Nine Foremost Pain Management Physicians Join the Spark Biomedical, Inc. Medical Advisory Board

The board’s charter is to collectively advance the standard of care for opioid reduction or discontinuation.

Dallas, Texas, Aug. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spark Biomedical, developer of the Sparrow ™ Therapy System — a discrete, wearable, over-the-ear, medical device designed for opioid withdrawal relief — announces the official formation of the company’s Medical Advisory Board on Pain Management. The charter of the Advisory Board’s nine founding members is to provide insight, direction, and therapeutic expertise to guide a new standard of care around opioid reduction or discontinuation within the chronic pain management space. The combination of the Advisory Board’s knowledge, paired with Spark Biomedical’s innovative Sparrow Therapy System, is anticipated to accelerate new solutions to the ever-growing opioid challenge in the US.


“We have a novel technology with the potential to dramatically improve the opioid reduction and discontinuation processes. Our goal is to provide a solution that makes it easier for pain practices to safely, effectively, and rapidly reduce or eliminate opioids from patients’ daily lives. We’re excited to have such an esteemed team of physicians helping guide the use of the Sparrow Therapy System in a clinical setting,” said Daniel Powell, CEO of Spark Biomedical.


Navid Khodaparast, Chief Science Officer for Spark Biomedical, also noted, “As we enter the pain management setting, it’s important for us to leverage our current knowledge in opioid withdrawal management to drive the advancement of clinical practice in opioid reduction or discontinuation. We set the bar high with our initial opioid withdrawal clinical trial and are looking forward to working closely with our Medical Advisory Board to build the science and ultimately improve patient outcomes.”


The members of the Advisory Board are nationally recognized as experts in chronic pain management from leading medical institutions, academic centers, and private practices around the United States. The Medical Advisory Board will be headed by co-chairs:


Anjum Bux, MD — Dr. Bux is a board-certified anesthesiologist who specializes in pain management and is Director of Chronic Pain Management at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center and Harrison Memorial Hospital and founder of Bux Pain Management located in Danville, Kentucky. He completed his medical training at the University of Kentucky and has been practicing interventional pain management for over 15 years. He is an active member of numerous national pain societies, including North American Neuromodulation Society, American Society of Pain and Neuroscience, and American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. 

Dr. Bux, stated, “As we face the battle against the opioid epidemic, I am excited about the emerging technology to help temper opioid withdrawal symptoms from the talented team at Spark Biomedical. They have put together an advisory board of world-renowned interventional pain physicians with extensive experience in research and managing patients with chronic pain. I look forward to working with these accomplished physicians, putting together clinical protocols as we begin using the Sparrow wearable neurostimulation therapy to help our patients.”


Timothy Deer, MD

Dr. Deer is a President and CEO of the Spine and Nerve Center of the Virginias and a Clinical Professor Anesthesiology at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He has been extensively involved in the hands-on teaching of thousands of physicians on minimally invasive spine procedures and neuromodulation throughout the international community. Dr. Deer has led many National and International medical societies and is committed to improving safety and efficacy in the interventional pain community.


“Practicing in the area of pain medicine brings many challenges. In some cases, one of our biggest hurdles is the safe weaning of controlled substances to achieve a new, more efficacious treatment plan. Spark’s Sparrow Therapy System is a potential solution to this issue and may be a new horizon in multimodal patient care”, said Dr. Timothy Deer, Advisory Board Co-chair.


The Medical Advisory Board membership includes:

Douglas Beall, MD — Dr. Beall attended medical school at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and completed his residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and a fellowship in Musculoskeletal Radiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he was trained in interventional spine techniques before returning to the US Air Force as Division Chief of Musculoskeletal Radiology.

He is board-certified in Diagnostic Radiology, has an added fellowship in Musculoskeletal Radiology, is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management and is a Fellow of the Society of Interventional Radiology and Interventional Pain Practice and board-certified by the World Institute of Pain.


Iden Cowan, MD — Dr. Cowan is a board-certified anesthesiologist at Capital Pain Management located in Austin, Texas. She completed her residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and has been exclusively practicing interventional pain for the past five years.


Amitabh Gulati, MD — Dr. Gulati is an anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician practicing in New York City. He is Director of Chronic Pain, specializing in interventional cancer pain management at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, completed his anesthesiology residency at Emory University School of Medicine, and obtained his pain management fellowship diploma from Weill Cornell School of Medicine in 2007. His research includes the use of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for the treatment of chronic pain and peripheral and transcutaneous nerve stimulation for the treatment of oncologic pain syndromes.


Denis Patterson, DO — Dr. Patterson is a Board-Certified Pain Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician. He is the founder and owner of Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists in Reno, Nevada. Dr. Patterson was nominated as one of the top 25 physicians in Northern Nevada by Nevada Business Magazine in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, under the leadership of Dr. Patterson, Northern Nevada Medical Center’s Pain Center is the first (and only) center in the nation to achieve JCAHO’s Gold Seal of Approval for lower back pain.


Jason Pope, MD — Dr. Pope is an interventional pain specialist at Evolve Restorative Center in Santa Rosa, California. Dr. Pope is triple board certified in Pain Medicine. He continues growing the knowledge in the pain management space by publishing over 80 peer-reviewed journals as well as speaking at numerous national and international conferences.


Thomas Stauss, MD — Dr. Stauss is Chief Medical Officer at Advanced Pain Management located in Deerfield, Wisconsin. He completed his residency in Anesthesiology and a fellowship in Pain Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.


Katherine Travnicek, MD — Dr. Travnicek is an interventional pain specialist at Pain Institute of Nevada, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is double board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine and is an expert in the treatment of non-operative spinal disorders and chronic pain disorders.  She completed her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Travnicek completed a fellowship in Pain Medicine at the renowned Cleveland Clinic Pain Fellowship, where she served as chief fellow in 2013-2014.

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About Spark Biomedical, Inc.

Spark Biomedical, Inc. is a Texas-based medical device company and developer of a discrete, wearable, over-the-ear, neurostimulation solution for opioid withdrawal and addiction relief. The Sparrow™ Therapy System delivers mild electrical stimulation to cranial nerve branches for the treatment of symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. The company’s vision, to ignite a brighter future through wearable neurostimulation, is fueled by its unique blend of scientific expertise, technical innovation, and deep medical device industry experience. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.


About the Sparrow Therapy System

The Sparrow Therapy System is a discrete, wearable, over-the-ear, medical device designed for opioid withdrawal and addiction relief. The therapy uses a patented transcutaneous auricular neurostimulation (tAN™) technology to stimulate specific nerves in and around the ear. The Sparrow Therapy System is not currently FDA cleared for commercial use.


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