ALBANY — Albany Medical College and a Massachusetts medical technology firm will team up on a study of spinal cord stimulation therapy as an alternative to opioid painkillers.
Micro-Leads Medical, Inc. of Somerville, Massachusetts, received up to $10 million from the National Institutes of Health and private investors to develop its HD64TM implantable therapy system. Micro-Leads will launch a clinical study in patients led by Dr. Julie Pilitsis, chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics and a professor of Neurosurgery at Albany Medical College.
About 40 percent of patients with a low-resolution stimulation device implanted do not gain lasting relief from lower back and other pain; the HD64TM is a high-resolution device offering twice as many points of stimulation, with greater localization and pain reduction. It is hoped that this will provide a viable alternative to long-term use of powerful and addictive pain-killing medication.
Award of the full $10 million will span years and be contingent upon completion of milestones.
The NIH funding comes through that agency’s anti-addiction initiative.