Blog Tag: Spinal Cord Stimulation
Medtronic announced FDA approval and U.S. launch of its Intellis Platform for the management of certain types of chronic intractable pain. According to Medtronic, the Intellis platform features the world’s smallest implantable spinal cord stimulator (SCS), which includes an implantable pulse generator that looks like an older-style pacemaker, but with wire leads that delivers mild current to a spinal vertebra. The Intellis, and other SCS systems deliver, neurostimulation at the spinal cords to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain.
The MIT Technology Review reports that SCS systems carry promise because they represent an alternative to opioid-based pain management. It is estimated that more than 20,000 Americans a year die from overdoses of prescription pain drugs. Government and industry alike recognize the gravity of the opioid issue. FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb has stated that opioid abuse is is taking a staggering human and economic toll and is therefore a top priority. Industries are also responding with ever-improving SCS systems (Medtronic’s pain-therapies business show $825 million in revenue during the company’s 2017 fiscal year).
According to Medtronic, the Intellis system allows physicians to better address the subjective and personal nature of patient’s chronic pain. Based on recorded and tracked patient activity, including body positions and how patients self-administer their therapy, Intellis allows a physician to program and manage pain therapy for each patient with a wirelessly connected Samsung tablet.
We are excited to partner with Medtronic in their aim to simplify programming, and streamline therapy management with the Intellis platform . . . Samsung’s Galaxy tablets — secured by the HIPAA-ready Samsung Knox mobile security platform — will support future Medtronic therapies and over the air (OTA) software upgrades to ensure clinicians using Intellis have access to the most up-to-date solutions.
Medtronic is not the only industry player to explore cross-industry partnership: at least one of its competitors, Abbott (which acquired St. Jude and its line of chronic pain treatment devices in January, 2017) offers SCS devices featuring controllers made by Apple.
Fort Lauderdale-based company Stimwave Technologies announced today that its eight-electrode wireless, micro-technology neuromodulation device for relief of chronic back and leg pain received FDA 510(k) clearance. The Company plans to begin full nationwide commercialization January 1, 2016.
According to Stimwave, its Freedom-8A Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) System is the world’s first fully-programmable wireless SCS neuromodulation device that eliminates the need for painful tunneling and internal battery placement within the body. Stimwave states that its device features a compact 0.4 cc profile and eight electrodes placed near nerve fibers around the dorsal aspect of the spinal column. The device is said to deliver selected pulses of energy to the electrodes to alter the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Additionally, Stimwave notes that its device is implanted in an outpatient setting through a standard needle, eliminating the need for general anesthesia or a large surgical incision.
“Patients’ needs in pain management are complex and unique. The Freedom-8A SCS System is a first-of-its-kind product and offers a wide variety of advanced programming features, polarity selection options for up to eight separate electrodes per device, in the body in the least invasive fashion ever offered. This advancement will provide clinicians with a multitude of options and allow patients the most amount of freedom over their pain management.”
According to the press release, Stimwave is currently investigating the safety and efficacy of even wider programmability options, such as high-frequency programming up to 10,000 Hz, in an FDA approved clinical trial.
St. Jude Medical recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of Spinal Modulation, Inc. In June of 2013, St. Jude invested $40 million in Spinal Modulation for which it received an exclusive option (now exercised) to purchase the company for a maximum of $300 million, plus milestone payments. According to St. Jude Medical’s earlier press release, St. Jude Medical agreed to pay Spinal Modulation $175 million upon closing with milestone payments due upon FDA approval of Spinal Modulation’s Axium Neurostimulator System.
St. Jude Medical describes the Axium system (shown to the right) as a form of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) that targets a neural structure within the spine called the dorsal root ganglion (DRG). The DRG contains the primary sensory neurons that transmit pain signals from the peripheral nerves to the brain. The system uses an implantable medical device to deliver mild electrical pulses to the DRG. These pulses mask or interrupt pain signals as they travel to the brain.
According to St. Jude,
[w]ith the closing of the acquisition, St. Jude Medical has become the only medical device manufacturer in the world to offer radiofrequency ablation (RFA), spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation therapy solutions for the treatment of chronic pain.
Spinal Modulation, Inc., headquartered in Menlo Park, California, focuses on providing treatment options for patients suffering severe chronic pain.