REDWOOD CITY, CA and AARHUS, DENMARK--(Marketwired - Mar 5, 2014) - Cervel Neurotech, Inc., a privately held company dedicated to pioneering faster and longer-lasting non-pharmacologic treatments for depression and pain, today announced the formation of a Master Research Agreement with the Danish Neuroscience Center at Aarhus University Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark. The agreement represents the first Cervel System placement into the European Union (EU) and initiates investigation of a second clinical indication, the treatment of chronic pain, using Cervel's multicoil repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) technology.
The five-year agreement provides the basis for a series of research protocols designed to reveal insights into the mechanisms underlying brain stimulation and pain perception, with the objective of developing new treatments for patients resistant to traditional pharmaceutical therapy. The first study aims to establish the safety and efficacy of the Cervel System for patients suffering from chronic neuropathic pain. More information about study participation can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.
"Our agreement with Cervel Neurotech will allow us to unite the world's leading experts in pain research and clinical treatment utilizing Cervel's multicoil, non-invasive, neurostimulation platform to achieve our goals," said Jens Christian Hedemann Sorensen, MD, PhD, professor and head of research at the Aarhus University Hospital Danish Neuroscience Center. "This first study, and the others we intend to undertake, hold the potential for development of innovative therapies that will improve the quality of life for patients struggling with chronic pain conditions."
Chronic pain, defined as pain that persists for more than three months, affects 36 percent of households in the EU, and 43 percent in the United States, according to the International Association for the Study of Pain. Everyday activities, social functions and overall quality of life are impaired, with sufferers less able to exercise, sleep normally, attend to daily household chores, and in more severe cases, to maintain an independent lifestyle. These stressors severely strain critical relationships with family, friends and co-workers. The direct and indirect economic costs of chronic pain equal that of cardiovascular disease or cancer.
"Chronic neuropathic pain affects millions of individuals worldwide leading to a marked reduction in health and a significant increase in global economic burden," said Bret Schneider, MD, founder and chief medical officer of Cervel Neurotech, Inc. "Our proprietary technology is designed to selectively reach deeper brain circuit areas that are associated with the pain response, without the use of systemic medications that often results in addiction and disabling side-effects."
Certain disorders are thought to occur because of suboptimal metabolic activity in a network of regions within the brain. rTMS uses pulsed magnetic fields to create electrical micro currents that stimulate areas in the brain to restore metabolism. Cervel's proprietary approach uses multiple magnetic fields, generated by coils placed on a patient's scalp, and then steered toward selected superficial and deeper brain regions to provide symptomatic relief. By stimulating separate but connected regions within targeted circuits, the Cervel System may produce a faster and longer lasting treatment effect, while also avoiding unintended stimulation of areas not associated with the disorder.
About Chronic Pain
One of the most common reasons patients seek treatment from physicians is for pain relief, and conventional treatment often requires multiple trials of physical, pharmacologic or surgical interventions. Neuropathic pain, caused by nerve irritation, damage or destruction, may occur in the absence of an obvious precipitating cause, which complicates identifying an effective treatment algorithm. In cases that remain insoluble, patients must accept partial relief and seek adaptive strategies for daily management of their pain.
About Cervel Neurotech
Cervel Neurotech, Inc., a medical device company based in Redwood City, CA, is pioneering a non-invasive, non-system and non-pharmacologic approach for the treatment of psychiatric and neurologic illnesses. This proprietary technology has the potential to improve the quality of life for patients and their families that are suffering from the debilitating effects of pain, depression and addiction, without the side effects or invasiveness of conventional therapies.