience aims to change the future of how we treat and manage mental health disorders, making their treatment accessible to all via collaborations with healthcare systems worldwide.

Features of the Headset

Medically certified device which uses tDC (transcranial Direct Current stimulation) which is a form of brain stimulation that implements a gentle electric current (0.5-2 mA) to targeting a brain area called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Lowered activity in this brain area is associated with depressive symptoms such as fatigue, sleeping problems, concentration difficulties and changes in appetite.

Self-managed at home, with minimal side effects and no adverse events.

In a data analysis of over 2000 active flow users 30% recovered from depression and 85% felt a reduction in their symptoms after 6 weeks of treatment.

Features of the mobile app

Cognitive behavioral therapy app written by licensed psychologists and based on decades of validated clinical psychology techniques.

Suggestions for improving daily life over 6 weeks' time, to support habit settings to maintain reduction in depressive symptoms.

Delivers therapy via the AI therapist, Flow, to combine stimulation sessions with therapy courses.

More than 50 sessions in 7 courses including diet, sleep, exercise, etc.

Weekly scoring of progress improvement using MADRS-s standardized measurement.

Purpose of Establishing the KIRIN HEALTH INNOVATION FUND

Through the KIRIN HEALTH INNOVATION FUND, Kirin Holdings intends to invest in startups around the globe that have innovative technologies and business models for resolving health issues, and to leverage their advanced health science technologies and solutions for improving customer experience. By combining the Kirin Group's wealth of assets and competence in health science with innovations and technologies that startups will bring to partnerships, Kirin Holdings will be better able to bolster its existing Food & Beverages domain as well as step up efforts to launch new businesses in its Health Science domain.

About Kirin Holdings

Kirin Holdings Company, Limited is an international company that operates in the Food & Beverages domain (Food & Beverages businesses), Pharmaceuticals domain (Pharmaceuticals businesses), and Health Science domain (Health Science business), both in Japan and across the globe.

Kirin Holdings can trace its roots to Japan Brewery which was established in 1885. Japan Brewery became Kirin Brewery in 1907. Since then, the company expanded its business with fermentation and biotechnology as its core technologies, and entered the pharmaceutical business in the 1980s, all of which continue to be global growth centers. In 2007, Kirin Holdings was established as a pure holding company and is currently focusing on boosting its Health Science domain.

Under the Kirin Group Vision 2027 (KV 2027), a long-term management plan launched in 2019, the Kirin Group aims to become 'A global leader in CSV, creating value across our world of Food & Beverages to Pharmaceuticals.' Going forward, the Kirin Group will continue to leverage its strengths to create both social and economic value through its businesses, with the aim of achieving sustainable growth in corporate value.

About Flow

Flow is a physical and behavioral at-home treatment for depression that comprises a brain stimulation headset and therapy app. It is the first and only medically approved treatment for depression of its kind in Europe. Classified as a Class IIa medical device, Flow was developed from the fields of clinical psychology, neuroscience and innovative technology. Flow empowers and motivates individuals to take control and self-manage their depression with effective, non-pharmacological, digital alternatives. Based in Malmo, Sweden, Flow was founded in 2016 by clinical psychologist Daniel Mansson and neuroscientist Erik Rehn. Their team consists of prominent researchers in the field of psychiatry and brain stimulation.


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