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Thursday 05 May, 2016

PureTech Health PLC

The Sync Project Teams with World-Renowned Artists

RNS Number : 2999X
PureTech Health PLC
05 May 2016
 

5 May 2016

PureTech Health plc

 

The Sync Project Teams with World-Renowned Artists, Peter Gabriel, St. Vincent, Jon Hopkins and Esa-Pekka Salonen, to Advance Music as Medicine

 

Company also appoints biotech industry veteran Steven Holtzman to Board of Directors

 

PureTech Health plc ("PureTech", LSE: PRTC), a cross-disciplinary healthcare company tackling fundamental healthcare needs, is pleased to note that The Sync Project, a PureTech business focused on developing music as personalised medicine, today announced the appointments of four world-renowned musical artists to its Advisory Board - Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Peter Gabriel; Grammy Award-winning alternative artist, Annie Clark (St. Vincent); critically acclaimed electronic musician, Mercury Music Prize and Ivor Novello nominee, Jon Hopkins; distinguished composer and conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen. The Sync Project also announced the appointment of former Biogen Idec Executive Vice President and Millennium Pharmaceuticals Chief Business Officer Steven Holtzman, to its Board of Directors.

 

These world-leading advisors will collaborate with The Sync Project to facilitate the first-ever large-scale studies to measure how the structural properties of music - like beat, key and timbre - impact biometrics such as heart rate, brain activity and sleep patterns to potentially advance clinical applications of music in a variety of health conditions including sleep disorders, fatigue, Parkinson's Disease, stroke recovery, anxiety and pain.

 

Daphne Zohar, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at PureTech, said: "The Sync Project has a leading team of scientific, clinical and engineering experts. Having world-class musical artists advise on product strategy is enormously exciting as the Sync Project expands its clinical testing to include broader populations."

 

The full text of the announcement from The Sync Project is as follows:

 

The Sync Project Teams with World-Renowned Artists, Peter Gabriel, St. Vincent, Jon Hopkins and Esa-Pekka Salonen, to Advance Music as Medicine

Company also appoints biotech industry veteran Steven Holtzman to Board of Directors

 

Boston, Massachusetts, May 5, 2016The Sync Project, a clinical-stage company focused on developing music as personalised medicine, today announced the appointments of four world-renowned musical artists to its Advisory Board. The new advisors - Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Peter Gabriel; Grammy Award-winning alternative artist, Annie Clark (St. Vincent); critically acclaimed electronic musician, Mercury Music Prize and Ivor Novello nominee, Jon Hopkins; distinguished composer and conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen - will collaborate with the Sync Project on product strategy. The Company also announced the appointment of former Biogen Idec Executive Vice President and Millennium Pharmaceuticals Chief Business Officer, Steven Holtzman, to its Board of Directors.

 

"Peter, Annie, Jon and Esa-Pekka are all using technology in creative ways to push the boundaries of what music can be," said Marko Ahtisaari, the Sync Project's Co-Founder and CEO. "These extraordinary artists, together with Steve and our other board members and advisors, will help to advance our clinical strategy to develop music as precision medicine."

 

"Our senses provide us with different ways of inputting and experiencing ideas and emotions and also provide wonderful opportunities to change our physical and mental health," said Peter Gabriel. "A good collection of music has always been used as a box of mood pills. I am delighted that The Sync Project is now using evidence-based science to explore and develop real tools and a platform to engage sound and music in the practice of medicine." 

 

Recent research has shown that music can modulate neural systems like the dopamine response, autonomic nervous system and others related to stress, movement, learning and memory. This body of research shows that music affects the same neural pathways that are regulated by pharmaceuticals such as psychostimulants and other drugs. The Sync Project seeks to build on this foundation by collaborating with some of the world's leading scientists and musicians to facilitate the first-ever large-scale studies to measure how the structural properties of music - like beat, key and timbre - impact biometrics such as heart rate, brain activity and sleep patterns. The Sync Project's platform is designed for medical and health research, helping scientists and clinicians perform rigorous studies. The platform may potentially accelerate the discovery of the clinical applications of music in a variety of health conditions including sleep disorders, fatigue, Parkinson's Disease, stroke recovery, anxiety and pain.

