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Neurostim Companies Defend Their Role in Obesity

Executive Summary

In early October, EnteroMedics announced the preliminary results of its pivotaltrial on its vagal nerve blocking approach to obesity. The verdict: the study did not meet primary or secondary end points. This was the second neuromodulation company working in obesity (Medtronic was the first) to experience a disappointment in pivotal clinical trials after early results looked so good. Several neurostimulation companies are still targeting obesity. Should their investors be worried? Is this troubling news for the field of neuromodulation at large? Not surprisingly, executives from two neurostimulation companies--IntraPace and Leptos Biomedical--answer the questions simply: no and no.

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NDI Medical's Spin-Off Model for Neurostimulation

The neurostimulation market is becoming electric for many large companies looking for major growth opportunities. Worth $1.3 billion in the US in 2009, the neurostimulation market is expected to grow to $2.7 billion by the year 2014. Those robust figures take into account some fourteen different clinical product categories, some of the largest being Alzheimer's disease, chronic pain, depression, epilepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, and stroke. In fact, that's the beauty of neurostimulation for medical device companies: it offers a single platform technology that can be leveraged over multiple, large product areas. But what model most efficiently helps a company with core expertise in neurostimulation - the knowledge of impulse generators and leads and their interface with nerves, power sources, and controllers - leverage that knowledge over numerous product areas? NDI Medical has its own strategy with a for-profit incubator solely focused on neurostimulation.

New Avenues in Neuromodulation

Implantable neurostimulation devices have the potential to ameliorate a number of debilitating conditions in which neural pathways play a role. Combined, these applications are expected to bring in device revenues of nearly $1.4 billion in the US alone in 2010, and that number is forecast to increase by double-digits going forward, reaching over $2.6 billion by 2014, according to Medtech Insight's recently published report, "US Markets for Neurostimulation Products."

New Avenues in Neuromodulation

Implantable neurostimulation devices have the potential to ameliorate a number of debilitating conditions in which neural pathways play a role. Combined, these applications are expected to bring in device revenues of nearly $1.4 billion in the US alone in 2010, and that number is forecast to increase by double-digits going forward, reaching over $2.6 billion by 2014, according to Medtech Insight's recently published report, "US Markets for Neurostimulation Products."

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