One of the longest standing Unicorns coming out of the Israeli startup scene, INSIGHTEC, which develops MR-guided Focused Ultrasound medical treatments, announced that England's National Health Service (NHS) has approved reimbursement for the MedTech veteran’s Essential Tremor treatment. The NHS approved funding is expected to be available from April 2021.
"Improving their quality of life"
Essential Tremor is a neurological condition that causes shaking of the hands, head and voice, but may also cause the legs and trunk to shake. The tremor begins mildly and progresses over time, and in some patients, is severe enough to interfere with daily activities, such as personal care, writing, eating, or getting dressed. Essential Tremor (ET) affects an estimated 41 million people around the globe and is reported to be up to 10 times more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease.
"For the approximately 50% of Essential Tremor patients who do not get satisfactory relief from medications, having another accessible treatment option available that is incisionless, and often results in immediate relief, is a major breakthrough," commented Prof Dipankar Nandi, MD, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, who treated Essential Tremor patients under a clinical trial.
Performed in over 70 medical centers across Europe, Asia, and the U.S., INSIGHTEC’s MR-guided Focused Ultrasound technology uses high-intensity sound waves, guided by magnetic resonance imaging, to target and treat the area of brain responsible for the tremor. The company’s ET treatment is a minimally invasive, incisionless procedure that is performed in an outpatient setting and generally doesn’t require any further hospitalization.
The UK national funding announcement comes just a couple of months after the Israeli company had received approval for reimbursement from the Japanese government for the treatment of tremor dominant Parkinson’s disease with INSIGHTEC’s proprietary Focused Ultrasound technology. INSIGHTEC is headquartered in Israel and Miami with offices in Dallas, Shanghai and Tokyo. The company was founded in 1999 by Vice Chairman of the Board Kobi Vortman, PhD.
"St. Mary's in London has been a research partner in the development of this technology and is the first center in the UK to offer Focused Ultrasound for medication-refractory Essential Tremor patients," said Maurice R. Ferré MD, INSIGHTEC CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors. "Reimbursement in England and around the globe is critical to help people living with debilitating tremor improve their quality of life."