Targetech Innovation Center portfolio company Nervomatrix Ltd., which has developed an auto-targeting neurostimulation device for lower back pain relief, has obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to market the device in the US.
The device scans the back, locates the points where electrical resistance is low compared with their environs, and stimulates the nerves with a gentle electrical current that reduces pain, according to tests conducted by the company.
Nervomatrix's technology used to be based on an acupuncture map for identifying the nerve endings for stimulation. "We've since dropped the acupuncture map. We don’t even use this word when we present the company," Nervomatrix CEO Ori Kanner told "Globes" today. "We developed our own empiric method to learn which points to stimulate."
Acupuncture is not acceptable by conventional medicine, and its map of stimulation points does not conform to any corresponding map of classic anatomy. However, in recent years, the number of researchers who have shown that acupuncture has some positive effect has grown.
Kanner said, "In our work, we found that the acupuncture maps in different books did not necessary conform to each other, nor did they conform to any patient who came to us. In contrast, measuring the electrical resistance improves our ability to indentify the correct nerve endings. Use of the classic acupuncture map prolongs treatment and requires expertise by physicians. Conversely, measuring the electrical resistance level at a particular point compared with others can be done by any technician."
Nervomatrix's patent is for a back scanner and nerve ending locator which takes into account their relative electrical resistance compared with the surrounding area. "We found that when pain lessens, the electrical tension at different points equalizes," said Kanner. "In future, it may be possible to use this data to monitor the progress of treatment. We will be able to examine whether a person is actually suffering pain, which is important for preventing insurance fraud."
Nervomatrix carried out it first trial at Bnei Zion Hospital in Haifa. 85% of patients reported improvement in their condition, but there was no control group. The company's next stage is to conduct a clinical trial at New York University even as it begin treating patients with its products at two medical centers in New York.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 5, 2011
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