Boost to bioelectronics

Could there be a future where electronic medicine is able to suppress overreactive inflammation and reduce neuropathic pain?

An article in the Financial Times mentions SetPoint Medical, a Californian company which is ‘developing a small electronic implant to stimulate the vagus nerve in the neck. This resets the immune system to make less of the inflammatory molecules that contribute to rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.’

“We could treat many inflammatory diseases in a way that is safer and more convenient for patients – and much cheaper than new drugs,” the FT quotes the company’s chief executive as saying.

According to the article GSK, the British pharmaceutical group, is giving a boost to the field of medical bioelectronics by being the first large company to set up a fund to invest into research in this area. From the $50 million fund grants will be available to academia. The focus of GSK will be on tapping into the peripheral nerves, the FT reports.

Source: ‘GSK switches on to electronic medicine’, by Clive Cookson, Science Editor, in:, 7 August 2013. Click here for full article (subscription required)


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