Cyberkinetics Honors Stephen Heywood, the First ALS Participant in BrainGate Clinical Trial
Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc. (OTCBB:CYKN; Cyberkinetics) issued a statement to honor Stephen Heywood, the first participant with advanced ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) to participate in the Cyberkinetics’ BrainGate Neural Interface System (BrainGate) clinical trial. Stephen, 37, died Sunday, November 26, 2006, as the result of respiratory failure that was unrelated to the BrainGate technology. Stephen enrolled in the pilot trial of the BrainGate System in January 2006.
“Stephen Heywood’s participation in the BrainGate pilot trial can be compared to Orville Wright’s first plane flight from the hilltop in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. His efforts over the last year have demonstrated the potential of the BrainGate System to improve the lives of those with ALS and other motor neuron diseases,” stated Timothy R. Surgenor, Cyberkinetics’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “While we are saddened at Stephen’s loss, we honor his courage and commitment to the advancement of our BrainGate technology and recognize him as a critical member of our development team. Stephen’s indomitable spirit will keep us moving forward to develop the BrainGate technology to which he dedicated the last months of his life in order that people may ultimately lead more independent and productive lives despite their debilitating injuries and diseases.”
“Stephen volunteered to participate in the clinical trial of the BrainGate technology because he believed it could change the world,” added James A. Heywood, Chief Executive Officer and d’Arbeloff Founding Director of the ALS Therapy Development Foundation and Stephen Heywood’s brother. “Following a recent BrainGate session in which he worked to control a robotic arm, Stephen sent me an email message that read: ‘After being paralyzed for so long, it is almost impossible to describe the magical feeling of imagining a motion and having it occur.’ Those with Stephen’s pioneering spirit can see that the BrainGate technology, though only in its infancy, has the potential to enable those who are completely disabled to control computers, wheelchairs and robots with their minds. My family and I applaud the team at Cyberkinetics and the investors who support this valuable work for having the vision to bring this promising technology into reality.”
In appreciation for Stephen Heywood’s contributions to the development of Cyberkinetics’ BrainGate technology, the Company will make a contribution to the ALS Therapy Development Foundation.
About the ALS Therapy Development Foundation
The ALS Therapy Development Foundation (ALSTDF) is a nonprofit biotechnology company that aggressively seeks out, develops and delivers promising therapies to slow, arrest and cure ALS. To learn more about ALSTDF or to make a donation, visit the foundation’s website at http://www.als.net.
About Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc.
Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, Inc., a leader in the neurotechnology industry, is developing neural stimulation, sensing and processing technology to improve the lives of those with severe paralysis resulting from spinal cord injuries, neurological disorders and other conditions of the nervous system. Cyberkinetics’ product development pipeline includes: the Andara(TM) Oscillating Field Stimulator (OFS) Device, an investigative device designed to stimulate regeneration of the neural tissue surrounding the spinal cord; the BrainGate System, an investigative device designed to provide communication and control of a computer, assistive devices, and, ultimately, limb movement; and the FDA cleared-to-market NeuroPort(TM) System, a neural monitor designed for acute inpatient applications and labeled for temporary (less than 30 days) recording and monitoring of brain electrical activity. Additional Information is available at Cyberkinetics’ website at http://www.cyberkineticsinc.com.
Forward-Looking Statements This announcement contains forward-looking statements, including statements about Cyberkinetics’ product development plans and progress. These statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate” or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements and reported results shall not be considered an indication of our future performance. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include our limited operating history; our lack of profits from operations; our ability to successfully develop and commercialize our proposed products; a lengthy approval process and the uncertainty of FDA and other governmental regulatory requirements; clinical trials may fail to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of our products; the degree and nature of our competition; our ability to employ and retain qualified employees; compliance with recent legislation regarding corporate governance, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; as well as those risks more fully discussed in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, all of which are difficult to predict and some of which are beyond our control.
Elizabeth A. Razee, 508-549-9981, Ext. 109
Manager, Corporate Communications
ALS Therapy Development Foundation
James Allen Heywood, 617-441-7222
Chief Executive Officer and d’Arbeloff Founding Director