Israeli bio-medical tech company recognized as ‘Game Changer for 2020’

Theranica, an Israel-based bio-medical technology company developing advanced devices that treat disorders like migraines and other pain disorders.

 (photo credit: THERANICA)
(photo credit: THERANICA)
This month, CB Insights selected 36 global companies across 12 categories and identified emerging trends to watch and “high momentum companies pioneering technology with the potential to transform society and economies for the better,” Theranica said in a statement.
It is the only Israel-based company to have been included on the list.
Theranica “has been recognized for combining neuromodulation (REN) therapy with wireless technology to address medical conditions such as migraines and helping to create a drug-free future for chronic illness,” the statement said.
Earlier this year, Theranica’s first product, Nerivio, received de novo authorization to market from the US Food and Drug Administration. It was also named one of TIME’s best inventions of 2019.
The Nerivio is a device that treats the symptoms of acute migraines using electrical impulses known as electroceuticals.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Theranica CEO and cofounder Alon Ironi said many people don’t realize that a migraine is so much more than a headache.
“It can be accompanied by different debilitating symptoms, such as confusion and partial loss of sight,” he said. “It is the third-most prevalent disease in the world, affecting 38 million Americans alone. Finding effective solutions that allow people to continue living their lives normally is very important.”
Ironi made it clear that Theranica also intends to go beyond the migraine to help solve other causes of idiopathic pain.
“We believe there is an incredible opportunity to reduce reliance on pharmaceuticals/drugs while leveraging technology to create a more effective and affordable prescription pain solutions,” he said.
Nerivio is “the first smartphone-controlled wearable device for the acute treatment of migraine,” Ironi said.
Placed on the upper arm upon the onset of a migraine attack, the device uses “smartphone-controlled electronic pulses to wirelessly stimulate a conditioned pain-modulation response to mitigate pain and keep track of migraine episodes,” he said, adding that “it uses remote electrical REN to stimulate our brain’s native conditioned pain-modulation [CPM] response.
“It has been shown to be as effective as existing migraine treatments while having low side effects and is simply worn on the arm and controlled from your smartphone,” Ironi said. “Pain is our body’s way of alerting us that something is wrong. CPM essentially tells the body that it doesn’t need to feel pain in this instance, as the source of the pain is not a danger.”
Because a migraine is a condition without a clear cause, “it is safe to ‘cancel’ the pain and its associated symptoms,” he added.
REN is the process of “stimulating nerves in the upper arm in a way that triggers a CPM response,” Ironi said. “It is not painful – more like a vibration or tingle. As such, it is a safe and effective way of getting the body to cancel the pain without the side effects that can accompany drugs.”
Up until recently, society has used drugs of various strengths, from simple over-the-counter solutions to opioids, to address pain, he said.
“What has become increasingly clear is that while drugs can be an effective tool, they come with a heavy price,” he told the Post. “Even in the field of migraine medicine, someone who frequently needs migraine medicine can actually get headaches from the very same drugs. We also see that despite the side effect and addiction risks, very powerful opioids are often prescribed for migraines across all ages as a first-line response.”
According to Ironi, prescribed therapeutic wearables, such as Nerivio, are tools that can be used to help patients ease their pain “without the serious risks of pharmaceuticals.”
“In our view, Nerivio should be the first-line response for anyone who comes into the doctor’s office with acute migraine, as it is as effective as the pharmaceutical options without the associated side effects,” he said.
The device is also more affordable than many of the new migraine drugs coming out, Ironi said.
“It also has the benefit of being connected to a user’s phone, which allows them to easily keep a migraine diary,” he said. “The diary can help to identify patterns that patients and doctors can use to significantly improve quality of life.”
“2020 is going to be a fantastic” year for Theranica, Ironi said.
“We are currently in the middle of a successful pilot program, which is allowing us to optimize Nerivio in headache clinics with the most challenging migraine cases,” he said. “In a few months we will be expanding the program to make Nerivio more widely available, with a US nationwide release planned for this Spring.”
Ironi said Theranica is also working on getting approval for Nerivio in Israel and the EU.
The device is expected to be available in Israel this Spring, he said.
Ironi said the recognition by CB Insights highlighted that it identifies the biggest tech trends around the world and identifies tech with the potential to change societies.
“It is important to us to see that creating a drug-free future for chronic diseases is being recognized as a crucial and emerging field,” he said. “There is so much that tech and health can do together to improve all our lives and those of our loved ones.”
“Our team at Theranica has been working diligently to be a part of that movement, and positive patient interactions along with industry recognition is invigorating,” Ironi said.