ReWalk to conduct clinical trial on stroke patients

Rewalk Photo: Mike Sanger, Reuters

The Israeli company's new product for stroke victims is likely to be substantially cheaper than its current product, which has struggled to generate revenue.

Yokne'am-based ReWalk Robotics Ltd.(Nasdaq:RWLK) today announced that it had begun an initial clinical trial of its new product for treatment of stroke victims. The trial has 40 participants.

ReWalk is already marketing a product that acts as an external backbone for moving people with lower limb paralysis, but has not succeeded to date in generating substantial revenue. Unlike the company's first product, which is suitable only for fairly strong patients with a healthy upper body, the new product, which is designed for rehabilitation, has also been adapted for weaker patients. It is designed for any patients with lower body weakness, not just those who are completely paralyzed.

In contrast to the first product, which costs tens of thousands of dollars, the product for stroke victims is cheaper; the company previously set a price of around $19,800 for it. The product is also designed to be more convenient and comfortable to wear and use. The goal of the treatment using the device is to make it easier for the patient to walk as naturally as possible in the early stage of rehabilitation, so that patients can practice walking, and hopefully restore their ability over time. The company plans on reaching the market with its new product in early 2019.

ReWalk posted $7.8 million in revenue in 2017, from sales of its walker product for patients with limb paralysis in the home market. 107 systems were sold, for 44 of which reimbursement was obtained from US insurance companies and the US Veterans Administration. Insurance reimbursement is still one of the main obstacles to the first product's market penetration, because the product is expensive and designed for home use.

ReWalk's gross profit margin improved from 13% in 2016 to 40% in 2017, and its net loss fell from $32.5 million in 2016 to $24.7 million in 2017. The company gave $9-11 million revenue guidance for 2018

ReWalk raised $20 million last month month from Hong Kong company Timwell Corporation, which develops and markets medical devices in China. ReWalk had $14 million in cash at the end of 2017. ReWalk's share price has plummeted 92% since its IPO in 2014 and 47% since the beginning of the year.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 3, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Rewalk Photo: Mike Sanger, Reuters
Rewalk Photo: Mike Sanger, Reuters
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