National Institutes of Health Awards SPR Therapeutics $2.9 Million Grant To Study Treatment For Pain After Stroke

May 14, 2014

Small Business Innovation Research award helps fund final phase of clinical research for medical device that uses electrical stimulation to relieve shoulder pain in stroke patients.

CLEVELAND, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — SPR Therapeutics, a medical device company, has received a $2.9 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health to support collection of the clinical data required to commercialize its SMARTPATCH® peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) system for the treatment of post-stroke shoulder pain.


Severe shoulder pain is a common result of stroke, affecting approximately one-third of the nearly 800,000 Americans who experience a stroke each year. Severe shoulder pain can lengthen the time to recovery, produce insomnia, and otherwise complicate the already challenging consequences of life after stroke.

According to John Chae, MD, professor and chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Case Western Reserve University and the MetroHealth System in Cleveland, OH, and member of the Institute of Medicine, “Shoulder pain is a significant health problem for those who have a stroke. There are no commercially available therapies that allow us to effectively treat this condition, which is associated with reduced functional and neurological recovery and poor quality of life. Thousands of people are currently seeking an effective solution for their post-stroke shoulder pain, many of whom will simply suffer in silence until an effective treatment is available.”

The Smartpatch system provides a short-term therapy that uses a very fine wire, or lead, placed in the shoulder. The lead is implanted using a small-diameter needle. The lead exits the skin and is connected to a small external device that stimulates the nerves in the shoulder, cycling on and off for six hours per day. The ongoing study is currently taking place at hospitals and research centers across the country, including New York City, NY, Chicago, IL, West Orange, NJ, and Charlotte, NC.

“We are very pleased to have received this grant following the rigorous and competitive review process established by the National Institutes of Health,” said Maria Bennett, president and CEO of SPR Therapeutics. “These funds will help us accelerate enrollment in our ongoing study and position us to advance this promising technology to the final stages of US regulatory review as quickly as possible.”

The grant award is, in part, the result of the successful completion of SPR’s earlier research in which the majority of study participants reported pain relief and improvements in their quality of life. Results from clinical research involving the use of Smartpatch System in the treatment of post-stroke shoulder pain were most recently published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in January 2014.

“My patients who suffer from shoulder pain following stroke frequently have few or no options for pain relief, and their quality of life, ability to contribute to their communities and families, and ability to return to work are all devastated by pain,” said A.M. Barrett, MD, director of stroke rehabilitation research at the Kessler Foundation in West Orange, NJ, who serves as one of the study’s investigators. “We are actively recruiting and enrolling subjects for participation in the investigation, and I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting and socially important research. The potential of this intervention to provide pain relief following the short-term therapy appears very promising.”

About SPR® Therapeutics
SPR® Therapeutics (Stimulation for Pain Relief) is a medical device company that has developed a revolutionary and proprietary peripheral nerve stimulation therapy platform that addresses the critical unmet need for less invasive, longer-lasting, cost-effective treatments for acute and chronic pain. SPR’s technology platform is being developed to address a spectrum of pain indications affecting over 116 million Americans. The SPR PNS System uses a proprietary method of nerve stimulation to treat pain without requiring electrodes to be surgically implanted or placed in direct contact with peripheral nerves that carry the pain signal. SPR’s Smartpatch PNS System is an investigational device that is limited by U.S. law to investigational use. SPR Therapeutics was formed in January 2010 as a portfolio company of NDI Medical, LLC. For more information, visit www.sprtherapeutics.com

Mark Stultz
SPR Therapeutics

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SOURCE SPR Therapeutics

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