Onward Medical has announced plans to get listed in Amsterdam and Brussels. The company is developing a device that stimulates the spinal cord after injuries. The exact date of the operation, the price range, and the targeted amounts for the IPO are not yet known.
Founded in 2014, Onward Medical is a spin-off from the Center for Neuroprosthetics at the highly regarded École Polytechnique de Lausanne. It has a site in the Swiss city and is headquartered in the Netherlands, in Eindhoven. It is also beginning to expand in the United States, in Massachusetts.
Onward’s therapy is based on two devices, one implantable (ARC-IM) and one external (ARC-EX), each targeting different levels of spinal cord injury and potentially other disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Both platforms have not yet received regulatory approval for commercialization, but have each been granted “breakthrough device” designation by the FDA, the U.S. health agency.
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The external device is currently being tested in a clinical study that began in January 2021. When the study is successfully completed and if the company gets approvals, the company plans to commercialize the ARC-EX platform in the U.S. and Europe in 2023. The ARC-IM platform could be launched in the U.S. and Europe in 2024 to restore blood pressure and trunk control.
ARC-IM uses a wireless implant. During surgery, electrodes are implanted over the spinal cord. In a study, three patients with SCI who had little function remaining in their legs were able to stand and even walk with bodyweight support again. Another technology ONWARD developed is referred to as ARC-EX. This device consists of a wearable stimulator that uses a high-frequency waveform to numb the skin in combination with a lower frequency stimulation pulse which targets and sends energy through the spinal cord. This wearable device requires no surgery. An initial study showed significantly improved and sustained improvement in the patient’s arm and hand movement.
Last April, the Medtech company raised 26 million euros. This new round of financing was led by Invest-NL, the Dutch impact investment fund, and Olympic Investments, the private equity arm of the Onassis Foundation. Since its inception, the company has raised approximately 70 million. Its shareholders also include the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The American actor, who had played Superman in the movies, died in 2004, after having been a quadriplegic for ten years following a fall from a horse.
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