What is your objective? “We wish to improve health and cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s patients, using light therapy. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that affects your memory and cognitive behavior. It is now the sixth leading cause of death in the Western world. We are working on slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s using non-invasive 40 Hz invisible spectral flickering light. Our solutions are all non-invasive and aim to bring emerging technologies to the user.”
DTU Spinout OptoCeutics
What is your technology?
“Our technology is 40 Hz invisible spectral flickering (ISF) light that is built so parts of the brain still “sees” the flicker while the visual perception of the light is a non-flickering continuous light – similar to a white LED light source. We are incorporating the light into a stylish lamp that you can have in your home. It is built on research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, indicating that the progression of Alzheimer’s can be slowed by using 40 Hz stroboscopic light therapy. However, 40 Hz stroboscopic light is irksome to use, disturbing and causes annoyance, which makes it unsuitable as comfortable light therapy.”
Why are you at DTU Startup Fair?
“OptoCeutics is a DTU spinout with close ties to on-going research at DTU. We would like to attract investor interest and look for multisite study partnerships.”
Who is the team behind OptoCeutics?
“The team consists of around 10-20 people – many of whom are researchers or engineers at DTU as well as at Zealand University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Bispebjerg Hospital and UC Berkeley in California.”
What is your startup story?
“It all started in 2017 when Professor Jes Broeng, Centre Director of DTU Entrepreneurship, was at UC Berkeley with his colleague Professor Paul Michael Petersen. They came into contact with Professor Lance Kriegsfeld and Mai Nguyen, a Ph.D. student in neuroscience who drew their attention to a research project at MIT. A few months later at DTU, Broeng was contacted by MSc Eng student Marcus Schultz Carstensen from DTU Fotonik who was looking for an interesting project for his final MSc project. The idea of an improved white light, with no visible flashing to combat Alzheimer’s, was discussed. Marcus teamed up with fellow student Henrik Enggaard Hansen. Three weeks later, the first draft of a prototype was ready. The prototype documented that we had the principles for creating a new form of white light which we call ‘masked white light’. We have now moved from the labs at DTU Fotonik to DTU FutureBox and are part of the Danish Tech Challenge. Recently, we began our first clinical studies.”
Contact to set up a 1:1 meeting at the Startup Fair
Founder and CTO Marcus Schultz Carstensen
E-mail: [email protected]
“It’s no use closing your eyes to the changes. We need to constantly keep up and try to influence the process.”
Professor Jan Madsen, DTU Compute