Brainsway partners up to push anti-depression tech in U.S.

Brainsway has signed a U.S. commercial partner for the Deep TMS system.--Courtesy of Brainsway

Brainsway ($BRIN) has finally locked in a commercial partner to mount a large-scale U.S. commercial effort for its FDA-approved device to treat depression, but the Israeli company is keeping details to itself.

As Bloomberg reports, Brainsway has signed on with an undisclosed U.S. distributor to expand the adoption of its Deep TMS system, a non-invasive treatment cleared to treat drug-resistant depression. The partner will lease about 200 of the devices over up to three years, the company said, and Brainsway will keep up its direct-lease sales efforts all the while.

Deep TMS won FDA approval in January, and the device is already CE marked to treat depression, Alzheimer's and autism, among other indications. Brainsway's treatment is an implant-free take on deep-brain stimulation, applying external magnetic force to the brain in a 20-minute procedure.

Brainsway initially said it expected a "large" upfront payment from its future U.S. distributor, and the company was negotiating with some of the world's largest medical device outfits, but CEO Uzi Sofer declined to disclose any of the current deal's financial particulars in a Bloomberg interview.

Giants like Medtronic ($MDT) and St. Jude Medical ($STJ) have already well capitalized on deep-brain-stimulating implants, but Brainsway is among few on the U.S. market with a non-invasive option.

Competition is mounting, however, as Neuronetics is scaling up marketing for its FDA-cleared NeuroStar TMS system and Finland's Nexstim is rolling out the similar Navigated Brain Therapy. Meanwhile, startup Cervel Neurotech raised $14.1 million in April to develop Steerable TMS, a device it says is more flexible and effective in stimulating brain tissues.

- read the Bloomberg story