Nia Therapeutics completes its acquisition of brain sensing and stimulation technology from Cortera Neurotechnologies

Dan Rizzuto
3 min readJul 16, 2019

Philadelphia, PA — July 16, 2019

Nia Therapeutics, Inc. (“Nia”), developer of implantable brain stimulation technology to restore memory function to patients with memory impairment, announced that it has completed the acquisition of an integrated circuit technology for brain sensing and stimulation developed by Cortera Neurotechnologies, Inc. (“Cortera”).

Over six million Americans live with memory impairment resulting from brain injury or neurodegenerative disease. Nia Therapeutics is developing the Advanced Neurostimulation System (ANS) to treat these patients. The ANS is a high-channel count, closed-loop neurostimulation system, powered by artificial intelligence, which senses the brain activity related to memory and stimulates the brain using gentle pulses of electricity to restore good memory function.

Nia’s founders, Michael Kahana and Dan Rizzuto, developed the technology at the University of Pennsylvania with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of the Restoring Active Memory (RAM) project. They recently demonstrated the efficacy of their approach in a clinical study of 25 subjects who participated in memory testing accompanied by brain recording and stimulation. Rizzuto and Kahana’s research, published in Nature Communications, demonstrated that appropriately timed and targeted stimulation improved patients’ memories by 18% on average. “This is a major milestone for Nia Therapeutics,” said Rizzuto, who is also Nia’s CEO. “This chip will form the core of Nia’s Advanced Neurostimulation System for treating patients with memory impairment.”

Cortera developed the chip to sense brain activity from up to 64 different locations and to stimulate up to four brain locations independently. It also has best-in-class artifact cancelation capabilities that allow it to sense brain activity in the presence of electrical stimulation. “Cortera is excited to see our technology incorporated into the Nia Advanced Neurostimulation System,” said Rikky Muller, founder of Cortera and Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “The brain sensing and artifact-cancelation capabilities of this chip are more advanced than anything else on the market today and have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of patients with neurological injury and disease,” she continued. Muller and her team recently demonstrated the performance of the chip in a study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering. Cortera initially developed the chip as part of DARPA’s Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS) project.

Rizzuto continued, “Nia is developing the Advanced Neurostimulation System in order to bring hope to millions of patients with memory impairment, including patients with traumatic brain injury, who currently have limited options available to them.” Justin Sanchez, former director of the Biological Technologies Office at DARPA and former program manager for the RAM and SUBNETS programs, agreed: “This demonstrates the transformative value that DARPA funding can bring to new technology development. When we started the RAM project, the idea of restoring memory function to veterans with brain injuries was a near-impossible challenge of the future. Today, Nia and Cortera are turning our vision into a reality.”

About Nia Therapeutics

Nia Therapeutics is developing first-in-class therapeutic devices to restore memory function in patients with memory impairment. The company has developed a proprietary neurotechnology platform to interpret the complex brain activity related to memory function and to provide a personalized neurostimulation therapy for each patient. Nia’s technology has been shown to improve human memory by restoring the brain activity associated with good memory. Nia’s Advanced Neurostimulation System represents the next generation of deep-brain stimulation devices: high-channel count, closed-loop, connected, and powered by artificial intelligence. Nia’s near-term focus is on restoring memory function in patients with memory impairment due to traumatic brain injury. US Headquarters are in Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit



Dan Rizzuto

CEO at Nia Therapeutics. Developing neural interfaces to restore memory after brain injury.