On 2 April, NeuroSigma announced its appointment of Christopher M DeGiorgio as vice-president of Neurology. In this new role DeGiorgio, who was previously a senior medical advisor to the company, will lead NeuroSigma’s development of Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (TNS) for the treatment of neurological indications.
“I am very excited to join NeuroSigma to help move TNS therapy forward as a treatment option for neurological disorders, such as drug-resistant epilepsy, which is estimated to affect over 10 million people worldwide,” said DeGiorgio.
De Giorgio was first to study TNS in patients with epilepsy, and collaborated with Ian Cook, professor of Psychiatry at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in developing TNS as a potential treatment for depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
NeuroSigma has completed development of its external TNS (eTNS) system and is developing its implantable subcutaneous TNS (sTNS) system. Near term milestones include filing a CE mark application in mid-2012 for approval to commence marketing the eTNS system for the treatment of epilepsy in Europe. NeuroSigma is also planning to file, in the second-half of 2012, an investigational device exemption with the FDA for a multicentre epilepsy phase III pivotal trial in the United States.
“We are very fortunate to have Dr DeGiorgio, who had the vision of conceiving TNS as a therapy for epilepsy, join NeuroSigma as a member of our management team. His appointment represents an important step forward for our company as we move closer to bringing our promising TNS therapies to market,” said Lodwrick Cook, chairman, NeuroSigma. “We are delighted that we will be working closely with Dr DeGiorgio during this extremely important phase in the regulatory approval process and in planning for post-approval strategy in Europe, USA and other key regions in the world,” added Leon Ekchian, president and CEO, NeuroSigma.
DeGiorgio has taken a partial leave of absence as a professor of Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he previously served as executive vice-chairman in the Department of Neurology. DeGiorgio has also been recognised as one of the Best Doctors in America, and is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award while at UCLA. Among his notable research work, DeGiorgio has served as principal investigator of several interventional clinical trials for drug resistant epilepsy, including Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) for epilepsy and n-3 fatty acids to reduce seizures and the risk of sudden death in epilepsy (SUDEP). DeGiorgio has also published multiple peer-reviewed research papers in the field of epilepsy, and is the principal investigator of a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant recently awarded to NeuroSigma to further develop eTNS for epilepsy.