A Sheffield-based entrepreneur is aiming to capture a share of the $80 billion global sleep aid market after securing US regulatory approval.

Richard Mills is the man behind SleepCogni, a data-supported, hand-held sleeping aid for people suffering from insomnia, which has now been registered for medical use by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

The approval follows a clinical trial at Sheffield Hallam University, which showed that SleepCogni reduces insomnia – as measured by the Insomnia Severity Index – in just seven days.

It will open up immediate access to a market of around 70 million sleep sufferers living in the US.

SleepCogni was co-founded by Richard Mills and Dutch chronobiologist and sleep expert, Dr Maan van de Werken.

The start-up has raised almost £1.8 million in venture capital to support technology development and has secured three research and development grants through Innovate UK.

The funding will support beta testing of the device, which uses haptic feedback to help insomnia sufferers break cognitive cycles preventing sleeps, at sites in the UK and the US.

Upon successful testing, SleepCogni is set to be rolled out to 130 clinics of one of the largest sleep care management groups in the US.

Richard Mills, SleepCogni’s co-founder and CEO said: “FDA registration is a major development for the company, giving us access into the American market where, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three people suffer with insomnia at some point in their lives.

“This coincides with an agreement to roll out our device in 130 US sleep clinics following the successful completion of its final testing.”

Richard di Benedetto, SleepCogni’s Chairman and a leading figure in the global healthcare sector, added: “SleepCogni is an innovative, self-managing solution for insomnia sufferers with huge global market potential.

“The successful trials in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University, FDA registration and our partnership with one of the biggest sleep care management providers in the US further underlines its strong commercial prospects going forward.”

Key takeaways:

  • SleepCogni raised £1.8 million through a combination of venture capital and grant funding to develop its insomnia device
  • FDA approval means that the company will shortly be able to service the US market
  • For more information about how to find money and export into new markets, head over to the UMi platform: 
Richard Dawson
Article by Richard Dawson
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