ReWalk Robotics (NSDQ:RWLK) said yesterday that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs issued a policy to evaluate, train and procure its personal exoskeleton systems for all qualifying veterans in the U.S.
ReWalk develops and produces exoskeletons designed to restore self-initiated walking for patients with spinal cord injuries. The personal system is battery-powered and features an array of sensors and motors that detect the wearer’s movement and assist in standing up, sitting down and upright walking.
Shares of ReWalk have soared after the announcement was released, up over 32% at $14.60 as of 3:03 EST.
“This historic policy will provide access to our life-changing technology for thousands of veterans across America. We want all U.S. veterans with a spinal cord injury to know that they now have a path to securing their own ReWalk Personal exoskeleton system. The policy outlines a sound process to educate, train and importantly, to provide individual veterans with a ReWalk Personal device so that they may walk at home and in the community. We expect this landmark national policy will substantially improve the health and quality of life of many veterans in the years ahead,” CEO Larry Jasinski said in a press release.
The policy from the VA will provide vets with spinal cord injuries access to referral and evaluations at ReWalk training centers across the country, the company said. After receiving training, vets who meet the physical criteria will be eligible to obtain a Rewalk personal system.
“We are also very pleased that the VA’s fundamental clinical research conclusively demonstrated that there are significant medical benefits associated with enabling an individual with a spinal cord injury to walk again. Based on their data, the VA’s national policy now defines use of an exoskeleton as the standard of care for qualifying veterans with spinal cord injury. We are hopeful the VA policy will pave the way for additional positive national coverage decisions,” Jasinski said in prepared remarks.
Last year, won pre-market approval from the FDA for its eponymous device for patients with spinal cord injuries. The only FDA cleared exoskeleton system in the U.S., the company said, and is cleared for both personal use at home and in a rehabilitation setting.
This is good news for ReWalk, who saw shares plummet as it reported 2nd quarter earnings that widely missed analysts marks and larger losses compared to the same quarter last year.