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Ekso Bionics Holdings has purchased the Indego exoskeleton line and the rest of Parker Hannifin’s Human Motion and Control (HMC) business unit. The $10 million deal includes the planned development of robotic-assisted orthotic and prosthetic devices, the companies said.
“The strategic acquisition of Parker’s uniquely-powered and adjustable Indego exoskeletons significantly builds our product offering and extends our market opportunity to the home,” Ekso Bionics executive chair Steven Sherman said. “With the addition of HMC, we intend to grow our global footprint and increase our market position in lower extremity robotic products driven by our shared innovations and leading-edge technologies.”
The FDA cleared the Indego lower-limb exoskeleton systems for clinical and personal use in 2016. Indego Therapy is cleared for the rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries or hemiplegia (one-sided paralysis) from strokes. Indego Personal is cleared to help spinal cord injury patients move about their homes and communities.
The Indego Therapy and Indego Personal exoskeletons are also CE marked.
“Indego is one of the most advanced and broadest range of powered and intelligent devices for home use, which represents a strategic fit for Ekso,” Ekso Bionics CEO Scott Davis said. “This acquisition is expected to contribute immediately to our top-line results and establish Ekso as a leader in lower extremity robotics. Moving forward, we plan to continue exploring future growth opportunities that align with our strategy.”
Ekso’s new partner for exoskeleton development
The acquisition also links Ekso and Vanderbilt University, where researchers created the Indego exoskeleton and worked with Parker to commercialize it. Ekso said it expects the Vanderbilt collaboration will “provide a path for future research and product development.”
Founded in 2005, San Rafael, California-based Ekso describes itself as the only exoskeleton company with products that help paralyzed people stand and walk, as well as assist workers in their jobs. The company’s EksoNR robotic exoskeleton won FDA clearance for use with multiple sclerosis patients earlier this year.
“We are pleased to have finalized an agreement with Ekso Bionics as a strategic buyer for our Human Motion and Control business,” Parker chief technology and innovation officer Mark Czaja said in a statement. “This is a great technology with an outstanding team that has built a highly differentiated product offering to help improve gait performance and outcomes for people living with mobility impairments. The acquisition will allow Ekso to leverage their robust commercial and clinical teams to ultimately enable this important technology to reach more patients in need across the continuum of care.”
Editor’s Note: This article was first published by The Robot Report’s sister publication Medical Design & Outsourcing and was republished with permission.