Ekso Stock Doubles - FDA Widens Marketing OK for Exoskeleton

Ekso Bionics was cleared by the FDA to market its exoskeleton to a wider base of people afflicted with brain injuries.
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Shares of microcap Ekso Bionics on Thursday rocketed after the company said it received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to market one of its exoskeletons to a wider demographic. 

Ekso's EksoNR robotic exoskeleton for use in patients with acquired brain injuries is the first device to get FDA clearance for use with ABI. 

ABI is a category of brain injury that includes severe head injuries, concussions, stroke, aneurysms, brain tumors, anoxia - oxygen deficiency - degenerative and metabolic conditions, infections and surgical injuries, among others. 

"Based on their experience with EksoNR, customers at leading rehabilitation centers have acknowledged the benefits our technology can offer during recovery from brain injuries," Chief Executive Jack Peurach said in a statement. 

Combined annual incidence of traumatic brain injury and stroke alone represents an estimated patient population of 3.7 million in the U.S. and 84 million globally, Ekso said Thursday. 

The EksoNR exoskeleton is "designed to help patients stand and walk during rehabilitation," the website says. The tech "works with clinicians to promote correct movement patterns in all phases of recovery and challenges patients as they progress toward independent ambulation."

EksoNR is used by more than 270 rehabilitation centers in 30 countries. The website says the technology is currently used by nearly 20,500 patients. 

The device was previously cleared by the FDA for stroke and spinal-cord injury rehabilitation in 2016. Now it has been approved for use in rehabilitating patients with a wider range of afflictions. 

Two weeks ago, Ekso closed a registered direct offering of 1.75 million common shares at an average $4.51 each. 

The Richmond, Calif., company plans to use proceeds from the sale, $7.9 million, for general purposes.

Ekso shares at last check were trading at $7.30, having traded as high as $8.76 at one point on Thursday. They'd closed at $3.10 on Wednesday.