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Boston Business Journal 01/03/2015

NeuroMetrix Unveils OTC Pain Relief

On Sunday, Waltham-based NeuroMetrix will unveil the new consumer model of its wearable pain-relief device as the company looks forward to launching sales in coming months.

Quell Wearable Pain Relief

The device, called Quell, is largely the same as the company’s Sensus device, which was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012 for use by patients with chronic pain due to diabetes, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and degenerative knee conditions. That device, which uses electrical stimulation to raise levels of a a natural painkiller called enkephalins, received additional approval the following year for use while sleeping, and last July, was given the OK to be sold over-the-counter.

This coming weekend will be the first press exhibits at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, and the first time NeuroMetrix (Nasdaq: NURO) President and CEO Shai Gozani will have to show off some modifications to the device meant to make it consumer-friendly. In an interview today, Gozani said many of the changes were simply to make the Quell device more attractive and easier to use than the Sensus, but one significant change involves the addition of a Bluetooth device to allow it to communicate with a smartphone. Using an app, Gozani said, patients will be able to track their use of the device against their sleep patterns, and additional ways to monitor biometrics may be added in the future.

The price of the device has not been set yet, said Gozani, but will be in the range of $200 to $250 for the device, plus a $30 electrode that needs to be replaced about every month. Sometime in the spring the product will be sold initially online and through physician’s offices, but Gozani said he’s still looking into selling it in retail stores as well.

Gozani said the marketing strategy for the new Quell device will not be on replacing pain medications, but providing better pain-management to patients with conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, a type of nerve damage. One big advantage is that, unlike drugs, the device can be turned on and off as needed to control pain.

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