ONWARD receives European Innovation Council grant to develop brain-spinal cord interface technology

This grant will support the development of Brain-Spine Interface (BSI) technology aimed at restoring upper extremity mobility and function in people with spinal cord injuries

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands and LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 16, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ONWARD Medical NV (Euronext: ONWD), a medical technology company that creates innovative therapies to restore movement, independence and health to people with spinal cord injuries, announces that it has received a grant from the European Innovation Council (IEC) to support the development of its innovative Brain-Spine Interface technology to restore upper limb mobility and function.

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ONWARD ARC Brain Spine Interface (Graphic: Business Wire)

The EUR 3.6 million grant was awarded to ONWARD and its research partners: EPFL, one of the world’s leading neuroscience research organizations; CEA-Clinatec, the Edmond J. Safra Biomedical Research Center, co-founded by Professor Alim-Louis Benabid, specialist in medical devices for the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and motor disorders; and Sint Maartenskliniek, a leading rehabilitation center for people with spinal cord injuries in the Netherlands. The project is called “Brain-Spine Interfaces to Reverse Upper- and Lower-limb Paralysis”. Under the terms of the grant, ONWARD will receive EUR 1.2 million.

The consortium will use the grant to fund integration between ARC therapyIM from ONWARD, which applies targeted and programmed stimulation of the spinal cord, and Clinatec’s WIMAGINE solution, a fully implantable device approved for chronic use in clinical trials in two European countries, which records and decodes the cortical signal of the brain to predict the person’s movement intentions. The consortium will also perform two clinical feasibility studies using its BSI system, evaluating its use for upper and lower limb control and rehabilitation, with two participants per study. Finally, the clinicians of Sint-Maartenskliniek will communicate their opinion on the usability of the system. The deliverable is a set of specifications for a commercially viable BSI system for people with spinal cord injury.

“This IRC grant validates ONWARD’s position as a leader in the emerging and growing sector of brain-spinal cord interface technologies,” said Dave Marver, CEO of ONWARD. “In combination with the option of intellectual property rights obtained from EPFL in March, we now have the fundamental elements to develop and pave the way for BSI technology to help people with spinal cord injuries. .”

To learn more about ARC Therapy and ONWARD’s strategy to restore movement, independence and health to people with spinal cord injuries, please visit ONWD.com.


ONWARD is a medical technology company that creates innovative therapies to restore movement, independence and health to people with spinal cord injuries. ONWARD’s work is based on more than a decade of basic and preclinical scientific research conducted in the world’s leading neuroscience laboratories. ONWARD’s ARC therapy, which can be delivered through implantable systems (ARCIM) or external (ARCEX), is designed to provide targeted, programmed stimulation of the spinal cord to restore movement and other functions in people with spinal cord injuries, thereby improving their quality of life. ONWARD has earned three breakthrough device designations from the FDA, encompassing both ARCIM and the CRAEX. Up-LIFT, the company’s first pivotal trial conducted for the FDA, completed enrollment in December 2021 with a total of 65 subjects globally. The company recently completed the first-in-human use of its ARC neurostimulatorIM in May 2022.

ONWARD’s head office is located at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The company has a large team in Lausanne, Switzerland, and is expanding its US presence in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information about the company, visit ONWD.com. To view our 2022 financial calendar, please visit IR.ONWD.com.


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