Our Vision
People with spinal cord injury will enjoy
life in every way that matters to them

Empowered
by Movement

We are a team of scientists, engineers, and physicians, collectively driven to create therapies that change lives. We understand the challenges of those living with spinal cord injury. We do not overpromise. We are here for the highs, lows, and everything in between.

We are working to enable people with spinal cord injury to move again, aided by ARC Therapy™ – targeted, programmed stimulation of the spinal cord.

In addition to restoring movement, we have observed other potential benefits from spinal cord stimulation that we may explore such as improved bladder control, sexual function, and blood pressure regulation.

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Devices are investigational and not approved for commercial sale.

Science

Our work builds on more than a decade of basic science and preclinical research conducted at the world’s leading neuroscience laboratories

ONWARD benefits from an academic research partnership with .NeuroRestore, a collaboration between the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). We have also exclusively licensed intellectual property developed at other leading global neuroscience research institutions, such as the University of Louisville and Caltech.

Scientific Rigor

The science behind ARC Therapy has been developed with rigor and patience, reinforced by multiple peer-reviewed publications in the world’s most respected scientific journals. These articles reveal the painstaking journey to develop our approach, starting with basic science and progressing in disciplined fashion through preclinical and clinical studies.

Neuroprosthetic baroreflex controls haemodynamics after spinal cord injury

Spinal cord repair: advances in biology and technology

Cbp-dependent histone acetylation mediates axon regeneration induced by environmental enrichment in rodent spinal cord injury models.

Electrical spinal cord stimulation must preserve proprioception to enable locomotion in humans with spinal cord injury.

Targeted neurotechnology restores walking in humans with spinal cord injury.

Required growth facilitators propel axon regeneration across complete spinal cord injury.

Cortico-reticulo-spinal circuit reorganization enables functional recovery after severe spinal cord contusion.

Pronounced species divergence in corticospinal tract reorganization and functional recovery after lateralized spinal cord injury favors primates.

A brain-spine interface alleviating gait deficits after spinal cord injury in primates.

Spatiotemporal neuromodulation therapies engaging muscle synergies improve motor control after spinal cord injury.

A multidirectional gravity-assist algorithm that enhances locomotor control in patients with stroke or spinal cord injury.

Defining ecological strategies in neuroprosthetics.

Restoring voluntary control of locomotion after paralyzing spinal cord injury.

Muscle spindle feedback directs locomotor recovery and circuit reorganization after spinal cord injury.

Closed-loop neuromodulation of spinal sensorimotor circuits controls refined locomotion after complete spinal cord injury.

Biomaterials. Electronic dura mater for long-term multimodal neural interfaces.

Versatile robotic interface to evaluate, enable and train locomotion and balance after neuromotor disorders.

Transformation of nonfunctional spinal circuits into functional states after the loss of brain input.

Can experiments in nonhuman primates expedite the translation of treatments for spinal cord injury in humans?

Recovery of supraspinal control of stepping via indirect propriospinal relay connections after spinal cord injury.

Devices are investigational and not approved for commercial sale.

Technology

ONWARD's ARC Therapy is designed to deliver targeted, programmed stimulation of the spinal cord to restore movement and other functions in people with spinal cord injury

These benefits have been observed in published pre-clinical and human feasibility studies

Clinical results may vary.
Devices are investigational and not available for commercial sale.

We are developing two technology platforms for which we have been awarded three Breakthrough Device Designations by the FDA°.

ARCEX is our external, non-invasive platform, which consists of a wearable stimulator and wireless programmer. We received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation to demonstrate that ARCEX Therapy restores or improves physicalmovement of hand and arm function to people with spinal cord therapy. Investigators in the US, Canada and Europe are currently screening candidates for participation in the Up-LIFT Study. You can learn more about the Up-LIFT Study below.

ARCIM is our implantable platform, which consists of an implantable pulse generator and lead that is placed near the spinal cord. ARCIM is controlled by wearable components and a smartwatch. The STIMO study demonstrated the ability of this technology to enable long-paralyzed people to stand and walk again with little or no assistance. We received FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for ARCIM in 2020 to restore the recovery of leg motor functions in people with spinal cord injury and in 2021 for use of the system to stabilize blood pressure and to support trunk stability.

Other potential indications we may explore for ARCIM include reduced spasticity and improved sexual function, bladder, and bowel control. We expect to begin our FDA pivotal trial for the highest priority indications within 24 months. Please register below if you have an interest in participating.

Our Pipeline Technologies

External system for
non-invasive, programmed stimulation of the spinal cord

Implantable platform for direct, programmed stimulation of the spinal cord

Help Us Advance the Science

We will share your information with our clinical research partners who will evaluate your candidacy for study participation.

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Devices are investigational and not approved for commercial sale.

°The FDA has awarded Breakthrough Device Designation for a system supporting recovery of leg motor functions and neurological controls through use of ARC Therapy in adults with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) who have a lesion both higher than vertebrae and spinal cord neurological levels T11 with preserved conus medullaris, and whose SCI or spinal cord compression is neither related to oncological causes nor to a neurodegenerative disease.

°The FDA has awarded Breakthrough Device Designation for a system to improve or restore upper extremity sensory and motor function in people with chronic neurological deficit resulting from incomplete spinal cord injury. It is intended to be used in conjunction with physical therapy at the hospital and rehabilitation therapy clinic.

ARCIM IPG and Lead.

The Up-LIFT Trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of ARCEX Therapy in restoring strength and function of upper extremities in people with spinal cord injury. We plan to enroll 65 subjects at up to 15 sites in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe.

If you are interested in learning more about Up-LIFT, please sign up through the Register link below.

