Healthcare Industry News: diabetic peripheral neuropathy
News Release - October 25, 2006
NeuroMetrix, Inc. Signs Exclusive Licensing Agreement with EyeTel Imaging, Inc. for the Detection of Diabetic RetinopathyWALTHAM, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--NeuroMetrix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NURO ), a medical device company focused on the development and sale of proprietary products used to diagnose neuropathies, including diabetic peripheral neuropathy, announced today that it has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with EyeTel Imaging, Inc. The agreement grants NeuroMetrix an Exclusive License to market, brand, and sell EyeTel's DigiScopeŽ throughout the physician office arena. The DigiScope, developed in collaboration with the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, is a FDA-cleared diagnostic device that primary diabetes care physicians (Primary Care, Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Endocrinology) can use for the early detection of diabetic retinopathy.
It is estimated that 21 million people in the United States have diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy, a major complication of diabetes, is a silent, progressive and debilitating condition which is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. Virtually all patients with diabetes will develop some level of diabetic retinopathy during the course of their lives. Fortunately, blindness due to diabetic retinopathy can be prevented in the vast majority of patients through early diagnosis by annual dilated eye examinations and appropriate interventions such as laser procedures. For this reason, the American Diabetes Association recommends that patients with diabetes receive annual dilated eye exams. Despite this recommendation, less than 50% of patients with diabetes have annual eye exams. The DigiScope addresses this clinical problem by providing primary diabetes care physicians with a powerful, gold standard technology at the point of care.
Shai N. Gozani, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "EyeTel Imaging brings an important diagnostic tool to primary diabetes care physicians, thereby increasing compliance for annual eye exams among patients with diabetes. This effort to detect diabetic retinopathy at the primary diabetes care level addresses a critical need among patients with diabetes and has the potential to reduce diabetes related blindness." Dr. Gozani continued: "By enabling earlier detection and faster treatment for patients with diabetes, the DigiScope contributes to the preservation of vision and reduces the complications and costs associated with this pervasive and debilitating disorder."
John C. Garbarino, President and Chief Executive Officer of EyeTel Imaging stated: "EyeTel approached and has selected NeuroMetrix as a partner because of its strong market position. NeuroMetrix has proven success in the market, a highly capable sales force and a unique ability to market EyeTel's technology nationally to help physicians preserve the vision of their patients."
Gary L. Gregory, Chief Operating Officer commented: "The securing of this Exclusive Licensing Agreement with EyeTel represents an important advance for our business. Through this Agreement, NeuroMetrix will significantly expand its product offering and the clinical value we can deliver to primary diabetes care physicians. With our best in class sales organization of nearly 50 sales professionals, NeuroMetrix looks to deliver this innovative diagnostic tool to physicians throughout the nation - including our current customer base of well over 12,000 physicians across more than 4,000 practices."
The DigiScope is specifically designed for ease of use by primary diabetes care physicians. It has been shown to be equivalent to 7-field stereo color fundus photography, the current gold standard for detection of diabetic retinopathy. The DigiScope works by capturing digital images of a patient's retina through a dilated pupil and sending images via the Internet to the Wilmer-EyeTel Reading Center. The Reading Center then processes the images and sends the results back to the primary diabetes care physician within 48 hours. Those patients identified as having diabetic retinopathy are then referred by the primary diabetes care physician to an eye specialist for appropriate care.
NeuroMetrix is a medical device company that is establishing a new standard of care through the design, development and sale of proprietary products used to diagnose neuropathies. Neuropathies are diseases of the peripheral nerves and parts of the spine that frequently are caused by or associated with diabetes, low back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as other clinical disorders. The NC-stat System, the Company's neuropathy diagnostic system, has been on the market since May 1999 and is presently used in over 4,000 physicians' offices and clinics in the United States. The Company holds issued utility patents covering a number of important aspects of the NC-stat System.
About EyeTel Imaging
EyeTel Imaging, Inc. is a medical device company that manufactures the DigiScope, a digital retinal imaging device, developed in collaboration with the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, and offers accompanying services that help to detect eye-related diseases.
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