At Sphere "Motor Function Support/Replacement," we are currently working on providing new, drug-free medical care solutions to patients with difficult-to-treat diseases, particularly those who suffer from impaired motor function related to muscles and nerves, and to caregivers who support such patients.
The main diseases we include in this area are physical frailty, limb disorder due to cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, spinal cord injury, limb amputation, and motor function disorder such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), etc. In order to develop new medical methods to assist patients with motor function related disease, we intend to utilize multimodal device technologies, especially bioelectronics (the technologies that complement and replace the aforementioned obstacles with cutting-edge bioelectronics are called Neuroprosthesis and Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMI)), based on the following three technologies:
- Sensing technology that reads motor movements from biological activity information such as brain, nerves, and muscles, etc.
- Modulation technology that activates or bypasses muscles or nerves that are disordered by electrical, magnetic, or ultrasonic stimulation
- Digital technologies such as sensing and modulation technologies for accurate diagnosis, data utilization for effective and efficient treatment, user interfaces, and applications
In the medium to long term, we aim to provide solutions that utilize individual or multiple technologies among these three technologies for various diseases. Finally, we will work to integrate these three technologies to provide closed-loop medical care that enables autonomous and active diagnosis and treatment throughout the body, thereby creating a suite of products that complements and replaces physical exercise functions.
Assets and capabilities that Astellas expects from its partners
- Implant device technology that does not cause inconvenience or discomfort to users. For example, non-contact communication and power supply technologies, and materials with proven biocompatibility and long-term stability
- Technology that spatially and dynamically reproduces motor movements by accurately sensing brain, motor nerve, and muscle synergistic activities required for finger and upper arm movement control.
- Latest knowledge, technologies, and solutions to prevent disease from progressing and related treatment, regardless of the degree of invasion
- Technology to support motor dysfunction caused by physical defects, nerve dysfunction, muscle atrophy, etc. (Next-generation prostheses, tele-existence, etc.)