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A magnet-based approach to optimizing stroke treatment snags $1.3M from St. Louis investors


Pulse Therapeutics just scored a $1.3 million investment in a push toward clinical trials for technology that may be able to deliver drug treatments for stroke to the brain quicker.

The capital for St. Louis-based Pulse came from local firms Cultivation Capital and FTL Capital.

Pulse’s technology targets the 15 million people worldwide who suffer a stroke each year – about a third of who die from it, and another third who are left permanently disabled.

There’s an FDA-approved treatment for ischemic strokes, but it comes with some baggage. The issue is that tPA, a thrombolytic agent that dissolves clots and restores blood flow to the brain, is supposed to be administered within three to four-and-a-half hours after onset of stroke. Because it’s so time-dependent, and because it is quickly metabolized in the body, its effectiveness is often limited. And it increases the risk of hemorrhage in the brain or other parts of the body, which occurs in about 6 percent of patients who receive the drug.

Pulse’s proposal is to speed delivery of tPA to the site of a clot and deliver a greater concentration of the drug, hopefully improving outcomes and widening the current therapy window.

Pulse execs say the new funding will help bridge the gap between its first-in-man study and the next steps to demonstrating clinical validation. They’re working toward regulatory approvals in the U.S. and Europe to begin clinical trials.

The company last raised a $3.1 million round near the end of 2011 and won a $50,000 first-place prize from the 2011 St. Louis Regional Business Plan Competition.


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