|NeuroPace's RNS Stimulator--Courtesy of NeuroPace|
This California company gained the FDA's approval in November for its RNS Stimulator, a device designed to stop epileptic seizures before they start. It consists of a small implant placed under the scalp on the skull that connects to a few electrodes placed on suspect areas of the brain believed to be the source of seizures. The device picks up abnormal brain electrical activity and then releases a small electrical impulse to normalize that activity before a seizure even happens.
NeuroPace could enjoy gains from its RNS Stimulator, considering that a larger number of epilepsy patients still suffer from seizures even after drugs and other treatments. But the competition is fierce, with rivals including Cyberonics ($CYBX), NeuroSigma, Medtronic ($MDT), Boston Scientific ($BSX) and St. Jude Medical ($STJ) either marketing or developing a range of implantable neuromodulation devices designed to manage epilepsy and other conditions.
For NeuroPace, the RNS Stimulator's potential also comes with limits. Regulators are banning patients with the implant from undergoing MRI procedures, electroconvulsive therapy or transcranial magnetic stimulation, which they say could cause RNS implant patients permanent brain damage.
NeuroPace wins FDA signoff for neurostimulation epilepsy implant