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July 9, 2021

Merck and Innervia partner to develop bioelectronic devices

The partners will work together over the coming years to create bioelectronic therapies for indications with unmet medical needs.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (Merck) has partnered with Innervia Bioelectronics to jointly develop graphene-based bioelectronic vagus nerve treatments for severe chronic diseases.

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The partnership will leverage the expertise of both companies to develop therapies for diseases with unmet medical requirements, which are within the treatment areas addressed by Merck.

With bioelectronics research sites, Merck can use its data science, clinical, regulatory and quality capabilities to develop new devices for patients.

A subsidiary of Spanish company Inbrain Neuroelectronics, Innervia will leverage its technical capabilities in graphene interfaces, device development and signal processing for clinical uses.

In the initial stage, the collaboration will focus on inflammatory, metabolic and endocrine disorders, utilising the abilities of graphene for miniaturisation, precision and increased modulation efficiency in the vagus nerve.

Merck chief science and technology officer Laura Matz said: “We aim to accelerate developments in the emerging field of bioelectronics by boosting the novel modality of selective neurostimulation.

“Today’s agreement with Innervia Bioelectronics gives Merck access to a unique technology that increases energy efficiency in neurostimulators and could therefore become a true enabler for digital personalised treatment of patients suffering from severe and chronic diseases such as inflammatory disorders.”

Various severe chronic diseases are characterised by altered and dysregulated nerve signals. Bioelectronic treatments intend to tackle multiple chronic diseases with small, implantable devices that can regulate electrical signals passing through nerves in the body.

In addition, neurostimulation devices are anticipated to be smart due to many other features, including continuous readouts as well as data analysis and transmission, which will boost the device’s energy use.

The partnership with Inbrain is the second bioelectronics alliance for Merck, which collaborated with B Braun and its start-up neuroloop last month to analyse the potential of neurostimulators for targeted treatment of conditions with unmet medical needs.

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GlobalData's APAC Medical Devices Industry Landscape – 2022 free study breaks down the APAC medical devices market by segment and region and includes insights on local and global competitors, pipeline product developments, clinical trials studies, and significant deals in the industry. The APAC medical device industry witnessed significant developments, launches, implementations, and adoption of new medical device technologies in the past decade, however the high cost of devices, regulatory hurdles, reimbursement pressure, and healthcare budget constraints have challenged market expansion across various territories and segments. APAC is the fastest growing regional market for medical device clinical trials, with China and Japan emerging as major clinical trial hotspots. The growth in medical device clinical trials in the APAC region is attributed to an increase in research partnerships between biopharma companies and clinical research organizations (CROs). This report also provides an in-depth analysis of the medical device market's opportunities and challenges, the influence of COVID-19 on the market, and government activities aimed to develop the APAC medical device market.
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