Valencia, Calif.-based SetPoint Medical has hired Sagentia to develop a programming interface for a neuromodulation device designed to provide a lower-cost and lower-risk alternative to immunosuppressive drugs such as prednisone that treat chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
The device, which SetPoint estimates will have a 10-year lifespan, will be implanted in the neck and stimulate the vagus nerve, activating the body’s inflammatory reflex to produce anti-inflammatory effect. It will consist of three elements: an implanted microregulator, its charger, which consists of a necklace with a collar that the patient can put on for up to a few minutes every day, and the “RxPad” iPad app to set the dose and frequency of the implant.
Sagentia is responsible for that app and the radiofrequency and Bluetooth low-frequency energy interfaces it will tap to communicate with the implant.
SetPoint is currently testing a proximate device across four centers in Europe, President and CEO Anthony Arnold said. Clinical trials of the neuromodulation implant are set to begin in late 2014 or early 2015 and the device will hit U.S. market shelves in 2017 or 2018. — Lena Freund
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