BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL – ReWalk Robotics has transformed from a health care tech startup into a manufacturing company, and it needed more space to serve its customers.
The Marlborough-based exoskeleton-suit company (Nasdaq: RWLK) moved from its old 3,000-square-foot offices to a new 11,000-square-foot space on Donald Lynch Boulevard this month. The new space is accommodating employee growth, which has gone from 10 people in 2013 to 35 people today. Executives said plans are to add an undisclosed number of employees in the year ahead.
CEO Larry Jasinski said a big reason for the expansion is because the 15-year-old company is being reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and at least one commercial insurer for its exoskeleton suit made to help paraplegics walk again. To date, 200 devices have been purchased in the U.S. and Canada.
The company needed to build a service station to take care of those suits, and also needed a place to put salespeople.
“For any person in the US who wants a product, we’re helping work through the reimbursement process,” Jasinski said. “There’s a lot you have to do – a letter of medical necessity, the prescription has to be processed. We built a staff operated out of Massachusetts but it takes care of reimbursement for the whole US.”
Jasinski is hopeful that the orders are just the beginning. Insurers have begun approving individual members to purchase the device, which acts as a cage-like casing for a person’s legs, enabling them to walk again.
Plans are to begin sales in South America in the near future as well.
The company is also entering into the market for seniors, multiple sclerosis patients, and stroke patients with a new device being developed by ReWalk in partnership with Harvard’s Wyss Institute.
The device, which is still in development, acts more like a pair of legs than an exoskeleton suit, using motors, actuators and gears to help lift the legs and propel the feet in people with impaired mobility.
“For us, it was a major event with the company. They have done extensive amount of IP and developmental work at the Wyss at Harvard,” Jasinski said. “Our job is to take what they’ve developed, use some of our technology to make it a reliably produced product and get it to market. It’s a two to three year path for us.”
Jasinski said the company will be doing all the clinical, regulatory and some engineering work at the new facility.
“We’re still a young company,” Jasinski said. “We have a ways to go.”
This article by Jessica Bartlett originally appeared here.