Helius had its beginnings in a lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Now, we’re a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada and the OTCQB in the United States, partnering with top organizations to pioneer unique, noninvasive platform technologies that support neurological wellness.
Our History at a Glance
- Early 1990s: The Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (TCNL) was founded at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Late 2000s: TCNL developed and built the Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator™ (PoNS) device and principals formed Advanced NeuroRehabilitation, LLC (ANR).
- 2013: ANR and MPJ Healthcare formed NeuroHabilitation Corporation, which signed a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the US Department of Defense.
- 2014: Helius Medical Technologies (Helius) acquired NeuroHabilitation in a reverse merger and became a publicly traded company on the Canadian Stock Exchange.
The Early Days
In the early 1990s, the late professor Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita founded the Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (TCNL) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was joined by Kurt Kaczmarek, Mitchell Tyler and Yuri Danilov. This team pioneered work in neuroplasticity and expanded research into the development of sensory substitution devices. Their Tongue Display Unit, the first instrumentation platform for tongue tactile display research, is now used by numerous US and international clinical collaborators.
Advances in Neuromodulation
By the late 2000s, TCNL had analyzed the first pilot data to support cranial nerve noninvasive neuromodulation (CN-NINM) and found that whole-tongue electrotactile stimulation without sensory substitution significantly improves the effectiveness of therapeutic exercises in people with vestibular disorders.
As a result, the team developed and built the Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS™) device, the active factor in CN-NINM intervention, and tested approximately 100 units. Positive data gathered from resulting US and international pilot projects, case studies, and randomized controlled trials supported further study of the device to determine application to neurological conditions such as mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury (mTBI).
Kaczmarek, Tyler and Danilov organized Advanced NeuroRehabilitation, LLC (ANR) to manage neurorehabilitation technologies developed at TCNL.
In 2013, ANR and MPJ Healthcare formed a joint venture called NeuroHabilitation Corporation to develop and commercialize the PoNS device. NeuroHabilitation signed a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the US Department of Defense to develop and manage clinical and regulatory activities for the PoNS device and CN-NINM technologies. Late in the year, Philippe Deschamps was named CEO of NeuroHabilitation Corporation.
Through a reverse merger in 2014, Helius Medical Technologies (Helius) acquired NeuroHabilitation as a wholly owned division. Subsequently, Helius became a publicly traded company on the Canadian Stock Exchange in Toronto (ticker symbol: HSM).