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Saluda Medical

Organ System:
  • Nervous
Date Funded:
  • 30 August, 2013

Project summary

Closed loop spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain.

What is the issue?

Saluda Medical is a Sydney based start-up company developing a ground-breaking new implantable device for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain. The company was spun out of National ICT Australia, Australia’s leading ICT research establishment in early 2013 to commercialise a range of neurostimulation technology developed there over 4 years.

Using a world’s first neural recording technology, the company will initially focus on developing a closed-loop feedback spinal cord stimulation device.

The neural recording technology makes it possible to measure the minute electrical responses from nerves immediately after they have been stimulated. Exist+E11ing devices cannot make this measurement and so rely on manual intervention to establish an optimal level and location. Once commercialised, experts believe this technology will make its way into every neuromodulation device implanted in a human, be it for spinal cord stimulation, deep brain stimulation or other treatments comprising a global market worth $3 billion per annum.

Spinal Cord Stimulation is a treatment for chronic neuropathic pain where the electrical stimulation replaces the pain with a buzzing or tingling feeling in the area of the pain. Current products suffer the major problem that as the patient changes posture, the spinal cord moves relative to the electrode causing the level of stimulation of the nerves to change. This variability causes many patients severe discomfort leading some to elect not to have a permanent implant while others set stimulation levels below the optimum. It also results in patients needing to continuously manually adjust the level of stimulation. Closed-loop feedback control of stimulation allows for the automatic setting of an optimal level of stimulation.

What does the technology aim to do?

The company has already trialled its technology on human subjects in acute settings using a prototype externalised stimulator. Results so far indicate that a device using closed-loop feedback controlled stimulation provides improved pain relief, more of the time, without unpleasant side effects or the need for continuous manual readjustment by the patient.

These results have been presented at key US and European scientific conferences in the field to the acclaim of leading neuromodulation surgeons and academics.

Saluda Medical is now in the process of engineering an implantable device and conducting clinical trials to support regulatory approval of the device to commence sales in 2016.

Company contact

Dr John Parker

(02) 9376 2125