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ONWARD tech shows potential for blood pressure regulation after SCI

Study shows positive impact of its ARC Therapy in 100 per cent of participants of new study



Pioneering spinal cord stimulation technology from ONWARD has shown its potential to improve blood pressure regulation after spinal cord injury (SCI) through the results of a new study. 

The first ten people treated with implantable ARC Therapy showed immediate improvements in blood pressure, a benefit sustained for the duration of the follow-up period. 

Participants, part of the HEMO study, also reported improved quality of life, increased energy and vitality and reduced dizziness. Those who were taking an anti-hypotension drug prior to entering the study were able to significantly reduce or discontinue their medication.

Low blood pressure is a major issue for people with SCI that impacts cardiovascular health and quality of life, and is one of the targets for ONWARD in its introduction of its ARC therapies in improving the future for those living with spinal injury. 

Over 40 per cent of people with SCI – approximately 262,000 people in the US and Europe – are thought to experience hypotension, a condition which may limit active participation in physical rehabilitation programs and facilitate the deterioration effects of immobilisation and development of undesirable secondary medical complications.

“Low blood pressure has long been a hidden complication of spinal cord injury that often goes unrecognised and leaves people feeling unwell. It also potentially predisposes them to cardiovascular disease,” says Dr Aaron Phillips, associate professor at Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, and the principal investigator of the HEMO study. 

“The results reported today with ARC Therapy are compelling and may open a new avenue to help people with spinal cord injury truly feel better, while also addressing heart health.”

Dave Marver, CEO of ONWARD, said: “We are excited by these highly promising outcomes, which reinforce our plan to further develop and bring ARC-IM to the market for this important indication.

“Today, there are limited and ineffective options for treating people with low blood pressure after spinal cord injury, and our therapy has the potential to address an issue that significantly impacts their quality of life.”

The interim clinical outcomes are the latest step on ONWARD’s ongoing commitment to the SCI community and to restoring independence and function through its spinal cord stimulation technology. 

The huge potential of its ARM-IM therapy in terms of regaining movement was demonstrated through the STIMO-BRIDGE study, which enabled three participants to regain the ability to walk, swim and run after living with paralysis for a long period. 

Its ARC-EX non-invasive device is set for commercialisation next year following the success of international trials through the Up-LIFT pivotal study, which showed strong potential for the device in improving arm and hand function. 

The LIFT Home Study showed its further potential for remote use by people in their own homes. 

Based on the promising interim outcomes from feasibility studies to date, ONWARD said it is preparing to initiate further clinical trials to include US participants in 2023.