Global Kinetics gains additional approval for Parkinson’s disease monitoring device

January 18, 2017 – 9:12 AM | By Andrea Gonzalez | No comments yet

By Omar Ford, Staff Writer

Global Kinetics Corp. is taking a more personalized approach in monitoring Parkinson’s disease symptoms. The Melbourne, Australia-based company has developed its Parkinson’s Kinetigraph (PKG) system, an approved device that sits firmly in the digital health space.

Recently, the private company secured a CE mark for the second generation of the PKG. The second generation system boasts technological enhancements that could ultimately allow patients to continuously monitor their condition.

“PKG is a patient friendly algorithm based system,” Timothy Still, president and CEO of Global Kinetics, told Medical Device Daily. “It has a smart watch that records the symptoms and body movements over the course of many days. It then transmits this information to the cloud, where the personalized treatment and management recommendations are offered for the clinician.”

Parkinson’s patients often experience fluctuations throughout the day where they may have their symptoms under control for a few hours and then suddenly they are “off.” Those symptom fluctuations can be difficult to capture because patients don’t always remember them during office visits or they struggle to put their symptoms into words. The technology also has the potential to help physicians and their patients make difficult decisions, such as when it might be time to consider a more aggressive therapy option like deep brain stimulation.

PKG first gained FDA clearance in 2014. (See Medical Device Daily, Sept. 15, 2014.) The company received FDA clearance for the second generation of the technology in September 2016. The company said it has an opportunity to move into the Huntington’s disease space but would primarily keep its focus on Parkinson’s.

The PKG device was developed by Australian neurologists at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in an effort to provide an objective measurement tool for the symptoms of movement disorders.

DIGITAL HEALTH MARKET SET TO EXPLODE

Global Kinetics Corp. was founded in 2007, at a time when the digital health space was in its infancy and wasn’t getting much attention.

“We were in digital health before it was cool to be in digital health, but for the reason of having better patient management and really giving them effective information,” Still said.

Now the digital health space is exploding. A December report from Research and Markets shows that the digital heath market accounted for revenue of $76.7 billion in 2015, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21 percent by 2022. The topic of digital health even dominated the conversation during the final day of Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit. (See Medical Device Daily, Oct. 28, 2016.)

Now high profile partnerships in the space occur such as Dublin-based Medtronic plc and IBM Watson Health collaboration to develop the Sugar.IQ with Watson, a first-of-its-kind cognitive app that helps detect important patterns and trends for people with diabetes.

Global Kinetics noted that traditional device and pharma companies would likely be drawn to more partnerships with Global Kinetics, to monitor the impact of treatment on patients.

Still said Medtronic, Abbott Laboratories and Boston Scientific Corp. could be potential partners because each company has access to deep brain stimulation technology. He noted that on the pharma side, Abbvie Inc. – with its Duopa formulation – could be a partner. Other companies developing drugs for Parkinson’s include Neuroderm Ltd., Acorda Therapeutics Inc. and Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc.

There could also be partnerships from non-traditional health care companies like Google’s former life sciences division, Verily Lifesciences, or Apple Inc. Still said while Verily and Apple could be potential competitors it might be more cost-effective to form collaborations. In the past, Verily has done just that, spreading across a variety of different disease states.

“If someone wants to get in on this space, then it will be a decision point – does someone want to take years of product development and gather clinical data to do it themselves, or does it make sense to partner with someone who has been the market leader since day one,” Still said.

As far as direct competition, Still said he’s not aware of another company in the space doing something similar to Global Kinetics.

“I’m like a lot of CEO’s,” he told Medical Device Daily. “I worry about the company we haven’t heard about yet.”

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