Fighting Paralysis, Promise on Hypertension & An FDA Breakthrough Label for Alzheimer’s

AABM News Roundup: January 2021

Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Lead Stories: January 2021

Chad Bouton of the Feinstein Institutes describes how his lab worked to create a completely non-invasive neural bypass system in IEEE Spectrum on January 26th:

“My group’s particular quest is to crack the neural codes related to movement and sensation so we can develop new ways to treat the millions of people around the world who are living with paralysis — 5.4 million people in the United States alone.”

For more about non-invasive neural bypass, see: Brain Implants and Wearables Let Paralyzed People Move Again

Medtronic is optimistic about results from a recent study on the Spyral renal denervation device to meaningfully lower blood pressure in people with refractory hypertension, despite disappointing results from trials in 2014. CEO Geoff Martha discussed his confidence with MedCity News:

“We are in the lead on realizing this multibillion-dollar opportunity to treat hypertension, which affects one-third of adults globally and is the single largest contributor to death. We believe RDN can be a $1 billion market in 5 years and a $3 billion market by the end of the decade.”

Learn more about Medtronic’s comeback in this space: Medtronic CEO expects to submit renal denervation data to FDA this year, overcoming previous failures

Fierce Biotech reports on Cognito’s GammaSense stimulation system, which uses specific frequencies of lights and sounds — much like a strobe light — to help treat Alzheimer’s by energizing neurons. The treatment has been effective in mice, and human trials are undeway:

The FDA “has seen enough early clinical data to label the device as a potential breakthrough therapy.”

Read the full article from January 13th, here: Cognito Therapeutics nets FDA breakthrough label for light, sound therapy for Alzheimer’s disease

More Bioelectronic Medicine Headlines From January

Corporate News

FDA OKs remote electrical neuromodulation device in children with migraine, Healio, January 25, 2021

Theranica’s neuromodulation device Nerivio was approved in October 2020 for the treatment of chronic migraine in adults and is now approved to treat episodic and chronic migraine in children 12 years and older.

FDA approves Boston Scientific Vercise Genus deep brain stimulation system, MassDevice, January 22, 2021

  • Boston Scientific’s fourth-generation system is indicated for use as an adjunctive therapy for Parkinson’s symptoms that are not adequately controlled with medication; it was launched in Europe in 2020 and a U.S. launch is planned in the coming months.

electroCore, Inc. Announces Scottish Health Technology Group Recommendation for Use of gammaCore in NHS Scotland Cluster Headache Patients, press release, January 21, 2021

  • The Scottish Health Technology Group published a recommendation to consider electroCore’s nVNS system gammaCore to be used alongside standard of care to reduce the frequency and intensity of cluster headache attacks.

Neuromod portfolios advance at Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Abbott, MedTech Dive, January 15, 2021

  • Three companies are taking action to drive growth in neuromodulation: Abbott is launching a digital app to complement its SCS system; Boston Scientific has expanded its SCS portfolio; and Medtronic has begun a DBS trial in patients with Parkinson’s.

Boston Scientific launches WaveWriter Alpha spinal cord stim, MassDevice, January 14, 2021

  • These SCS systems are “designed to deliver paresthesia-free pain relief in minutes;” WaveWriter Alpha was approved in December 2020 and indicated for chronic pain in the trunk or limbs.

Research News

Personalized brain stimulation lifts a patient’s depression, Medical News Today, January 21, 2021

  • Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco published a new case study suggesting that “adapting deep brain stimulation to a patient’s individual needs could relieve depression symptoms at least temporarily.” The study was published in Nature Medicine.

Personalized Brain Stimulation May Reduce OCD Behaviors, MedScape, January 19, 2021

  • A study found that personalized high-frequency electrical stimulation in the form of neuromodulationmay reduce obsessive-compulsive behaviors.” Notably, the participants experiencing the most severe symptoms also experienced the greatest benefits from the treatment.

Soft implantable drug delivery device integrated wirelessly with wearable devices to treat fatal seizures, Science Advances, January 1, 2021

  • Researchers present a novel method of treating ‘neurological medical emergencies’ such as fatal seizures: the use of a soft implantable drug delivery device (SID). SID provides critical, prompt treatment avoiding the damage that can occur with elapsed time after the occurrence of the seizure.

A wearable biosensing system with in-sensor adaptive machine learning for hand gesture recognition, Nature Electronics, December 21, 2020

  • The study examined wearable devices that monitor muscle activity and have “in-sensor adaptive learning capabilities,” meaning the system can classify hand gestures with remarkable accuracy. The researchers concluded that these findings “could enable a wider range of applications requiring low-latency, adaptive processing of physiological signals, such as electrocardiography or electroencephalography.”



Alliance for Advancing Bioelectronic Medicine

Committed to accelerating the development and uptake of bioelectronic medicine.