The company was founded in 2002 by scientists from the University of Florida McKnight Brain Institute. It “is a big deal because then it opens the door and accelerates technology,” said Michael McCrea, a brain injury expert at Medical College of Wisconsin. The test will first be used in emergency rooms, possibly as soon as later this year. FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the test fits with the agency’s goals for delivering new technologies to patients and reducing unnecessary radiation exposure.
Traumatic brain injuries affect an estimated 10 million people globally each year and at least 2 million of them are treated in U.S. emergency rooms. Banyan’s research shows its Brain Trauma Indicator can accurately pick up brain trauma. However, Dr. Walter Koroshetz, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and other brain injury experts say the test isn’t sensitive enough to rule out concussions. Other companies are developing similar blood tests to detect brain injuries.