Malvern area company makes inroads in Japan
Posted: 10/17/17, 4:35 PM EDT | Updated: on 10/17/2017
EAST WHITELAND A Malvern area company that has been making inroads with its non-drug treatment for depression announced an agreement with a Japanese firm that should increase its use there.
Neuronetics Inc., which uses transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, to treat depression, said Monday it entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Teijin Pharma Limited, the core company of the Teijin Group s healthcare business. The agreement follows the medical device company s recent Shonin approval to sell and distribute its NeuroStar Advanced Therapy system in Japan. Shonin is the Japanese equivalent of the FDA in America.
Teijin said it is now evaluating opportunities to sell the NeuroStar device to medical institutions within the scope of the Japanese national health program.
Our distribution partnership with Teijin Pharma Limited, a leading Japanese healthcare company, will enable us to rapidly scale up delivery of NeuroStar Advanced Therapy in the world s second largest medical device market, said Chris Thatcher, CEO of Neuronetics. Not only does this alliance further extend Neuronetics footprint in the medical device space, it underscores our continued efforts to increase patient access and help the millions of people worldwide suffering from depression with NeuroStar therapy.
About 3 million people in Japan are diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD. Neuronetics will work closely with Teijin to provide sales, marketing and clinical support to medical institutions throughout Japan as they adopt NeuroStar Advanced Therapy, Thatcher said.
Neuronetics said more than 1.5 million treatments have been delivered worldwide with NeuroStar Advanced Therapy. It has helped some 60,000 patients worldwide who have not been able to find relief from their depression, the company said. Unlike electroconvulsive therapy, NeuroStar uses MRI strength magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that are underactive in depression.
NeuroStar Advanced Therapy is Japan s first Shonin-approved TMS device for Major Depressive Disorder. It highlights Japan s focus on mental wellness, as Japan recently introduced the Industrial Safety and Health Act, which requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer an annual stress check to monitor employees mental health .
Currently, 3 million people in Japan are diagnosed with depression and the country faces one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
The NeuroStar Advanced Therapy device is commercially available in the following countries: USA, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, S. Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei.
A Neuronetics spokeswoman said real-world NeuroStar treatment outcomes in open-label clinical trials found 76 percent of patients responded to the treatment and experienced significant improvement, and 59 percent achieved remission of their depression symptoms.
The treatments are available by prescription and are typically administered daily in a doctor s office in 20-minute sessions for four to six weeks. Most insurers now cover them, according to Neuronetics, which now has 140 employees.