Valkee Strengthens Scientific Expertise, Appoints Chief Medical Advisor and Brings Investor Mérieux Développement in the Board

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With the extended team of scientific and medical experts, Valkee continues their pioneering research to further deepen the understanding of how bright light affects the human brain.

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As we are hard at work ramping up sales and distribution of the recently launched Valkee 2 device, we are equally busy furthering scientific research into how bright light affects the human brain.

The bright light headset maker Valkee today announced the appointments of two new scientific executives Melanie Rüger and Jari Karhu, and the appointment of Valérie Calenda of Mérieux Développement as a new member of Valkee board of directors.

Mérieux Développement is the investment arm of the French industrial group Institut Mérieux, established in 1897, with 13 000 employees today and consolidated revenues of 1.9 billion euros on a global basis. Focused on healthcare investments, their objective is to identify scientific and technological innovation and to support entrepreneurs and companies, which will contribute to better health and wellbeing. The appointment of Valérie Calenda as member of the board follows the participation of Mérieux Développement as the lead new investor in Valkee’s EUR 7,4 Million equity funding of June 2013.

“Strong board, committed investors and top-level professionals are key components for a phase of rapid and sustainable growth,” said Juuso Nissilä, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Valkee. “As we are hard at work ramping up sales and distribution of the recently launched Valkee 2 device, we are equally busy furthering scientific research into how bright light affects the human brain. Bringing in top-tier professionals in medical technology helps us accelerate the processes of scientific research and publishing.”

Melanie Rüger holds a Ph.D. in chronobiology and has over 10 years of experience in academic research in the fields of chronobiology, light research and sleep medicine from top academic and medical centers such as NYU and Harvard Medical School. In her role as Valkee’s Research and Science Liaison Manager, Ms. Rüger will provide scientific support and facilitate communication of expertise and research results within the company and with external partners.

Jari Karhu, MD, Ph.D. in neuromagnetism, joins Valkee team as Chief Medical Adviser, taking a new role positioned between scientific research and business development. Mr. Karhu is a former professor of physiology and research director in the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology at the University of Kuopio in Finland. In addition, he is one of the founders of Nexstim, a medical device company commercializing noninvasive brain diagnostic and therapy technologies. Mr. Karhu will be continuing also in his current roles at the Kuopio University Hospital and at Nexstim.

“I have been convinced by the body of evidence that proves that bright light transmitted through the ear canal stimulates brain activity and is capable of increasing cognitive performance in clinically significant amount,” commented Jari Karhu, newly appointed Chief Medical Advisor of Valkee.

“Health technology and brain research are among the most interesting and innovative fields today. We are excited about supporting Valkee at the forefront of new research and expanding the business activity on a global basis,” adds Valérie Calenda.

Valkee bright light headset is the world’s first pocket-sized device that channels bright light via the ear canals into the brain. The method is based on long-term scientific research and placebo-controlled studies carried out by the Valkee science team and researches in the University of Oulu in Finland, building on an array of bright light studies published since the 1980s. The results have confirmed that bright light projected directly into the brain stimulates brain activity, and proved the efficiency of the ear canal as a channel for projecting light to photosensitive areas of the human brain.

Valkee Bright Light Headset has CE Class II(a) medical device certification for treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and is clinically tested. Valkee’s scientific program and results are presented at Valkee 2 is available via selected resellers and the Valkee online store

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About Valkee:

Valkee is a health technology company focused on harnessing the benefits of bright light to the human mind and performance. Based on long-term scientific research and development work together with Finland’s Oulu University, Valkee introduced the world’s first bright light headset in 2010. Clinically tested to remove seasonal affective disorder symptoms from nine out of ten study participants, the Valkee user base has already grown to tens of thousands of people in 20+ countries. Of all Valkee users, 87% recommend Valkee to others. Additional tests and studies concerning the effects of bright light on cognitive and physical performance and jet lag, among other areas, are planned. Founded in 2007, Valkee headquarters are located in Oulu, Finland. For more information, please visit and follow us at and

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