Convergence Medical Devices was founded to utilize more than a decade of research using electrical impedance myography (EIM) in the development of a device optimized for neuromuscular diseases like ALS, DMD and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This research has identified a new way to measure how sick a muscle is and track its changes over time. It offers researchers an additional biomarker or endpoint that is an objective, quantifiable way to measure how well a potential treatment is working to halt disease progression. EIM is based on the observation that as a muscle becomes more diseased, electrical current moves through it differently.
Co-founder, Dr. Seward Rutkove, Chief of the Division of Neuromuscular Disease at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, received Prize4Life’s $1M ALS Biomarker Prize for the discovery of the new biomarker for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in February 2011. Prize4Life is a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the discovery of a cure for ALS by offering incentives to drive innovation. The organization announced the Challenge in 2006 with the goal of finding a biomarker that could reduce the cost of Phase 2 clinical trials. Dr. Rutkove’s research demonstrated the potential to reduce the cost of Phase 2 trials by 50 percent or more, which could facilitate more rapid development of new and better treatments for ALS.
The company’s products are intended to be portable, hand-held, non-invasive devices that a physician or researcher can place over a muscle or group of muscles of interest and get measurements that correlate with the health of the muscle. Our investigational device in currently being used in multiple clinical trials to support a premarket submission to the US FDA and to measure treatment effects as a biomarker along with other endpoints in drug trials. These studies include patients ranging from newborns with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to older adults experiencing sarcopenia. They are being conducted with partners from academia, industry, patient groups and others who share our mission to help find therapies for patients with neuromuscular disorders.