ONWARD Medical N.V. announces the publication of STIMO-BRIDGE Study results in Nature Medicine. The study highlights the use of ONWARD’s technology to enable people with even the most severe forms of spinal cord injury to walk, stand, cycle, and swim again.

The STIMO-BRIDGE study was conducted by NeuroRestore, a collaboration between the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV, which is co-led by Professor Grégoire Courtine, PhD, and Neurosurgeon Jocelyne Bloch, MD. The study is titled, “Activity-dependent spinal cord neuromodulation rapidly restores trunk and leg motor functions after complete paralysis.”

The study leveraged an innovative lead developed by ONWARD to specifically target the areas of the spinal cord involved in leg and lower trunk movement with the intent to facilitate faster and more effective recovery of motor function. To design this lead, ONWARD and NeuroRestore used an advanced computational models and spinal cord atlas to determine optimal electrode placement and guide optimal position during surgery.

The models for pre-operative planning and for intra-operative neuromonitoring were developed within the framework of RESTORE and CONFIRM Eurostar projects, in collaboration with Utrecht University Medical Imaging Center, the IT’IS Foundation, ZMT Zurich MedTech AG, and Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University.

Three Participants in Study

Three participants with complete sensorimotor spinal cord injury (AIS-A) were implanted with this new lead. Prior to implantation, these subjects could neither contract their leg muscles nor take a single step. On the first day following implant, all participants were able to take steps independently on a treadmill with body weight support.

After 5 months of rehabilitation, participants were able to use their legs to stand, walk, swim, and/or cycle. They also regained control of their trunk muscles. This recovery of leg and trunk motor function also enabled participants to stand independently in community settings. This video from EPFL describes the study and the gains enjoyed by participants.

“Enabled by ONWARD technology, Professor Courtine and colleagues have demonstrated a remarkable breakthrough in restoring the ability to stand and walk even in people with the most severe spinal cord injuries. We are working hard to bring these therapies to the SCI community as soon as possible and our first introduction, for restoration of hand and arm function, is expected in early 2023.”

— Dave Marver, CEO of ONWARD

For more information, visit ONWARD Medical.

[Source(s): ONWARD Medical, Business Wire]