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Bioelectronic medicines: a research roadmap

Realizing the vision of a new class of medicines based on modulating the electrical signalling patterns of the peripheral nervous system needs a firm research foundation. Here, an interdisciplinary community puts forward a research roadmap for the next 5 years.

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The views and opinions contained in this article are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies, either expressed or implied, of the US National Institutes of Health. Douglas Weber, Ph.D., is a Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biological Technologies Office (BTO). DARPA has approved this article for public release, and distribution is unlimited. The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this article/presentation are those of the author(s)/presenter(s) and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies, either expressed or implied, of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or the US Department of Defense.

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Correspondence to Kristoffer Famm.

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Competing interests

K.B. and K.F. are presently employees of GlaxoSmithKline, as indicated in the affiliations.

V.G. is a co-founder of Circuit Therapeutics and holds related intellectual property and stock (less than 5%). At the time of writing, V.G. receives no research funding, royalties, or consultant fees from any for-profit organization.

P.A. is sponsored by Charles Stark Draper Laboratory.

W.M.G. receives funding through GlaxoSmithKline's Bioelectronics R&D programme and research support from Medtronic, Stryker and Ethicon. He holds equity positions in NDI Medical, SPR Therapeutics and Deep Brain Innovations, and is a paid consultant for Autonomic Technologies, Circuit Therapeutics, NeuroAccess Technologies, NeuroTronik, NDI Medical, SetPoint Medical and St. Jude Medical.

V.P. is a paid Consultant to GlaxoSmithKline, Bioelectronics R&D and receives funding through GlaxoSmithKline's Bioelectronics R&D programme.

B.M. is a paid consultant to GlaxoSmithKline.

P.P. receives funding through GlaxoSmithKline's Bioelectronics R&D programme and is a co-founder of Enterowave, Enterx, gIQ. He has several patents in the field of electrical stimulation in various stages of being licensed to different companies.

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Bioelectronic medicines: the detailed research roadmap (PDF 305 kb)

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Bioelectronics R&D — Million Dollar Innovation Challenge (GlaxoSmithKline)

NIH BRAIN Working Group (interim report; 16 Sep 2013)

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Birmingham, K., Gradinaru, V., Anikeeva, P. et al. Bioelectronic medicines: a research roadmap. Nat Rev Drug Discov 13, 399–400 (2014).

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