UK-based charity Spinal Research is launching a trial aimed at restoring bowel functionality in patients living with a spinal injury, backed by a £300,000 ($381,000) donation.

The ImPRESS project at the London Spinal Injuries Centre (LSIC) will look to examine whether spinal cord stimulation technology can be used to restore bowel function in patients living with significant injury.

The pilot study is backed by a £300,000 targeted donation from Spinal Research’s partner Injured Jockeys Fund.

The recruitment for the trial is set to begin this month. The technology will initially be offered in hospitals to participants who respond well to a fully implantable epidural stimulator for use at home, as well as a programme of pelvic floor muscle exercises.

Spinal Research’s chief executive Harvey Sihota said: “Curing paralysis is a journey of restoring the functions stolen by a spinal cord injury and it’s one we have now started. Restoring functions like bowel and bladder will make such a huge difference to the quality of life of millions of people.

“I’m very excited about where things are heading. Curing paralysis will be the medical breakthrough of the 21st century but we do need a substantial increase in funding to accelerate the translation of the science into meaningful treatments.”

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By GlobalData

Additionally, the group said that it has also funded a collaborative study between the LSIC and University College London to examine if the same techniques of non-invasive spinal cord stimulation can be used to restore bladder function.

It follows after a medical equipment manufacturer Nalu Medical was able to raise investment funding of $65m to further push the development of its neurostimulation system for chronic pain treatment.

In September 2023, US-based Pathmaker Neurosystems also launched an early feasibility study investigating its non-invasive neuromodulation device in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

GlobalData’s Medical Device Centre details how there are as many as 79 spinal cord stimulator devices currently in the development pipeline, with 54 of those in clinical development. This market is dominated by companies such as Medtronic and Boston Scientific.

GlobalData is the parent company of Medical Device Network


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