FDA approves Axium Neurostimulator System for dorsal root ganglion stimulation


St Jude Medical has announced FDA approval of the St Jude Medical Axium Neurostimulator System for dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. The approval of DRG stimulation in the USA will ensure access to a superior therapeutic approach for treating moderate to severe chronic intractable pain of the lower limbs in adult patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS I and II).

The chronic pain disorder known as CRPS often affects the extremities. St Jude Medical expects that DRG stimulation will be available to physicians and patients in the coming months.

By stimulating the DRG, a spinal structure densely populated with sensory nerves that transmit information to the brain via the spinal cord, the Axium system delivers a form of spinal stimulation that gives physicians the ability to treat the specific areas of the body where pain occurs. As a result, DRG stimulation is a first-of-its-kind therapeutic approach that provides pain relief to patients with neuropathic conditions underserved by traditional SCS who have tried multiple treatment options without receiving adequate pain relief.

“The approval of St Jude Medical’s DRG neurostimulation system represents an exciting new option for me to deploy in the fight against the focal and intractable chronic pain syndromes facing my patients every day,” said Timothy Deer, an interventional pain physician, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Pain Relief in Charleston, USA. “For the large and growing numbers of under-treated patients suffering from complex regional pain syndromes—like those resulting from total knee arthroscopy, foot surgery or hernia surgery—DRG stimulation can offer improved, long-lasting relief.”

Approval of DRG stimulation with the St Jude Medical Axium system was based in part on the results of the ACCURATE IDE study, the largest study to date evaluating patients suffering from neuropathic chronic intractable pain associated with CRPS I and II or peripheral causalgia. Patients in the study were randomised to receive either DRG stimulation delivered by the Axium Neurostimulator System or traditional tonic SCS therapy delivered by a competitor’s system. At both three-month and 12-month intervals, results from the ACCURATE study showed DRG stimulation provided patients with superior pain relief over traditional tonic SCS.

The Axium system originally received CE Mark approval in November 2011 for the management of chronic intractable pain. The Axium system is also approved for use in Australia.