– Modification of REX to accommodate patients with lower limb loss
– Co-operation with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Bethesda, Maryland, US
– Potential for “Broad Applicability across the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration”
11 March 2016: Link here.
Rex Bionics Plc (AIM: RXB), the pioneer of the REX Robot technology that enhances the mobility of wheelchair users, is pleased to announce that it has agreed the terms of a Materiel Transfer Agreement with the United States (US) Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
The agreement is the prologue to a program of design modifications to the REX robotic mobility aid that will allow its use for early ambulation of patients with lower limb loss. After limb trauma and limb amputation, ambulation is limited in the early months due to the length of time that needs to be left from injury to prosthetic fitting, which can exceed three months. The process has to account for residual limb tissue recovery to allow for the socket and prosthetic fitting process to begin.
The benefit of upright exoskeleton and standing devices has been proven in many patient populations including, but not limited to, Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury. A US Army review concluded that there are currently no devices to accommodate early standing for patients with limb loss and that there is potential for broad applicability across the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration.
Through the proposed modification of the harness system within the REX device, soldiers with limb loss could benefit from being upright while awaiting prosthetic fitting and from improved access to early and aggressive standing rehabilitation; offering the prospect of shorter rehabilitation time and decreased complications of prolonged immobility.
Department of Veterans Affairs New Policy
Rex Bionics also notes the announcement made by Rewalk Robotics Ltd on December 17 2015, that the “U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has issued a national policy for the evaluation, training and procurement of ReWalk Personal exoskeleton systems for all qualifying veterans across the United States”.
The VA policy does not directly relate to the REX robotic mobility system; but the Directors of Rex Bionics believe that there will be US veterans for whom the REX system will be the only, or the preferred, option (for Soldier Members, with lower limb loss, for example) and that the VA announcement is therefore positive for the long-term prospects for Rex Bionics.
Further updates on the REX program with the WRNMMC will be provided as the program develops.
Crispin Simon, Chief Executive of Rex Bionics Plc, commented: “We are delighted with this opportunity and the recognition of REX’s unique design features. It is a strong start for our strategy to take REX into acute as well as chronic care management.”
Dr. Kenneth A. Bertram, Principal Assistant for Acquisition, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Ft. Detrick Maryland commented: “The US Army is committed to developing and providing the best possible treatment options and technology solutions for our injured Service Members. We are excited to work with partners who share our same goal – taking care of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.”
For further information please contact:
Rex Bionics Plc
Crispin Simon, Chief Executive Officer
+44 (0) 748 3 167851
Peter Worrall, Chief Financial Officer
+44 (0) 142 864 5416
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited (NOMAD and Broker)
Jonathan Senior/Stewart Wallace
+44 (0) 20 7710 7600
Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott / Jessica Hodgson / Chris Welsh / Lindsey Neville
+44 (0) 203 709 5700
About Rex Bionics plc
Rex Bionics (AIM: RXB) is the pioneer of the REX Robot that enhances the mobility of wheelchair users and was founded in Auckland, New Zealand by two robotics engineers with first-hand experience of wheelchair users and their needs.
Rex Bionics is working with physiotherapists to develop the concept and practice of Robot-Assisted Physiotherapy (RAP). In a session of RAP, REX lifts patients from a sitting position into a robot-supported standing position, allowing them to take part in a set of supported walking and stretching exercises, designed by specialist physiotherapists.
In addition, REX P, for use in the home, enables users to walk and stand with their hands free – providing more work and recreation options. Our vision is to commercialise an all-day use REX P for a target market segment of wheel chair users with a spinal cord injury, who number around 500,000 people in the US and EU alone.
Wheelchair users are at risk of developing numerous medical complications from extended periods of sitting. By enabling them to spend more time standing, walking and exercising, REX may offer significant health benefits, including improved sleep and maintenance of joint range, and a reduction in spasm, pain, common abdominal problems and prescription drug use.
A program of “RAPPER” clinical trials is now under way to evaluate these potential benefits and a positive interim analysis of the RAPPER II data was presented on 27th November 2015. Recruitment for RAPPER II remains open and clinics and individuals can send enquiries to email@example.com.
Until now, REX has most commonly been used by wheelchair users with a spinal cord injury, but has also been used by people who have suffered a stroke or other traumatic brain injury; and wheelchair users with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.
Rex Bionics has three Strategic Objectives – to establish Robot-Assisted Physiotherapy as a Gold Standard of Care for Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke and other neurological conditions; to establish REX as the market-leading robotic mobility aid; and by effective execution of our plans, to deliver significant value growth to shareholders.
Rex Bionics works with distribution partners in the US (firstname.lastname@example.org), China (MAAB, email@example.com), Hong Kong and Taiwan (Deltason, firstname.lastname@example.org), Denmark and Belgium; and in other countries we support customers directly (email@example.com).
Rex Bionics was admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM in 2014. REX is not registered for At-Home use in the United States of America.