Small Biotechs May Beat Silicon Valley Tech Titans and Big Pharma in The Bioelectronic Medicine Race

Apple looks to have entered into the bioelectronic medicine race following in the footsteps of Google’s parent company Alphabet and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) by hiring a team of biomedical engineers to work on a secret initiative, initially envisioned by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, to develop devices and sensors to treat diabetes, according to CNBC reporting.

These devices and sensors are part of a rapidly emerging field called bioelectronics, which is the study and application of electronics in medicine and biological processes. It is a tech revolution in medicine and the race to produce “electroceuticals,” which are medical devices that use electrical, electromagnetic, mechanical, or light stimulation to affect electrical signaling in relevant tissue types to treat a multitude of conditions and diseases is in full gear.

Despite the large spotlight that has been placed on the field of bioelectronic medicine by the announcement of initiatives and partnerships from Silicon Valley titans and big pharmaceutical companies, like GlaxoSmithKline, the race may be actually be won by smaller and lesser known biotechs. While Apple is working on sensors to monitor blood glucose levels without piercing the skin, big Pharma is looking to take the invasive route with the development of implantable electronic devices.

However, the future may be in non-invasive wearable devices that are not implanted, but rather placed on top the skin over organs like the heart or liver, or embedded in clothing to treat diseases using electromagnetic waves that can penetrate deep into tissues to stimulate healing rather than the need to implant electrical nerve stimulators.

One biotech that is taking a non-invasive approach to electroceuticals is Endonovo Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: ENDV). ENDV is currently building its pipeline of non-invasive therapeutics for the treatment of vascular diseases and inflammatory conditions in vital organs, such as heart failure, peripheral vascular disease and inflammatory diseases of the liver, kidneys, and other vital organs.   

Endonovo’s electroceutical platform, which it calls “Immunotronics” harnesses magnetically induced electric fields to directly and more importantly, non-invasively stimulate tissues and organs from outside of the body. While the initiatives and partnerships between tech titans and big Pharma seem like moon shots, ENDV’s technology is much further along in development and dates back to work originally started at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which sought to develop novel treatments for illnesses that astronauts might encounter during long term missions in outer space. The company is currently evaluating the therapeutic effectiveness of its non-invasive electroceutical in pre-clinical trials for the treatment and prevention of heart failure following myocardial infarction and for the treatment of critical limb ischemia.

Another small biotech company working on electric treatments for diseases is Pulse Biosciences (PLSE), whose Nano-Pulse Stimulation (NPS) technology uses nano second electric pulses to illicit an immune response for the treatment of cancer. PLSE has been on an absolute tear since it was announced that healthcare executives and entrepreneurs Robert Duggan and Dr. Maky Zanganeh had acquired a combined interest of 17.1% in PLSE. PLSE is up over 230% in the last three months.

Both ENDV and PLSE seek to uses electrical signals to control or influence the immune response. Whereas, Pulse Biosciences seems to be concentrated on the use of electrical fields to illicit an immune response against cancers, Endonovo Therapeutics is using magnetically induced electrical fields to produce an anti-inflammatory response to treat inflammation in vital organs and tissues.

Endonovo Therapeutics seems to be setting its self up for a run to PLSE levels. It recently announced a financing from a strategic healthcare investor to uplist its common stock onto a national stock exchange and is up more than 230% over the last three months from its all time low. ENDV’s management seems to be extremely bullish on the company; having filed 48 SEC Insider Form 4 statements since late February. To quote one of the greatest investors of all time, Peter Lynch, “insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy them for only one: they think the price will rise.” With a market cap differential of about $300 million between ENDV and PLSE, savvy investors may want to take a closer look at Endonovo Therapeutics.

In Other Biotech News:

MannKind (MNKD) announced earlier this month that they’ve reached a Memorandum of Understanding with their inhaled insulin, Afrezza. The inhaled treatment is designed to simplify the complexity of starting and staying on mealtime insulin.

Cerulean (CERU) announced in March that they entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement with Daré, under which the equityholders of Daré will become the majority owners of Cerulean. This creates a NASDAQ-listed company focused on the development and commercialization of products for women’s reproductive health.

Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PGNX) today announced their financial results for the first quarter of 2017 and highlighted bmajor developments within our clinical pipeline. Be on the lookout for positive topline data from PGNX’s registrational Phase 2b study of AZEDRA which treats pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.

Immunomedics, Inc. (IMMU) is an oncology stock that is developing a drug called sacituzumab govitecan, or more commonly IMMU-132. It’s a breast cancer asset and its primary indication right now is a type of breast cancer called metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). IMMU pushed the drug through phase II clinical trials, buying back the rights to the drug from Seattle-based company Seattle Genetics (SGEN).
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