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29 November 2016Americas

Nevro sues Boston Scientific over spinal cord therapy

Nevro, a US-based medical device company, filed a complaint against Boston Scientific yesterday in a US district court for allegedly infringing patents covering Nevro’s spinal cord stimulation (SCS) therapy.

SCS therapy relieves pain by delivering electrical pulses to the spinal cord through small electrodes that are implanted near the spinal cord.

In other traditional SCS therapies, low frequency electrical pulse waveforms are released to the spinal cord in order to create a sensation known as paresthesia, a tingling feeling which is used to mask the patient’s area of pain.

Nevro had founded a type of SCS therapy which uses a “high frequency” electrical waveform to provide pain relief without generating paresthesia.

In order to gain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, Nevro tested its paresthesia-free SCS therapy against Boston Scientific’s paresthesia-based SCS therapy in a trial.

The trial allegedly showed that Nevro’s SCS therapy is twice as effective as Boston Scientific’s paresthesia-based SCS therapy.

On May 8, 2015, the FDA granted Nevro approval for its therapy system and awarded the company a “superiority” label which allows Nevro to claim its therapy system to be clinically superior to Boston Scientific’s.

Boston Scientific has now allegedly initiated a clinical trial in the US for using paresthesia-free SCS devices that operate at 10,000 Hz frequency, which is the same as that used by Nevro’s SCS system.

It has also allegedly received CE mark approval in Europe to market its infringing product.

Nevro, which filed the case in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, has asked the court for a judgment declaring that its patents have been infringed.

It has also asked the court for an injunction to enjoin Boston Scientific from marketing its SCS therapy, as well as award it damages and institute a jury trial.

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