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Community

We are fortunate to enjoy strong relationships with many of the leading organizations who support research and innovation for individuals and families impacted by paralysis

We admire and celebrate the grit, courage, and determination shown daily by those we hope to serve

Wings for Life is a leading spinal cord injury non-profit organization headquartered in Austria with offices in the United Kingdom and the United States. It funds spinal cord injury research around the globe including the first STIMO trial, an important study that established the clinical feasibility for ARC Therapy to enable people with spinal cord injury to walk again.  The Wings for Life commitment to future STIMO trials and other promising therapeutics continues in order to accelerate important developments in neurorestorative approaches for spinal cord injury.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is an ONWARD partner and shareholder. The Reeve Foundation is the premier U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to advancing innovative research and improving quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. The Reeve Foundation’s mission is reflected in its dual purpose – “Today’s Care. Tomorrow’s Cure.” – providing a continuum of hope for individuals living with paralysis worldwide.

Spinal Research (The International Spinal Research Trust) is an ONWARD partner and shareholder. It is the UK's leading medical research charity funding the discovery and development of effective treatments for chronic spinal cord injury. During the last 40 years, it has funded over 140 international research projects which have achieved a number of important advances in the field of spinal cord injury.

Canada-based Praxis exists to lead global collaboration in spinal cord injury research, innovation, and care. Praxis has provided data to support a number of our research projects and initiatives.

About

Our work builds on decades of research and translational science by giants in this important and emerging field

We were formed in 2014 by researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL). We are now headquartered at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and the EPFL Innovation Park in Lausanne, Switzerland. We also have a growing team based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

We are backed by many of the leading European life sciences venture capital investors:

News + Progress

We are pleased to share some of the media coverage that describes our progress. News stories help raise awareness for current and future therapy options that may improve the lives of people with spinal cord injury.

A New Way to Restore Hand Mobility—With an Electrified Patch

ONWARD Announces First Patient Enrolled in the Up-LIFT Pivotal Trial Assessing Safety and Effectiveness of ARC Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury

The neuroscientist changing the meaning of spinal cord injury

How a spinal device could relieve a neglected effect of cord injury

Neuroprosthetic device maintains blood pressure after spinal cord injury

ONWARD’s technology can restore the independence of those paralyzed due to spinal cord injury

Stimulation Technique Restores Critical Brain Function to Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Scientists create a thermostat for blood pressure to help patients with spinal cord injuries

‘Pacemaker for the spine:’ Study improves quality of life for man with spinal injury

New treatment helps patients with a spinal cord injury

First patient enrolled in Up-LIFT safety and effectiveness trial of ARC Therapy for spinal cord injury

This Could Stabilize Blood Pressure After SCI

Electro-stimulation treatment helps patients with spinal-cord injuries

‘Life-changing’ discovery for people with spinal cord injury

New treatment can improve the lives of patients with spinal cord injury

Desarrollan un tratamiento que podría mejorar la vida de los pacientes con una lesión de la médula espinal

Patient advocacy groups and innovators must partner to advance new treatments

Journal Club: Restoring a Reflex - Andreessen Horowitz

Electrical Stimulation for Improved Function Post-Spinal Cord Injury: Interview with Dave Marver, CEO, ONWARD

Leadership

Dave Marver
Chief Executive Officer
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G. Courtine, PhD
Chief Science Officer
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John Murphy
Chief Technology Officer
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Marko Jansen
Chief Financial Officer
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Hendrik Lambert
Vice President, Clinical, Regulatory & Quality
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Vincent Delattre
Vice President, Business Development
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David Harari
Managing Director, US
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Rano Burkhanova
Global HR Director
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Andy Dolan
Vice President of Marketing
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Doina Cebotari
Chief of Staff
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Together

ONWARD Together Featured Story

See how ONWARD’s people are changing the world

Irena Ljubikj
Android Developer, Netherlands

Irena Ljubikj joined ONWARD in April 2021 to work on the mobile app that will enable users to control the ARC-IM implantable device with a few taps on a smartphone or tablet. Her focus is currently on the tablet app, which gives clinicians detailed data and measurements...

Edoardo Paoles
System and Clinical Engineer, Netherlands

Edo is on a mission: Ensure the ONWARD engineering team produces a device that is safe and effective for people with spinal cord injury. The formula sounds simple: get the design process right from the start, ensure all teams are working in sync...

Anne Watrin
Clinical Program Manager, Switzerland

Anne joined ONWARD as Regulatory Affairs Engineer in 2016, shortly after graduating from ISIFC Besançon with an MSc in Life Sciences Engineering. She was one of the company’s first hires in Lausanne, which makes her an ONWARD veteran...

Ibrahim Youssef
Embedded Systems Engineer, Switzerland

There’s nothing Ibrahim likes better than a tricky engineering problem, especially when the outcome holds the promise of a better life for tens of thousands of people living with spinal cord injury (SCI). Put simply, his job is to create the communication software...

Amanda Turner
Clinical Program Manager, United States

At the age of 10, Amanda Turner dreamed of becoming the next Jane Goodall. Her fascination with our closest animal cousins led her to study primate behavior and ecology at Central Washington University. Today she oversees the Up-LIFT clinical trial...

Miro Caban
System and Clinical Engineer, Switzerland

Miro isn’t afraid to try something completely new – like taking people with spinal cord injury (SCI) out for a paddle on Lake Geneva. As a recent graduate from the EPFL, he dove straight into the startup world, developing a new technology based on his...

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Our Team is Growing

We are looking for talented and committed people who want to work in an innovative, mission-driven environment creating technologies and therapies that make a difference. Check out our list of open positions in the US and Europe.

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