NIH funds Phase II 90-subject pediatric clinical trial at UCLA

NeuroSigma, Inc. (NeuroSigma), a California-based life sciences company focused on commercialization of its non-invasive Monarch™ eTNS™ System for the treatment of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, today announced that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded UCLA a grant that funds a Phase II 90-subject pediatric clinical trial at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) focused on the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with NeuroSigma's external trigeminal nerve stimulation (eTNS) System.

James McGough, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA, will lead the study as Principal Investigator, with Sandra Loo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, as Co-Principal Investigator. Their earlier Phase I trial of eTNS for the treatment of ADHD, funded by NeuroSigma, found significant improvements in the severity of ADHD symptoms with eight weeks of nightly eTNS therapy. This Phase II clinical trial will evaluate eTNS as monotherapy, under double-blind conditions, in up to 90 children, ages eight to 12, in a four week randomized clinical trial conducted at UCLA. NeuroSigma will provide eTNS systems to UCLA in support of the trial. Neither Dr. McGough nor Dr. Loo has any affiliation with NeuroSigma.

ADHD usually arises in childhood. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported national survey findings that approximately 11 percent of children ages four to 17 have been diagnosed with the disorder, and that about one in five high school boys will receive this diagnosis during childhood. Symptoms include difficulty paying attention in school, at play, or in the home, a reluctance to take on tasks that require sustained mental effort, being easily distracted, exhibiting physical hyperactivity, and engaging in impulsive behaviors. These symptoms may interfere with social, school, or work functioning.

"I am very pleased that the NIH has funded this extremely important Phase II clinical trial in ADHD. Millions of parents seek alternatives to drug treatment for their children with ADHD that are safe and non-invasive," said Leon Ekchian, Ph.D., NeuroSigma's President and CEO.

"Dr. McGough and Dr. Loo are to be congratulated for receiving this grant, particularly at a time when the NIH budget is under pressure to fund only the most promising lines of investigation. NIH awards represent one of the most stringent forms of peer review in biomedical science," noted Ian Cook, M.D, NeuroSigma's Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President. "Besides showing safety of eTNS in children, their Phase I study found a significant impact on the clinical symptoms of ADHD, and substantial improvements on sleep as well as several objective computer-based measures of cognitive performance. We look forward to confirming these results in this Phase II clinical trial under double-blind controlled conditions. A neuromodulation treatment option for ADHD could avoid concerns about the exposure of children to the psychostimulant medications that are the current first-line treatments."

Background – The Monarch eTNS System from NeuroSigma

In August 2012, NeuroSigma received CE Mark approval to market NeuroSigma's first trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) product, the Monarch™ eTNS™ System, in the European Union, for the adjunctive treatment of epilepsy and major depressive disorder (MDD) for adults and children nine years and older. In addition, the Monarch™ eTNS™ System also received a Class II medical device license from Health Canada in April of 2013 allowing NeuroSigma to market the system for treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) and MDD for adults and children nine years and older. In April of 2014, NeuroSigma received approval from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to market the system in Australia for the adjunctive treatment of DRE in adults and children nine years and older. NeuroSigma is currently offering the Monarch™ eTNS™ System to patients in these jurisdictions with a physician's prescription.

The Monarch™ eTNS™ System is composed of a cell-phone sized pulse generator and a single-use patch that is applied to the forehead. Signals are transmitted through lead wires to the patch in order to stimulate the trigeminal nerve in the skin of the forehead; triggering these nerve fibers sends signals to targeted brain regions and changes the activity there. Patients may conveniently self-administer the Monarch™ eTNS™ System at home and typically use the device while sleeping.


NeuroSigma, Inc.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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