Research group in Anniston first in the country to provide new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis patients

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 7:36 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Pinnacle Research Group in Anniston will be the first in the country to provide a new treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

It’s being called breakthrough therapy that doesn’t involve your typical medication like pills or injections. It requires surgery that could help ease the pain associated with the disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis is defined as a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than your joints. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissue.

The Pinnacle Research Group is working with Galvani Bioelectronics, which is based in the United Kingdom.

The company says the goal is to develop medicines to treat chronic diseases. They’ve formed a partnership with two global healthcare companies, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences), a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., to use science and software. They plan to cultivate therapy by implanting a device inside a rheumatoid Arthritis patients’ spleen to monitor nerve signals to the body’s organs.

A surgeon with Regional Medical Center in Anniston has already went through extensive training on this procedure.

“They define it as rheumatoid arthritis and the inflammation that was created by that,” says Dr. George Crawford. “Then there’s solution that says okay if we use technology we can augment that splitting nerve bundle. But in order to do that we have to create a device to do it. They did that. Tested it in pigs. Then, they said okay, it works. How do we implant this into a patient?”

Galvani Biolelectronics says they performed the surgery on a patient last week in the UK. The process went smoothly, but now they have their eyes set on finding someone in the United States.

The Pinnacle Research Group is looking for a patient near Anniston or able to drive to and from treatment appointments.

If that’s you or if you’d like more information on the therapy, visit


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