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Deep Brain Provides Stimulating Market

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

There are signs that the field of deep brain stimulation (DBS) has gained a certain momentum of late: three start-ups raised venture rounds in 2011 and there have been two acquisitions in the space within the past year. The giants in cardiac rhythm management – Medtronic, St. Jude Medical and Boston Scientific – can leverage existing technology platforms from CRM to new diseases once served by drugs. Start-ups can help them, by validating new disease targets, and increasing procedural accuracy and efficiency.

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In Europe, Contrarian VC Wellington Partners Favors Medical Devices

In September, Wellington Partners announced that it closed on €70 million ($91 million) in new venture capital, the first commitment for a fund devoted to life science investing. The target size of Wellington Partners IV Life Science Fund is €120 million, a significant increase over its previous fund devoted to the life sciences, which raised €78 million. Five years ago, this event wouldn’t even have been news, but in a world where venture capital funds are generally contracting, and specifically with regard to life sciences, Wellington offers medical device start-ups a bright spot of hope.

Brainsway Closes Gap Between Devices And Drugs With Noninvasive Deep Brain Stimulation

Following a series of private investments and strategic acquisitions, Brainsway Ltd. announced it had received CE mark approval for a new therapy for chronic neuropathic pain, bringing another potential neurostimulation treatment to market in Europe. Meanwhile, the company reported positive interim results on its clinical trial of a treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder, adding to positive results from a pivotal multicenter trial studying its therapy for major depression. These trials validate a new device treatment for conditions that neurologists and psychiatrists typically treat with drugs.

Neuronetics Brightens Outlook For Neuro Devices

Neuronetics Inc. forged a new specialty of sorts, the interventional psychiatrist. Unlike other interventional approaches, the externally applied NeuroStar delivers transcranial magnetic stimulation to the precise area of the brain responsible for intractable depression. The device is changing the lives of psychiatrists who launched “TMS” clinics, hoping to capture the early success, and potentially creating opportunities for medical devices designed to treat other brain-related disorders.

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