Two companies focused on restoring movement and the ability to walk in patients with paralysis and spinal cord injuries have announced plans to combine their neuromodulation expertise.
The Netherlands and Switzerland-based GTX Medical—formerly known as G-Therapeutics, and a 2016 FierceMedTech Fierce 15 winner—will merge with NeuroRecovery Technologies, out of San Juan Capistrano, California.
Going forward, the collective company will be known as GTX Medical, and will count the nonprofit Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation—as well as LSP, Inkef, Wellington Partners and GIMV—as shareholders and investors.
“People with spinal cord injuries deserve a dedicated and coordinated effort of scientists, clinicians and entrepreneurs to bring to market new therapies and products to improve functional outcomes and quality of life,” GTX CEO Sjaak Deckers said in a statement.
The company will continue to advance an implantable neurostimulation system previously developed by GTX, which targets the epidural space and nerve roots around the base of the spinal cord and is designed to offer real-time motion feedback. The companies said the system has been shown to restore locomotion during rehabilitation in certain patients with spinal cord injuries.
NeuroRecovery had been working separately on its own implantable, epidural system, but as a second-line option to the company’s non-invasive device designed to stimulate nerves through the skin. The latter transcutaneous device will be taken up by the merged company and developed to help restore upper limb movement and hand function.
“Neurostimulation represents the single biggest breakthrough ever in creating dramatic functional recovery in patients living with [spinal cord injuries],” said Jay Shepard, a NeuroRecovery board member. “With the support of the Reeve Foundation, the first worldwide organization in [spinal cord injury] history will be established.”
Additionally, GTX renewed license agreements for its technologies with UCLA, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Louisville. It will also continue its agreements with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and aims to build additional collaborations with academic institutions in the U.S. and European Union.
“The Reeve Foundation has invested tens of millions of dollars in basic research to get us to this point. We believe discoveries are the moral property of people living with paralysis,” said Peter Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Reeve Foundation.
“This strategic alliance between GTX and NRT will bridge the translational gap that exists between academia and industry to speed the development of vital new treatments and therapies,” Wilderotter said. “However, beyond a partnership, it is a promise that is long overdue to the millions living with spinal cord injury worldwide.”