Link To Guest Website: Gondola Medical Technologies SA
Title: “Walking Aid For Parkinson’s Patients”
Guest: Francesco Cecchini of Gondola Medical Technologies
Interviewers: Nathan Gobes – Radio Entrepreneurs & Peter Myerson – Author and Retired Attorney
Click here to read the transcript
Welcome back Radio Entrepreneurs listeners and fans, I’m producer Nathan Gobes filling in for Jeffrey Davis this morning. I’m excited to be back in the virtual studio and at my side, Peter Myerson, retired attorney and author joining us once again. Welcome back, Peter.
Thank you, Nathan. It’s great to be here.
Thanks. It’s great to have you, and we want to introduce our next guest Francesco Cecchini co-founder and CEO of Gondola Medical Technologies. Welcome Francesco.
Well, thank you very much, Nathan and Peter and everybody listening to us.
It’s great to have you, why don’t you start by giving our listeners and viewers a little overview of your company?
Sure. And first of all, let me say that it’s so great to be here. Thank you for this invitation I’m co-founder, I’ve gone to a medical technologies and it’s a ma medical device company Swiss based that we have developed a novel therapeutic approach to improve walking and balancing impairments due to neurological disorders, mainly with Archaeus Parkinson’s disease and stroke. But today we will talk about Parkinson’s disease. Since in the us, we have breakthrough device designation by the FDA for these specific indication for use.
Francesco (1m 26s):
What is interesting in our approach is that the treatment, the therapy is non-invasive. So it does not create any harm to patients. And it’s instant time. You have to know that arc is in patients over time, develop walking in betterment. So they walk in, let’s say poorly and also have increased the falsity due to reduce violence. And in general, these symptoms tend not to respond well to available treatments like medications and medical devices that are available for Parkinson’s disease.
Francesco (2m 11s):
So what we have discovered is that there is a way to stimulate the peripheral nervous system of patients, and more specifically to deliver as very, very precise stimulation in both feet. And by doing so increase the functional connectivity in the specific brain areas involved in management of motion, the simulation allows patients to regain and better control of the body and to work better and better balance. So we have developed a medical device to deliver these precise stimulation called automated mechanical briefer stimulation briefly ANPs this simulation again is a non-invasive very faster, about two minutes instant on meaning that the benefits are immediately visible following the treatment.
Francesco (3m 13s):
And in most cases, benefits are perceived by patients for the ration ranging from two to four days following the treatment. This means that my using our global medical device two times a week at home, patients can maintain benefits long-term on a continuous way.
Nathan (3m 34s):
Wow. So how long have you been, have you guys been in business
Francesco (3m 39s):
About 10 years? So over the past 10 years, we have developed a prototype version and to follow up versions of the medical device, which comes in two models, one model to be used in rehab settings and hospitals, and then other model to be used at home very comfortably by patients. Also, we have run two hour clinical studies to scientifically document benefits, the rapping from our therapeutic approach. And we have placed on the market, the medical device in Europe, we have currently about 600 active users, active patients wear the device and use it on a current basis.
Francesco (4m 26s):
And also we have been able to obtain a breakthrough device designation in the U S from the FDA, which is quite important because during our FDA interactions. So thanks to the fact that the device is a breakthrough device. We have access to senior personnel at the MTA at the agency, and we have, I would say priority timing for our requests, with the FDA, which is quite remarkable because we really have a privileged way to go.
Peter (5m 3s):
What’s your competition? Is it, is it medic medicine versus device?
Francesco (5m 11s):
Well, thank you, Peter is a very, very good question. Indeed. We are targeting symptoms that are a medical unmet need of patients. So rather than talking about competition with products or other medical devices, I would say that we are an additional treatment option that compliments what is currently available to patients. So in our market approach, we would like to have physicians and, and, and patients to consider our Glendora ANPs therapy as a compliment to whatever patients are currently using in order to improve additional symptoms that currently do not respond well to available treatments.
Peter (6m 2s):
What, what do you find as the barrier to prescription by doctors or other professionals?
Francesco (6m 11s):
Well, there are two barriers for what we have seen, first of all, scientific evidence and acceptance by physicians. So we are working on having stronger and stronger scientific evidence to, you know, to have a sentence by physicians and secondarily, we are also working on health, economic outcomes in clinical studies to document the cost benefits of deriving from our therapeutic approach in order to have payers, meaning insurance companies pay for the demise, or at least cover a part of the price of the device.
Francesco (6m 52s):
So that on one side we have physicians prescribing the device. On the other side, we have payers who have an interest in, in bank for the device to reduce costs of care of patients.
