Bioelectronic medicine isn’t new and has been around since the first implantation of the pacemaker. However, in recent years there has been sort of an explosion of the space – with devices. A panel at MD&M West discussed the recent transformation of bioelectronic medicine and where the space was going.
“Within the last five years bioelectronic medicine has gotten really exciting,” Barry Keenan, vice president of engineering at BioSig Technologies said. “That’s probably why we’re having this session every year. There’s a very rich pipeline.”
BioSig is developing the Pure EP system, a surface electrocardiogram, and an intracardiac multichannel device.
It is one of several technologies in this new phase of bioelectronic technology. Gulam Emadi, Principal Systems Engineer at SetPoint Medical clearly defined this new phase to the audience.
“We’re jumping ahead to more of this digital dose kind of space where we’re delivering things to alter or correct disease states,” Emadi said. “Our company is paving the way in making people aware of it.”
Valencia, CA-based SetPoint is developing a bioelectronic device to treat patients with drug-refractory RA.
Perhaps one of the most important moments in the recent history of bioelectronic medicine was the GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) investments into the space.
“I think when the initiative of GSK started that really did it,” Keenan said.
In terms of the future, Keenan noted that would depend on the current crop of bioelectronic technology companies being successful with FDA.
“I think that depends on a little bit on kind of what happens with all of these various companies in the next several years,” Keenan said. “I think there’s a great opportunity to get these on the market. We’re on the cusp of something big in this area and I think we’ll see that in the next five to 10 years.”
Jerry Ok,mSenior Director, Research & Development Hardware Engineering at Second Sight Medical Products, said that the work to push the space front and center now was being done now. Second Sight has developed the Argus II, a system featuring a head-mounted digital camera that communicates with an implant attached to the eye.
“I think from a device standpoint there are investments being made now that are going to lay the groundwork for leap and capability for devices that are available for research,” Ok said.