SPR receives Army funds for new trials of its pain relief device

SPR Sprint microlead
The company’s Sprint PNS pain therapy received FDA clearance in August for minimally invasive devices implanted for up to 60 days. (SPR)

SPR Therapeutics was awarded two new grants and a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Army totaling $10 million to help further development of its percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation therapy.

The company’s Sprint PNS therapy, which includes single- and dual-lead, minimally invasive devices that are implanted for up to 60 days, received FDA clearance for treating acute and chronic pain in August.

Percutaneous leads are placed by a physician in the back or extremities during an outpatient procedure without surgical incisions or anesthesia, while a single, wearable electronic pulse generator features rechargeable batteries and a Bluetooth-enabled remote control.

In addition to a previous contract and grants from the National Institutes of Health and the DOD, the latest awards bring the total amount of federal money to $30 million.

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“The management of chronic and post-operative pain continues to be a challenge among U.S. military, veterans and the general public,” SPR’s founder, president and CEO, Maria Bennett, said in a statement. “In the midst of the opioid crisis and the need for non-opioid pain treatment options, product refinements and data from additional studies of percutaneous PNS will support the independent, appropriate and effective use of our SPRINT PNS System for pain management.”

One $6 million grant will support a randomized trial comparing Sprint to conventional medical management for the reduction of pain and opioid use among service members, veterans and civilians with chronic back pain, the leading cause of morbidity in the U.S. military.

A second trial, funded by a $3 million grant, will focus on improving pain management following surgery for combat and non-combat related orthopedic trauma. The remaining $1 million contract will fund improvements to the company’s platform to support more independent use by healthcare providers, the company said.