Canadian Health Ministry approves NeuRx diaphragm pacing system for spinal cord injuries


Synapse Biomedical has announced that it has received approval from Health Canada for its NeuRx diaphragm pacing system (DPS), which is used to treat patients with spinal cord injuries who are ventilator dependent and who lack voluntary control of their diaphragms.

According to a press release, the device is implanted through minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and provides electrical stimulation of the muscles of the diaphragm.  When stimulated by the NeuRx DPS, the diaphragm contracts, mimicking natural breathing, and allows air to fill the upper and lower parts of the lungs rather than forcing air in with a mechanical ventilator.

“Synapse Biomedical has made diaphragm pacing a new reality for ventilator-dependent spinal cord injury patients by establishing minimally invasive laparoscopic surgical techniques and providing excellent patient support.  Although results may vary, some patients are provided the greatest freedom and are ventilator free for up to 24 hours a day,” said Jeremy Road, respirologist and professor of Medicine UBC, The Lung Centre, Vancouver, Canada.

The device was approved in Europe in 2007 and received FDA approval in 2008. The Health Canada approval was based on patient data supplied from clinical trials at hospitals in the USA and Canada.