Northwell Furthering Investment into Bioelectronic Medicine

Politico – October 8, 2015

chad-bouton-newsNorthwell Health will announce Thursday that it is hiring Chad Bouton, a former lead researcher at Battelle, a medical device company, part of a larger strategy that sees the system investing in research and development for new therapies as it tries to diversify its revenue base.

Bouton, who is credited with developing a device that allows the brain to bypass the spinal cord and move paralyzed limbs, will become vice president of advanced engineering and managing director of the Center for Bioelectronic Medicine.

Bioelectronic medicine relies on the patient’s nervous system to develop therapies that record, block or stimulate neural signaling.

The hiring comes as Northwell Health is embarking on a $400 million project to build a new bioelectronic center that will help bring medical devices to market. The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of Northwell, recently announced a deal with Battelle to create a neural tourniquet but hiring Bouton indicates Northwell would like to develop the products it designs without outside help.

“Our solution here … at The Feinstein Institute has been to embrace the for-profit component of the development pathway in order to fulfill our not-for-profit mission,” Dr. Kevin Tracey, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research recently said. “It’s going to require huge investments of time and money to cross that bridge from the invention stage, to the clinical development stage, to the product, and ultimately to marketing. If one doesn’t embrace that entire spectrum, than the ideas stay stuck in the lab.”

Northwell Health (formerly known as North Shore-LIJ) is one of several New York health systems seeking to develop and market new therapies as a way to generate revenue, as large academic medical centers seek to create the drugs in their labs that they give to patients in their hospitals.

On Wednesday, NYU Langone Medical Center announced it was creating a new biologics program. And earlier this week, Weill Cornell announced it was changing its name, part of a rebranding effort meant to highlight its research and development arm.