SPR Therapeutics has been awarded two new grants and one new contract from the US Department of Defense totalling US$10M to further develop its percutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) therapy following its first use. The SPRINT PNS system offers a non-opioid pain relief therapy that is FDA-cleared for the treatment of acute and chronic pain.
In addition to a previous contract and grants from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense, these latest awards from the Defense Department bring the total amount of grants and contracts to US$30M to support the advancement of SPR’s neurostimulation technology for pain.
“The management of chronic and postoperative pain continues to be a challenge among US military, veterans and the general public. In the midst of the opioid crisis and the need for non-opioid pain treatment options, product refinements and data from additional studies of percutaneous PNS will support the independent, appropriate and effective use of our SPRINT PNS system for pain management,” said Maria Bennett, founder, president and CEO of SPR Therapeutics.
The largest of the awards, a grant totalling US$6M, will support a randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing the SPRINT PNS system to conventional medical management, to reduce pain and opioid use while enabling improvements in function among service members, veterans and civilians with chronic back pain. Chronic back pain interferes with function and daily activities (such as walking, work and personal care), and decreases quality of life. As the leading cause of morbidity in the US military, back pain is the most commonly diagnosed injury or reason for seeking medical care and has the highest five-year risk of permanent disability.
A second RCT, supported by a US$3M grant, will focus on improving pain management following surgery for combat and non-combat related orthopaedic trauma. Designed based on encouraging results of a previous study, it will further evaluate the use of percutaneous PNS to relieve pain, reduce or eliminate use of opioids, and accelerate functional recovery.
A US$1M contract will fund continued advancement of the company’s PNS platform while enhancing the system’s ability to support independent use by healthcare providers. These improvements are intended to enable a wider range of interventional pain management physicians to offer the system with minimal training and enable simpler self-management of therapy, thereby allowing more patients to receive effective, non-opioid pain relief.
“The need among pain management physicians for non-opioid, minimally invasive and user-friendly treatment options is great. The funding provided by the Defense Department will provide additional data and insight regarding the SPRINT system’s ability to improve quality of life, enable faster post-operative recovery and provide long-term pain relief,” said Dawood Sayed, president of The American Society of Pain and Neuroscience.