Shediac company set to go global with incontinence device

Resilia Medical Solutions, the company behind the Uresta, is about to sign with major pharmaceutical company Jenny Keleher June 15, 2016

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A Shediac company that markets a rubber stopper-like device to prevent involuntary bladder leakage in women is setting its sights on the global market.

“Uresta has been a Godsend,” said Moncton physiotherapist Christine Haley, who specializes in treating pelvic health issues and is now an investor in Resilia Medical Solutions, the company that distributes the product.

Uresta is the brand name of the silicone plug that’s inserted vaginally.

Somewhat cone-shaped at its widest circumference, it encroaches on the urethra, effectively pinching that tube so urine doesn’t exit, accidentally.

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Physiotherapist Christine Haley, also a shareholder, says the impact of incontinence can be devastating for women. (CBC)

Haley says it works for patients who can’t alleviate the problem through exercise and for whom surgery is not a viable option.

The Canadian Continence Foundation says aging, menopause, childbirth, obesity and other conditions can lead to incontinence.

It also says statistics are hard to come by, because embarrassment leads to under-reporting.

‘It’s just like men having to talk about erectile dysfunction 20 years ago. Nobody wanted to talk about it.’– Anne Marie Picone Ford, Uresta user and investor

“It is an issue. It is reality,” said Anne Marie Picone Ford, a Moncton pharmacist who has also become a shareholder.

“It’s just like men having to talk about erectile dysfunction 20 years ago. Nobody wanted to talk about it.”

‘Devastating’

Picone Ford said she started having problems in her child-bearing years. The mother of seven says she sought help from doctors and specialists after her youngest was born.

She wasn’t interested in surgery and she said pads were expensive and produced a lot of waste.

“I mean you have to change those. There may be an odour associated with it. It’s not great.”

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Uresta works by encroaching on the urethra, effectively pinching that tube so urine doesn’t exit, accidentally. (CBC)

Picone Ford says using the device made it possible for her to take up activities with confidence. She started running and did a 5K at Disney World.

Haley says the impact of incontinence can be devastating. She says women lose confidence when any exertion such as sneezing, laughing, walking or jumping causes an accident.

She says the condition can be so extreme, some take spare clothes to work and others shut down and avoid going out or doing things they used to enjoy.

“That severity of being wet all day long. Those people … you are saving their life.”

Designed by Halifax doctor

Uresta is marketed by Resilia Medical Solutions, which is based in Shediac. Stephen Goddard, Resilia’s chief executive officer, says the company is about to sign a co-marketing and co-distribution deal with a global pharmaceutical company.

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This graphic shows how the device is used to stop the flow of urine from escaping when a woman with incontinence issues coughs, laughs or sneezes. (submitted)

He says he’s also working to raise $5 million in capital to fund projected growth and develop markets in the U.S. and Europe.

The manufacturing will continue to be handled by Southmedic in Barrie, ON, which specializes in manufacturing injection-molded medical equipment.

Uresta was designed by Dr. Scott Farrell, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Dalhousie’s School of Medicine.

It was reviewed at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, where, “a single, uncontrolled study of 21 women showed that Uresta significantly reduces urinary incontinence measures, with no reported complications,” according to an online report by ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

According to Maryse Durette at Health Canada, the Uresta Bladder Support “is a licensed Class II medical device.”

The Health Canada page says all medical devices are categorized based on the risk associated with their use.

“This approach means that all medical devices are grouped into four classes with Class I devices presenting the lowest potential risk (e.g. a thermometer) and Class IV devices presenting the greatest potential risk (e.g. pacemakers).”

Health Canada also says medical devices are monitored “after they are licensed to ensure their continued safety and effectiveness.”

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