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JumpStart Ventures Invests in Cleveland-based SPR Therapeutics

CLEVELAND, April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- JumpStart Ventures, a nonprofit that invests in and partners with innovative, early-stage companies in Northeast Ohio, announced an investment commitment of $250,000 in SPR™ Therapeutics. The one-year-old Beachwood, Ohio-based company is commercializing its proprietary neurostimulation therapy for pain relief.


SPR Therapeutics is a spinoff of NDI Medical, LLC, which developed the technology and licensed it to the startup.  The company's first product, the SMARTPATCH™ System, will serve the $150 billion pain market using its Intramuscular Nerve Therapy™.  The Smartpatch external stimulator delivers an electrical signal to the Smartpatch electrode placed in the muscle. The electrical signals stimulate the target nerve within the muscle, thereby exercising the muscle to treat the pain.

Meant for use up to 30 days, Smartpatch has also demonstrated long-term pain relief. The company's series of clinical feasibility studies demonstrated that, at the end of the short-term therapy, 84 percent of patients experienced a significant reduction in pain and 40 percent were pain free.  After completing the Smartpatch therapy, 78 percent of these patients continued to have significant pain relief.

"Neurostimulation is a growing market being driven primarily by technology advancements that enable improved clinical outcomes," said Michael Lang, the JumpStart Venture Partner now working with the company. "This field is of considerable interest to medical device manufacturers and, since the leadership of SPR Therapeutics is well-versed in neurostimulation, the company is positioned to move quickly down the commercialization path."

The experienced SPR Therapeutics team is led by Maria Bennett, former Vice President of Clinical Affairs at NDI Medical, who helped develop a neurostimulation system that was acquired by Medtronic in 2008 for $42 million.  She is also an alumna of Springboard Enterprises, the leading venture catalyst organization for women-led businesses.

"Our Smartpatch pain therapy has the potential to revolutionize the field of pain management," said Bennett, SPR Therapeutics President and CEO.  "I am thrilled to have JumpStart Ventures' support in our mission to provide clinicians with a simple and effective therapy to reduce or eliminate their patients' pain and ultimately improve their patients' quality of life." 

SPR Therapeutics has received Small Business Innovation Research grants from the federal government and a $100,000 grant from the Innovation Fund.  The investment represents JumpStart Ventures' 76th investment in its 54th company.

About SPR Therapeutics

SPR™ Therapeutics is a medical device company, commercializing pain therapies utilizing its proprietary neurostimulation products. The company seeks to provide clinicians with a simple and effective therapy to reduce or eliminate their patients' pain and ultimately improve their patients' quality of life. The first product to be commercialized is the SMARTPATCH™ System, a short-term, minimally invasive system that is simple to deliver and can be used for up to 30 days to stimulate a peripheral nerve peripherally to relieve pain. SPR Therapeutics is developing a pipeline of neurostimulation pain therapies that will exploit the same physiologic mechanism of action, proprietary technology, and clinical approach.

About JumpStart Ventures

JumpStart Ventures invests in innovative, Northeast Ohio-based, early-stage companies that are positioned to excel in high opportunity markets. It guides entrepreneurs with high potential businesses down the path toward wealth creation by providing seed capital, experienced advisors, and a network of vital resources. JumpStart Ventures is the investment arm of JumpStart Inc., a non-profit transforming the economic impact of entrepreneurial ventures and the ecosystems supporting their growth.

SOURCE JumpStart Ventures
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