Onward ARC-IM IPG and lead (1)
The Onward ARC-IM implantable pulse generator and lead. [Image from the Onward website]

Onward Medical announced today that published data demonstrates the ability of its wireless brain-computer interface (BCI).

The data, published in Nature, demonstrates how the BCI uses thought to modulate ARC therapy. Researchers say that, when paired with ARC therapy, an implanted BCI allowed an individual to gain augmented control over when and how he moved his paralyzed legs.

Onward designed its ARC-IM lead to restore movement, function and independence in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The Eindhoven, the Netherlands-based company developed ARC-IM to deliver targeted electrical pulses to the spinal cord. It represents a key component of the Onward ARC-IM system engineered to deliver ARC therapy to address multiple indications. The company completed first-in-human use for its movement-restoring lead earlier this month.

“This publication shows the remarkable potential of ARC Therapy to be enhanced with the introduction of a BCI, facilitating more natural movement based on the thoughts of a person living with paralysis,” said Dave Marver, CEO of Onward. “We have positioned Onward as a leader in the BCI field with our unique understanding of spinal cord stimulation for people with SCI.”

Onward said the data comes as part of an ongoing clinical feasibility study. It investigates the safety and preliminary effectiveness of brain-controlled spinal cord stimulation after SCI.

All Onward devices and therapies remain investigational and unavailable for commercial use at this time.

“The BCI establishes a continuous link between movement intentions and spinal cord stimulation, allowing for more natural restoration of mobility,” said neuroscientist Grégoire Courtine, professor at EPFL and co-author of the Nature paper. “I look forward to working with the ONWARD team to advance this important new technology.”