Medtronic Announces FDA Approval and U.S. Launch of Next Generation Spinal Cord Stimulator for Chronic Pain Management

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Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT) today announced FDA approval and U.S. launch of the Intellis(TM) platform for the management of certain types of chronic intractable pain. The Intellis platform was designed to overcome limitations with current spinal cord stimulation (SCS) systems, such as battery performance, and can power the EvolveSM workflow*, which standardizes guidance and balances high-dose (HD) and low-dose (LD) therapy settings. The Intellis platform can record and track patient activity 24/7 and is managed on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet interface, enabling physicians to address the subjective and personal nature of chronic pain by monitoring progress and making modifications to better suit their patients’ therapy needs.

Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. implanted one of the first patients in the U.S. with the Intellis device.

“Chronic pain is challenging to manage. Having real-time data can provide more information about patients’ quality of life changes,” said Dr. Lance Roy, pain medicine specialist at Duke University Medical Center. “This platform represents a welcome new option for managing some kinds of chronic pain. New non-opioid treatment options are important given the national crisis related to opioid abuse.”

Back problems are one of the top 10 most expensive medical conditions, with an estimated 30 percent of the 300,000 patients annually that undergo lumbosacral spine procedures developing chronic intractable pain.1 Chronic pain can negatively impact all aspects of a person’s life – relationships, work productivity and activities of daily living, yet it remains under-recognized and undertreated.1Neurostimulation has been proven to provide effective long-term pain relief and improve quality of life, in addition to being a treatment option for patients interested in trying a non-drug alternative.2-6

“Drawing upon our 40-year legacy in SCS, the launch of the Intellis platform isn’t just about a new device, but about combining cutting edge hardware with optimal therapy through the Evolve workflow to enable personalized, long-term pain relief,” said Marshall Stanton, M.D., senior vice president and president of Medtronic’s Pain Therapies division, which is part of the Restorative Therapies Group. “Medtronic is committed to addressing patient needs, so the Intellis platform was designed based on what is most important to patients and physicians. We considered the entire patient journey – starting with the primary goal of optimal pain relief and access to important diagnostic tools, like MRI, to ease of use with simplified programming, faster recharge and a smaller implant.”

About Spinal Cord Stimulation
Medtronic neurostimulation therapy for chronic intractable pain uses a medical device placed under a patient’s skin to deliver mild electrical impulses through a lead implanted in the epidural space to block pain signals from going to the brain. SCS is a non-opioid therapy that is clinically proven and cost-effective for treating chronic pain. Multiple randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that SCS provides more effective pain relief than both re-operation and conventional medical management.2-4, 7

References:
1.   Mekhail N, Wentzel DL, Freeman R, Quadri H. Counting the costs: case management implications of spinal cord stimulation treatment for failed back surgery syndrome. Prof Case Manag. 2011;16(1):27-36.
2.   North RB., Kidd DH., Farrokhi F, et al. Spinal cord stimulation versus repeated lumbosacral spine surgery for chronic pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Neurosurg; 56: 98-106 (2005).
3.   Kumar K., Taylor RS., Jacques L, et al., Spinal cord stimulation versus conventional medical management for neuropathic pain: a multicenter randomised controlled trial in patients with failed back surgery syndrome. Pain; 132: 179-188. (2007).
4.   Kemler MA., De Vet HCW., Barendse GAM et al., The effect of spinal cord stimulation in patients with chronic reflex sympathetic dystrophy: two years’ follow-up of the randomized controlled trial. Ann Neurol; 55: 13-18 (2004).
5.   Taylor RS, Spinal cord stimulation in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Refractory Neuropathic Back and Leg Pain/Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: results of a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pain Symptom Manage; 31: S13-S19 (2006).
6.   Cameron T, Safety and efficacy of spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of chronic pain – a 20 year literature review. J Neurosurg Spine; 100: 254-267 (2004).
7.   Kumar K, Taylor RS, Jacques L, Eldabe S, Meglio M, Molet J, et al. The effects of spinal cord stimulation in neuropathic pain are sustained: a 24-month follow-up of the prospective randomized controlled multicenter trial of the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation. Neurosurgery. 2008;63(4):762-70.