With the support of a $3 million Ohio Third Frontier Innovation Platform Program grant, Synapse Biomedical Inc. will lead the commercialization of third generation neurostimulation technology pioneered by Professor Hunter Peckham and his team at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Synapse Biomedical has also brought in global partners to assist in the collaboration with CWRU and its non-profit Institute for Functional Restoration (IFR).
Case Western Reserve, Synapse Biomedical, The University of Tokyo and Cleveland-based Valtronic will match the funding as they move forward. Synapse Biomedical will produce and market the systems after the technology earns CE Mark, PMDA (Japanese) and FDA approvals.
“Synapse is proud to be part of this endeavor under the funding of the Third Frontier from the State of Ohio,” said Tim Crish, VP of Product Development and Operations at Synapse. “We have already been able to save engineering jobs that were being relocated out of state from another company closure as we kicked off this project. This will help continue the leadership of the region in neurostimulation.”
Synapse is also bringing international partners to assist in the project. The University of Tokyo, Institute for Industrial Science (IIS) will participate in developmental and clinical studies. Synapse’s strategic partner in Japan, USCI Ltd, will help establish a Japanese entity to further promote the commercialization of the technologies in Asia.
“Participation in this project is one of the important opportunities for us to apply our expertise in engineering design and microsystems to a medical device, which would potentially provide a large number of patients with better quality of life” said Professor Terou Fujii, Director General, IIS.
Synapse’s strategic partner in Japan, USCI Japan Ltd, will provide additional support to this collaborative project and promote the commercialization of the technologies in Asia. “We are excited about becoming a part of the multinational team and hopefully contribute to the patients not only in Japan but also the rest of the world” said Kiyotaka Mori, President USCI Japan Ltd.
“We are pleased to formalize a partnership with our colleagues at Synapse Biomedical,” said Megan Moynahan, Executive Director of the IFR. “Their long-standing success in addressing the needs of people with neurological disorders, and their commitment to achieving global impact are critical factors that will enable us to achieve our goals.”
“We have already seen the impact that neurostimulation has on the lives of over 1,500 patients using our NeuRx® Diaphragm Pacing System to gain independence and prolong survival,” said Anthony R. Ignagni, President & CEO of Synapse. “The advancements made by Dr. Peckham will have a significant impact on ease of use for our existing and future patients with diaphragm pacing which will allow us to expand our services for spinal cord injured, and pediatric patients.”