Eight percent of adults suffer from chronic pain that is not effectively managed with available treatment options. When drugs fail, patients must decide whether to pursue a device-based treatment option (e.g., spinal cord stimulator, external/noninvasive nerve stimulator, or intrathecal drug pump). Available stimulators give too much or too little therapy, yielding variable, lackluster pain relief. Stimulators fail because they do not account for the unique attributes of each patient, their perception of pain, or the influence of daily activities on the quality of pain relief. A personalized, patient-centered approach to device-based pain management is sorely needed.
Drug Free Therapeutix (DFTx) provides intelligent software for medical device companies in or entering the lucrative $4BB pain management device market. Our platform technology, known as Extraneural Activation Control Technology (EXACT™), fine-tunes the output of an implanted or external stimulator according to the measured physiological response of a patient to electrical stimulation. EXACT™ can be configured to learn the optimal device settings based on biofeedback alone or with input from the patient and physician. Through carefully crafted partnerships with key pain management device companies, we will offer personalized pain management solutions to the 480 million chronic pain patients around the world whose needs are not adequately addressed with available pharmaceutical or device-based treatment options.
The market for pain management is rapidly expanding due to an increase in the aging population, newly approved technologies, and the rise of combination, “multidisciplinary” approaches to pain management (e.g., drug combinations, device combinations, drug and device combinations, multidisciplinary research teams). In 2009, the pain management drugs and devices market generated $34.9BB in revenue; 89% of this revenue came from drug sales. With key patents expiring, drug companies like GlaxoSmithKline are eagerly exploring device-based treatment approaches to the modern neurological disease burden. DFTx will pursue early partnerships with these companies to develop and manufacture hybrid pain management devices that co-deliver electrical stimulation therapy with controlled doses of effective pain management drugs.
Dr. John Ward (CEO) has multinational leadership experience and brings four decades of medical and business leadership expertise to DFTx. He is the founder and primary shareholder of several successful healthcare companies in South Africa and Abu Dhabi. Dr. Matthew Ward (CSO), Asst. Professor (Res) of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, invented the EXACT™ technology.