GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has entered a collaboration with US-based healthcare company NeuroMetrix to develop and expand the Quell wearable technology for pain relief.

Under the deal, GSK’s Consumer Healthcare unit will obtain exclusive ownership of the Quell technology in markets outside the US, while NeuroMetrix will retain its rights in the country.

NeuroMetrix is set to receive a payment of $5m from GSK for Quell-related assets, as well as up to $21.5m on reaching certain development and commercialisation milestones.

Designed to treat chronic pain, Quell is an over-the-counter therapeutic device that can be personalised and managed through the Quell app.

The wearable technology also enables health tracking relevant to chronic pain patients, including pain, sleep, activity, and gait.

Data captured by the Quell technology can be synchronised with the Quell Health Cloud that delivers customised feedback.

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Starting this year, GSK Consumer Healthcare and NeuroMetrix will co-fund development of the technology over three years through 2020, with scope for subsequent annual renewals.

“We will continue to focus on building Quell into a leading US consumer healthcare brand.”

NeuroMetrix president and CEO Shai Gozani said:  “We will continue to focus on building Quell into a leading US consumer healthcare brand while collaborating with GSK on Quell product development and supporting their international commercialisation efforts.

“We believe that GSK is our ideal Quell partner as we share a deep commitment to science-based therapies and to the health and quality of life of our customers.”

The firm focuses on the integration of neurostimulation with digital medicine to treat chronic health conditions such as pain, sleep disorders, and diabetes.

It commercialises a rapid point-of-care test called DPNCheck for diabetic neuropathy.