Peter (7m 9s):
Yeah. I mean, I, I would think that would be a pretty positive reason for people to adopt your devices. Are they, are they bulky? Are they,
Francesco (7m 23s):
The demise is not small. You can think about, you know, skiing boots. Let me say, as a, as a sizer though, it’s, it’s a little bit smaller and lighter, but still what we do for the home device, which is the main device we send out because it’s one per patient, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a medical device where a patient puts feeds his or her feet inside after we have produced a customized in. So customize meaning that we initially do a 3d scan of the feet of the patient, and we produce this insole so that when they use it, when you use the device, it is very precise because the stimulation needs to be delivered very specifically on the head of the big toe and under the first metatarsal joint.
Francesco (8m 20s):
And if it is not precise, the therapy outcome is not, is not good. So it’s kind of, I use your word is kind of bulky, but you have to consider that it needs to be used only twice a week for a couple of minutes. And the other key information is that the device needs to be easily portable so that when the patient goes on vacation and so on, can just carry it in with him or her.
Peter (8m 52s):
So I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it cause I’m, I have about 400 questions, but so this stimulates a part of the flight, a nerve of the flood that activates something in the brain,
Francesco (9m 6s):
Correct. So you have to, to know that our body is, is a wonderful invention and that our brain needs information from peripheries in order to know where we are, where we go on to elaborate these messages and due to the neurological conditions we treat. And today we’re talking about Parkinson’s disease. Patients will have reduced the messages coming messages, meaning, you know, stimuli coming from peripheral to the brain and the central processing unit, meaning the brain will have reduced information coming proper rephrase, and we’ll elaborate poorly these signals.
Francesco (9m 55s):
So what we do is kind of create on a temporary basis, a better communication between peripheries and the brain, and this enables them to have a better management of the body over time. Like the battery of our smartphones, this situation will, this charger will deteriorate again. And then you need a new charge, a new stimulation to make it work well again.
Peter (10m 25s):
So, so does this apply to any kind of neuropathy type of event that people would have, and that would affect their balance?
Francesco (10m 39s):
Well, first of all, I, let me say that I don’t like the concept of any kind of offer because even with us aspirin, the three of us will respond in a personal way. So we need always to, to be very clear with patients saying that the patient needs to test therapy. Also our therapy concerning peripheral neuropathy, which is a different condition. I would say that we don’t have experience with patients with peripheral neuropathy. And since peripheral neuropathy can be deriving from several factors, there are some patients who have, who will have a benefit even with impairment to peripheral neuropathy and other patients will, will not have improvements.
Francesco (11m 34s):
So you have used an example. That is a very, let’s say difficult Feelter Parkinson’s disease is a bit, a little bit easier as a domain, even if even Parkinson’s disease is a quite a complex condition. Let me say, let me say that we also have clinical experience in Hemi, Brighty hemiperetic stroke patients. So patients who had a cerebral stroke and maintain term disability due to the these factor. And we had a quite interesting results in Europe, but the indication for use of our device is broader than what will be initially in the us.
Francesco (12m 22s):
So in Europe, we have indication for use as it device to address walking and balance impairment due to neurological conditions. So white Brookwater in the us, we will initially target only Parkinson’s patients.
Peter (12m 40s):
This is, this is very entrepreneurial. And so what I, what I say is what do you find your largest challenges to be?
Francesco (12m 51s):
Well, the largest challenges is to lower the, let’s say, worries of physicians so that they can talk and prescribe our device. I worked treatment more comfortably, let’s say. And, and again, the other big, big, big challenge is reimbursability to document the white relevant cost reductions that can be obtained using our treatment approach. Well, let me also say that if you think about a person who is not able to walk a while anymore and risks to fall, and you, if you think about that person being able to recover in a certain percentage, quite relevant percentage, the capability to move again, to be independent again, and to reduce the risk of falls, you can immediately understand what is the magnitude of the benefits we can deliver.
Nathan (13m 55s):
We’ve been speaking with Francesco Cecchini co-founder and CEO of gondola medical technologies. Francesco. I want to thank you for coming on our show today.
Francesco (14m 6s):
Thank you. And then thank you also, Peter, and thank you for, to everybody who has been listening to the interview. Thank you.
Nathan (14m 13s):
It’s very fascinating. The work you’re doing, and if listeners or viewers want to find out more, learn more about gondola medical technologies or your products, what’s the best way for them to do so.
Francesco (14m 25s):
Well, just Google gondola Parkinson, and you will find us and come browse and our websites and an email to our contact form. And we’ll be so happy to answer. You provide you with information. We are here for that. Thank you.
Peter (14m 44s):
Very talking Francesco.
Francesco (14m 46s):
Thank you. Nice talking to you
Nathan (14m 49s):
And thank you, Peter, for joining me. I know that as I mentioned, you’re an author and you have a book out on Amazon. Why don’t you tell our listeners or viewers the title of the book. If they’re interested,
Peter (15m 1s):
That’s probably easiest way to find it on Amazon or elsewhere. It’s euros at a different time, or you can just simply Google my name and that pops up.
Nathan (15m 10s):
Great. Thank you for joining us to co-host today. We’ll be back with more on Radio Entrepreneurs after this break.
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