Wearable technology could bring the psychedelic substance ketamine to assist with non-opioid pain management.
A new wearable ketamine device could help treat pain without the need for habit-forming opioids. Research-stage biotech startup Bexson Biomedical and medical device manufacturer Stevanato Group have partnered on the device.
“Post-operative pain is one of the leading drivers in the opioid crisis. If you want to move the needle on opioid addiction in America you need to provide a new, non-opioid therapy that patients can go home with that has opioid-level efficacy,” Gregg Peterson, CEO of Bexson, said in a statement. “We think our product will be able to do that.”
Ketamine is a dissociative psychedelic known for its anesthetic properties that work similar to opioids without the risk for abuse.
Bexson is currently working to optimize the bioavailability and create a higher pH level in ketamine for subcutaneous delivery. The device is a modified version of the Stevanato Group’s insulin delivery device. It’s specifically designed for acute pain in post-operative patients and comes with a Bluetooth-enabled control unit to deliver the drug.
“We look forward to working with Bexson to ensure that our award-winning SG EZ-be Pod® device is ideally suited to the needs of their patients. Now, more than ever, we need to enable patients to take their medications inside the comfort of their homes or while outside performing their daily activities,” said Chief Business Officer Mauro Stocchi, Stevanato Group.
“This design will support patient comfort with a discreet and intuitive device, and by utilizing our patented technologies, we address the importance of sustainability, while minimizing the overall cost per treatment,” said Steven Kaufman, Vice-President of Drug Delivery Systems, Stevanato Group. “This agreement with Bexson is a step forward for our device portfolio strategy and ongoing efforts to work closely with biotech and pharmaceutical companies as an integrated solution provider.”
Bexson, still in pre-clinical development, and is currently raising $4 million in a Series A funding round. It plans to launch a phase one clinical trial in 2021. The wearable ketamine delivery system could be approved by the FDA by 2026.