Cleveland-based medical device company SPR Therapeutics has upped its series A yet again and raised an additional $2.8 million, which brings its total to $5 million from NDI Healthcare Fund, Public Square Partners and individual investors.
CEO Maria Bennett said the funding will help the company commercialize its peripheral nerve stimulation technology platform. The first part of its two-stage platform, the Smartpatch, is ready for a phase 3 pivotal trial in the U.S. that will begin enrolling at six clinical sites over the next few months, she said.
It’s also awaiting CE Mark certification, which Bennett said she anticipates getting the official OK “any day now.”
In its initial application, the device will address post-stroke shoulder pain.
The Smartpatch comprises an external stimulator that snaps on to an adhesive patch placed on the skin. The stimulator connects to a single lead that’s placed into the deltoid muscle by a physician in an office-based procedure. Patients use the device to deliver electronic stimulation to the muscle for a few hours each day, for up to 30 days. Bennett said that some patients in past studies have reported pain relief even after the 30 days of use.
For those who have persistent pain, SPR is also developing the Micropulse system, which is a similar nerve stimulation device that’s implanted under the skin for long-term pain management.
In the U.S., an estimated 700,000 to 800,000 strokes occur each year, and shoulder pain affects up to one-third of survivors, according to the Post-Stroke Rehabilitation Outcomes Project. The Smartpatch is designed to give patients with moderate to severe pain another option besides drugs or surgically implanted devices. In the future, it could be used to address other pain indications including acute and chronic joint pain and post-amputation pain.
Since its founding in January 2010, SPR has raised $10.7 million including $5.7 million in nondilutive funding from grants and loans from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Defense and the State of Ohio. Bennett said the company is looking for strategic partners and has already engaged with several potential partners.
[Photo from SPR Therapeutics]