SPR’s first product, the minimally invasive Smartpatch, is aimed at reducing shoulder pain in patients who’ve suffered strokes. The technology works via an external generator that electrically stimulates a peripheral nerve to exercise a muscle and treat a patient’s pain.
Cleveland-area SPR, which stands for “stimulation for pain relief,” is a spinoff of NDI Medical, a neurotech incubator that in 2008 sold a urinary incontinence device called MedStim to Medtronic for $42 million. SPR’s CEO, Maria Bennett, is a former Boston Scientific employee who was closely involved in developing the MedStim product after joining NDI a few years ago.
“I am thrilled to have JumpStart Ventures’ support in our mission to provide clinicians with a simple and effective therapy to reduce or eliminate their patients’ pain and ultimately improve their patients’ quality of life,” Bennett said in a statement from JumpStart, a Cleveland-based publicly and privately funded nonprofit venture development group. (Disclosure: JumpStart is an investor in MedCity News’ parent company, MedCity Media.)
Clinical trials have shown that SPR’s device works and the company has submitted a 510(k) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that, if approved, would clear the company to begin selling the device, Bennett said earlier this month.
The JumpStart funding is part of what Bennett hopes will be around a $2 million series A investment round. SPR would use the funding to beef up its sales and marketing staff, with the first key hires likely being directors in each of those areas.