CEO: John Parker
Based: Sydney, Australia
Backed by some big names, media-quiet Australian med dev company Saluda Medical is looking to use its closed-loop neuromodulation tech to monitor signals traveling along the spine while also stimulating the body itself. Its device, known as Evoke, is designed to relieve chronic back and leg pain.
What makes Saluda fierce
Getting off a $40 million series D this year with help from a GSK fund specifically designed to seek out the best of the best in bioelectronic medicine, an area it too wants to solve, was an impressive feat, and then it added the $107 billion market cap giant Medtronic to the round.
Both are buying into its spinal cord stimulation device; this isn’t a new technology, but it’s getting attention because, unlike other SCS systems that make patients correct the stimulation they produce, Saluda’s Evoke is set up to measure the body’s response to its output.
Then, accordingly, it automatically adjusts the level as a result of this feedback, as well as its knowledge of the user’s preferences, moving it toward the sort of personalized, precision-based medicine we’ve come to see from the biotech world.
In trials, it works as a temporary system and is placed through an outpatient, and reversible, procedure. It’s connected via a needle to place thin wires in a patient’s back, though the company stresses that no incision is required. The leads connect to a temporary device that fits in a user's pocket.
If a patient wants it long-term, the system can then be implanted via another reversible surgical procedure to place the SCS device and leads beneath the skin.
The type of chronic pain it’s aiming to treat affects almost one in five adults, the company estimates, and so is hopeful of a major market opportunity.
What to look for
Entry into the U.S. market, via a randomized, double-blind clinical trial of 134 people with chronic, intractable pain using either Evoke or a device that requires manual stimulation. If successful, it’s set to represent a major step forward for the field of bioelectronic medicines.