History

Making the TMS visible and reproducible

Nexstim was established in 2000 to commercialise the opportunity of adding navigation to an existing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) technology. The founders believed that navigation and making the TMS visible with the help of navigation is a crucial aspect for the emerging TMS technology to become a clinical tool for patient treatment.

The Company founders, led by professor Risto Ilmoniemi, were researchers in the Helsinki University of technology that has a long tradition in the multidisciplinary research of biomagnetism and neuroscience.

In the 1990’s Professor Ilmoniemi, then a researcher in the Helsinki University of Technology, was already well known for his work with multichannel magnetoencephalography (MEG) instruments. He was interested in improving transcranial magnetic stimulation and in developing a multichannel TMS instrument.

An opportunity to this came when Prof. Ilmoniemi started as the director of BioMag Laboratory which was, and still is, a joint laboratory between the Helsinki University of Technology, Helsinki University and Helsinki University Hospital.

The research group led by Ilmoniemi understood that we can calculate the stimulating electric field in the brain induced by the magnetic field around the TMS coil; the calculated E-field makes the whole process visible.

Eventually, it was time to start a company so that the opportunities presented by the research group could be commercialized. Nexstim was established in 2000 to make TMS visible, accurate and reproducible.

 

Providing consistency requires integration

Over time, we at Nexstim learnt that accurate, consistent TMS can only be provided by integrating all system components so that the software knows and controls the hardware. We decided that all the components must be developed, manufactured or controlled by ourselves – otherwise we could not guarantee the level of accuracy and reproducibility where we believe lies the key thing of using TMS as a clinical tool.

The accuracy of our SmartFocusTM TMS technology was first validated in the field of neurosurgery: We received FDA clearance for motor mapping in 2009 and FDA clearance for speech mapping in 2012.  We are still the only company to have these FDA clearances in motor and speech mapping.

 

Transforming TMS in the therapy use

The FDA clearances and CE marks in mapping established a regulatory base and market foundation for the use of the technology in other more commercially profitable therapy markets, such as depression and pain.

Our NBT® system has been launched in the US for the treatment of major depressive disorder following clearance from the FDA for marketing and commercial distribution for this indication in 2017. The NBT® system is CE-marked in Europe for the treatment of major depression and chronic neuropathic pain.

We are proud to have our roots in the long tradition on the multidisciplinary research of biomagnetism and neuroscience in the Helsinki area universities. With this historical background we are committed to offering only such technology solutions that are solidly grounded in scientific and clinical research. By making the TMS E-field visible and reproducible, we enable personalized and effective therapies and diagnostics for challenging brain disorders.