When some people think about LiteCure, they focus on the Newark-based company’s affiliations with professional and college teams across the country. Its laser wand is capable of relieving pain, stimulating healing and helping athletes get back to competition more quickly than other therapies.
But LiteCure CEO Brian Pryor is much more interested in describing the company’s newest technologies, which might not generate the same broad-based interest, but most certainly have helped position the company as an extremely important player in the veterinary community and could soon expand its influence to those treating
major depressive disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, LiteCure’s technologies could play a role in limiting the use of opioids in patients enduring extreme pain.
“The laser applications can fit into a market that is so vast,” Pryor says. “The veterinary market is confined; there are only so many vets. On the medical side, I don’t see a cap for many, many years.”
When LiteCure debuted in 2006, it used high-powered lasers emanating from a wand attached to a car battery-sized box to help cells regenerate quickly while eliminating inflammation. This proved quite useful for vets dealing with injured animals and trainers trying to help athletes recover more quickly from injuries.
LiteCure also became a leading provider of centrifuge devices capable of creating platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which when injected back into areas that have been damaged on animals — and humans — can expedite the healing process. Now, the centrifuges that spin blood to create the PRP can isolate stem cells from bone marrow extracted from patients. While more expensive, it creates a longer-term solution.
“Say you have a two-year-old Rottweiler with hip dysphagia,” Pryor says. “You can spend $2,000 to $3,000 to have stem cells injected, and it’s worth it, because the dog is only two. For a nine-year old Rottweiler, it would make more sense to use PRP and the laser to manage the disease.”
LiteCure is growing both in the U.S. and internationally, with Japan, India and China particularly big growth areas. And as LiteCure’s laser technology improves and grows in intensity, Pryor sees applications across a variety of fields.
“I’ve seen studies that say it’s possible to wean people off opioids with laser treatments that can be used until the pain is gone,” he says.
Further, trials at Harvard and in New York City are investigating whether the lasers can help people combat severe depression.“And Alzheimer’s is next,” Pryor says.
The possibilities appear endless — and very exciting.