No More Pills? Tiny Nerve-Zapping Implants to Fight Disease

1793457_originalImagine a future where we can treat diabetes or autoimmune disorders with an electrical zap delivered by a device no larger than a speck of dust.

The device, implanted through microsurgery, sits silently on a single nerve bundle, monitoring electrical signals sent out by the brain to itself and various organs in the body.

When it detects a problem — a rogue misfire, or a shift in activity patterns — the device powers up, sending out counter-pulses to correct the signal. In this way, it keeps your body running smoothly and disease at bay. No pills. No injections. No pain.

According to Alphabet and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), that future is just seven years away.

This week, Verily, Alphabet’s life science unit (formerly Google Life Sciences), teamed up with Britain’s biggest drug maker to announce their new $715 million venture Galvani Bioelectronics. With research centers based in GSK’s biotech hub in the UK and around the Bay Area, the company hopes to develop miniaturized, implantable electronic systems — dubbed “electroceuticals” — to correct irregular nerve pulses that contribute to a multitude of chronic diseases.

Hopes are high. According to Reuters, Kristoffer Famm, head of bioelectronics research at GSK and president of Galvani, says that their first products might be submitted for marketing approval as early as 2023.

By Shelly Fan | SingularityHUB


About Peter Coffaro 1149 Articles

A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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