While science has revealed that the immune system communicates with the brain, technology is being harnessed to treat communication issues between the two. Nēsos is working to develop soundless earphones to send electrical impulses to the brain.
In 2017, Nēsos was co-founded by Konstantinos Alataris in order to continue his journey toward ending chronic pain. Alataris previously founded Nevro which made neuromodulation devices to treat chronic pain.
Now, Nēsos looks to use the power of the brain to subside pain that comes from communication errors in the immune system. The brain sends messages to the immune system through the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway. Nēsos’ earphones are specifically focused on the vagus nerve which connects the brain to other major organs.
Alataris stated, “Our vision is to hack the brain using its own electrical language - to restore the function of this pathway and create a new therapeutic option.”
Once the device is placed in the ear canal the earphones will send electrical impulses to regions of the brain that control the immune response. The brain will respond through the vagus nerve to the spleen which decreases the production of inflammatory molecules that cause chronic pain.
Alataris has called this approach ‘e-mmunotherapy’. Nēsos’ goal is to provide a non-invasive treatment option for previously difficult to treat issues such as arthritis and migraines. Other forms of treatment have been limited to invasive surgeries or over the counter anti-inflammatory pills or injections.
Side effects such as increased risk of infection can also be an issue for patients seeking anti-inflammatory pills or injections. Clinically meaningful relief has also been reported as low among other treatment users.
Now, Nēsos has recently announced a $16.5 million funding round, and it will use the funding toward clinical trial testing in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Nēsos has conducted a pilot clinical trial among 30 rheumatoid arthritis patients who had not responded to other forms of treatment. Participants who wore the earphones for a few minutes every day for three months reported improvement in their symptoms. 37% achieved low disease activity and 23% experienced remission.
Through continued testing and development Nēsos will provide a non-invasive, effective treatment for disruptions in the immune system, offering an alternative for patients suffering from chronic pain.