Sudbury med-tech startup marks important step

·3 min read

As Sudbury med-tech startup IRegained gears up to hit the commercial market sometime next year, company officials marking their success to date with the grand opening of new office space in the city’s innovation hub.

The company’s new headquarters is housed inside the NORCAT Centre, off Maley Drive, and features a clinical testing space, offices, and communal work area. The official grand opening took place Wednesday and included addresses from company executives, local entrepreneurs, and investors.

“Today we are celebrating NORCAT giving us this space so that we exist in here, part of this ecosystem, in every possible way,” said founder and CEO Vineet Johnson. “For that, we are very, very grateful.”

IRegained is a project “20 years in the making,” according to Johnson, which aims to develop technological solutions that fit the physical rehabilitation needs of people with disabilities.

Its inaugural device, the MyHand System, is designed to help stroke survivors recover motor function in their hands. It uses a mechatronic system, along with algorithms and digital games, to stimulate the brain in hopes of reprogramming neural pathways, allowing the patients to regain lost motor control.

The company touts its high clinical trial success rates and says it has seen significant progress in many of its patients.

Also present at the grand opening was one of those patients, Byron Eastman, a professor of economics at Laurentian University who had a stroke in July 2021.

“I started working with them and the improvements were immediate,” he said. “I wish I’d had that machine in the hospital. I’m now at the point where I can use my right index finger to hold down the shift key when I’m trying to use the computer. I can use the mouse. I’m playing guitar again. I used to play and it’s coming back.”

Johnson said the startup is aiming to commercialize the device sometime in 2023, with the intent to sell to hospitals and other medical facilities, and potential directly to patients down the road.

In the meantime, company employees be making themselves at home in their new space and taking advantage of the resources now available to them.

“(NORCAT) is focused on supporting early-stage tech ventures and the people who found them,” said NORCAT CFO Silvana D’Angelo. “We help by providing access to resources and connections to the networks they need to start and grow their ventures.”

D’Angelo praised the company for its innovative device and said NORCAT is looking forward to the opportunities for collaboration that the new office space will provide.

“IRegained is a company that truly embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that we here at NORCAT really want to focus on cultivating,” she said. “Its success to date is a true testament to what can happen when you have the right mix of a great idea and the right people who have the will, the drive, and the determination to bring that idea to fruition.”

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

mjensen@postmedia.com

Twitter: @mia_rjensen

Mia Jensen , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star

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