nVNS reduces symptoms of PTSD by 31% in sham-controlled study
ROCKAWAY, N.J., Jan. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — electroCore, Inc. (Nasdaq: ECOR), a commercial-stage bioelectronic medicine company, today announced that its gammaCore™ nVNS device has received Breakthrough Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after showing a reduction of symptoms of PTSD by 31% when compared to sham.
PTSD is a highly prevalent and disabling disorder with limited approved treatment options. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, approximately 15 million adults in the U.S. experience PTSD each year. In the Military and Veterans Administration alone, PTSD is reported to affect between 10-20% of veterans who served in each Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF), the Gulf War (Desert Storm), and the Vietnam War. More than half of all patients with PTSD report severely impaired quality of life in areas including mood, social and family relationships, leisure activities, sense of well-being and life satisfaction.
The Breakthrough Device Designation was supported, in part, by research from an Emory-Georgia Tech team led by J. Douglas Bremner, M.D., in the Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology at the Emory University School of Medicine, and Omer T. Inan, Ph.D., from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. Their research, built upon a strong mechanistic rationale and animal studies, shows nVNS blocks sympathetic and inflammatory responses to memories of traumatic events in patients with PTSD, modulates brain responses to traumatic memory, and reduces symptoms of PTSD by 31% when compared to a sham stimulation.
Dr. Douglas Bremner commented, “Current treatments for PTSD involving medication and psychotherapy have limitations due to limited efficacy, possible side effects, and the unwillingness of many PTSD patients to engage in therapies that involve reliving traumatic memories. gammaCore represents a new class of treatment separate from medication or psychotherapy that is safe, relatively free of side effects, and does not involve costly and invasive procedures for implantation, like previous VNS devices approved by the FDA for treatment of refractory depression.”
“We appreciate the thorough and timely review by the FDA of our Breakthrough Device Request for gammaCore for the treatment of PTSD,” commented Eric Liebler, Senior Vice President of Neurology at electroCore. “The ability of nVNS to target several of the underlying causes of PTSD such as autonomic dysfunction, stress and inflammation, safely and effectively supports its potential as a breakthrough treatment for PTSD.”
The Breakthrough Devices Program is a voluntary program for certain medical devices and device-led combination products for more effective treatment or diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases or conditions.
The goal of the Breakthrough Devices Program is to provide patients and health care providers with timely access to critical medical devices by speeding up their development, assessment, and review, while preserving the statutory standards for premarket approval, 510(k) clearance, and De Novo marketing authorization, consistent with the FDA’s mission to protect and promote public health.
About electroCore, Inc.
electroCore, Inc. is a commercial stage bioelectronic medicine company dedicated to improving patient outcomes through its non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy platform, initially focused on the treatment of multiple conditions in neurology. The company’s current indications are the preventive treatment of cluster headache and migraine, the acute treatment of migraine and episodic cluster headache, the acute and preventive treatment of migraines in adolescents, and paroxysmal hemicrania and hemicrania continua in adults.
For more information, visit www.electrocore.com.
gammaCore™ (nVNS) is the first non-invasive, hand-held medical therapy applied at the neck as an adjunctive therapy to treat migraine and cluster headache through the utilization of a mild electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve that passes through the skin. Designed as a portable, easy-to-use technology, gammaCore can be self-administered by patients, as needed, without the potential side effects associated with commonly prescribed drugs. When placed on a patient’s neck over the vagus nerve, gammaCore stimulates the nerve’s afferent fibers, which may lead to a reduction of pain in patients.
gammaCore (nVNS) is FDA cleared in the United States for adjunctive use for the preventive treatment of cluster headache in adult patients, the acute treatment of pain associated with episodic cluster headache in adult patients, and the acute and preventive treatment of migraine in adolescent (ages 12 and older) and adult patients, and paroxysmal hemicrania and hemicrania continua in adult patients. gammaCore is CE-marked in the European Union for the acute and/or prophylactic treatment of primary headache (Migraine, Cluster Headache, Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias and Hemicrania Continua) and Medication Overuse Headache in adults.
gammaCore is contraindicated for patients if they:
- Have an active implantable medical device, such as a pacemaker, hearing aid implant, or any implanted electronic device
- Have a metallic device, such as a stent, bone plate, or bone screw, implanted at or near the neck
- Are using another device at the same time (e.g., TENS Unit, muscle stimulator) or any portable electronic device (e.g., mobile phone)
Safety and efficacy of gammaCore have not been evaluated in the following patients:
- Adolescent patients with congenital cardiac issues
- Patients diagnosed with narrowing of the arteries (carotid atherosclerosis)
- Patients who have had surgery to cut the vagus nerve in the neck (cervical vagotomy)
- Pediatric patients (less than 12 years)
- Pregnant women
- Patients with clinically significant hypertension, hypotension, bradycardia, or tachycardia
The U.S. FDA has cleared the gammaCore Sapphire CV device under an emergency use authorization for acute use at home or in a healthcare setting to treat adult patients with known or suspected COVID-19 who are experiencing an exacerbation of asthma-related dyspnea and reduced airflow, and for whom approved pharmacologic therapies are not tolerated or provide insufficient symptom relief as assessed by their healthcare provider, using noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) on either side of the patient’s neck.
gammaCore Sapphire CV has been authorized only for the duration of the statement that circumstances exist that warrant authorization of the emergency use of medical devices under section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbbb-3(b)(1), until the authorization is terminated or revoked.
More information can be found at:
Letter of authorization: https://www.fda.gov/media/139967/download
Fact sheet for healthcare workers: https://www.fda.gov/media/139968/download
Patient information sheet: https://www.fda.gov/media/139969/download
Instructions for use of gammaCore: https://www.fda.gov/media/139970/download
Please refer to the gammaCore Instructions for Use for all the important warnings and precautions before using or prescribing this product.
This press release and other written and oral statements made by representatives of electroCore may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about electroCore’s business prospects and clinical and product development plans (including with respect to enrollment in ongoing studies); its pipeline or potential markets for its technologies; the timing, outcome and impact of regulatory, clinical and commercial developments; the issuance of U.S. and international patents providing expanded IP coverage; the possibility of future business models and revenue streams from the company’s potential utilizing nVNS for Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the potential of nVNS generally and gammaCore in particular and other statements that are not historical in nature, particularly those that utilize terminology such as “anticipates,” “will,” “expects,” “believes,” “intends,” other words of similar meaning, derivations of such words and the use of future dates. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the ability to raise the additional funding needed to continue to pursue electroCore’s business and product development plans, the inherent uncertainties associated with developing new products or technologies, the ability to commercialize gammaCore™, the potential impact and effects of COVID-19 on the business of electroCore, electroCore’s results of operations and financial performance, and any measures electroCore has and may take in response to COVID-19 and any expectations electroCore may have with respect thereto, competition in the industry in which electroCore operates and overall market conditions. Any forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and electroCore assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements, except as required by law. Investors should consult all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factor disclosure set forth in the reports and other documents electroCore files with the SEC available at www.sec.gov.