Bioelectronic medicine player electroCore is partnering with UpScriptHealth to offer its gammaCore treatment through a direct-to-patient telemedicine program. The noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy is cleared for the treatment of migraine and episodic cluster headache in adults.
GammaCore was first cleared in April 2017 to treat acute pain linked to episodic cluster headache. Its FDA nod for migraine followed last January. It treats pain by stimulating the vagus nerve in the neck with a small electric current. Its noninvasive nature is what distinguishes it from other bioelectronics approaches, which seek to treat a range of maladies by stimulating the vagus nerve, commonly with an implantable device.
Patients may self-administer treatment with the hand-held device. The UpScript platform allows prospective patients to consult with healthcare providers via telephone or video to determine if they are eligible for treatment with gammaCore, the company said in a statement.
A patient creates an UpScript account, answers questions about their medical history and enters payment information, electroCore said. Next, the patient will schedule a telemedicine consultation to talk about their treatment options with a provider. If gammaCore is prescribed, a device will be shipped to the patient.
“Through this program, we will enable patients to access a healthcare provider no matter where they are, and thereby expand access to people who may be suffering from migraine or episodic cluster headache with a convenient therapy like gammaCore," said Dan Duhart, electroCore's chief commercial officer, in a release.
In addition to gammaCore, patients may also sign up for telemedicine consultations for sildenafil, Teva's generic version of Viagra.
“When patients need care, they deserve to get it—easily, quickly and discreetly. The UpScript program offers patients a convenient option to access a healthcare provider and obtain the appropriate treatment,” said UpScriptHealth CEO Peter Ax in the release.
ElectroCore went public last month in a $78 million IPO, priced not quite a year after the New Jersey-based company reeled in a $70 million series B.
Other companies are targeting the vagus nerve with implantable devices, eyeing indications from rheumatoid arthritis to obesity. Last August, SetPoint raised $30 million to fund a phase 2 clinical trial of its penny-sized stimulation implant in RA, while ReShape, formerly known as EnteroMedics, has a device that blocks the vagus nerve from sending hunger signals to help obese patients lose weight.