 

"Opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and it often begins with a prescription for pain medication following surgery or injury," said Steven Holtzman. "We need to pursue alternative solutions for managing pain and other conditions, and clinically-validated, personalised music therapeutics present a promising option."

 

The Sync Project's advisors comprise a distinguished and diverse team of science, music, health and technology experts committed to uncovering the untapped potential of music's ability to improve health:

 

·     Peter Gabriel is a six-time Grammy Award-winning British singer-songwriter, musician and humanitarian activist. Gabriel was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member and lead singer of the progressive rock band, Genesis. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame again in 2014 for his multi-platinum success as a solo artist.

 

·     Annie Clark (St. Vincent) is an award-winning American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. St. Vincent's unique sound, guitar work and songwriting style won her the 2015 Grammy for Best Alternative Album.

 

·     Jon Hopkins is a classically trained British pianist, critically acclaimed recording artist, Ivor Novello nominated composer of film scores and prominent producer/collaborator. He has produced and collaborated with artists including Coldplay, Brian Eno, Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes and King Creosote. Jon has twice been shortlisted for The Mercury Prize, a highly prestigious honour awarded annually for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

 

·     Esa-Pekka Salonen is the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009. He is currently the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic and the Artistic Director and co-founder of the annual Baltic Sea Festival, which invites celebrated artists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea. Salonen also drove the development of an iPad app, "The Orchestra," which allows the user unprecedented access to the internal workings of eight symphonic works.

 

·     Steven Holtzman is the former Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at Biogen Idec. Prior to Biogen Idec he was the Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors of Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he served as the company's founding Chief Executive Officer. Prior to starting Infinity, Holtzman was an early leader and Chief Business Officer of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  From 1996-2001, Holtzman served as a Presidential appointee to the US National Bioethics Advisory Commission.

 

The newly appointed advisors will join the following members of the Sync Project's Advisory Board and Board of Directors: Robert Zatorre, Ph.D., Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University; Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center and Professor of Physiology, Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco; Tristan Jehan, Ph.D., Founding Chief Technology Officer of The Echo Nest (Spotify); and Board Members Joi Ito, Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Marjorie Scardino, DBE, FRSA, Chairman of the MacArthur Foundation, Board member of Twitter and former CEO of Pearson, and Daphne Zohar, Co-Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of PureTech Health.

 

About The Sync Project

The Sync Project is positioned to become the first algorithmic music therapeutics company. Founded by PureTech Health (PRTC.L), the company is developing a platform to scientifically measure and study the effects of music on our health. The Sync Project's goal is to develop music as precision medicine through the application of machine learning to a unique dataset combining music characteristics and biometric data. The Sync Project is working on initial conditions for human pilot studies including sleep, pain, motor coordination and performance.

 

The Sync Project was incorporated in 2014 and PureTech Health plc (PRTC.L) owns approximately 81.4% of the company calculated on a diluted basis

 

About PureTech Health

PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) is a cross-disciplinary healthcare company developing innovative products that could improve the lives of billions of patients. PureTech is focused on areas of growing scientific and technical insights that it believes are at an important inflection point, including the central nervous, gastro-intestinal and immune systems, and the interactions and signalling between them. PureTech has a pipeline of more than 30 programmes and has approximately 20 clinical studies across its pipeline, targeting multi-billion dollar market opportunities. PureTech's advanced programmes include five with human proof-of-concept and multiple with pivotal or registration study readouts in the next two years. PureTech's leading team and board, along with an advisory network of more than 60 expert founder-scientists and advisors across multiple disciplines, gives PureTech access to potentially ground-breaking science and technological innovation. With healthcare undergoing major transformation, PureTech believes it is well positioned to develop and launch medicines for the 21st century. For more information, visit http://www.puretechhealth.com and connect with us on Twitter.

 

Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

Enquiries

PureTech

Allison Mead, Associate Director, Communications and Investor Relations

+1 617 651 3156

FTI Consulting (Communications adviser to PureTech)

Ben Atwell

Matthew Cole

+44 (0) 20 3727 1000

 


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