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Neuronetics Idea Proposal (STIM)

Neuronetics Idea Proposal (STIM)

Will Neuronetics’ C-suite changes, new treatment indication, expanded reimbursement, and new positive data reinvigorate growth?

Report Available: November 4, 2020


Blueshift’s initial research found STIM, a leader in providing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy equipment and support for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), navigating through the coronavirus, which has had a significant negative impact on its sales and procedure volume. The company has also experienced recent C-suite changes, received a new treatment indication from the FDA, gained expanded reimbursement from third-party payers, and published new positive study results. It remains to be seen if these developments can reverse sales and treatment volume declines to jumpstart a new growth trend.



  1. TMS is a non-drug, noninvasive form of brain stimulation in which a changing magnetic field is used to cause electric current at a specific area of the brain through electromagnetic induction. The treatment helps activate the natural function of the brain’s neurotransmitters to improve symptoms of depression. It is typically used after a patient has failed on antidepressants. MDD, or clinical depression, is one of the most common mental disorders worldwide and the World Health Organization estimates that more than 264 million people suffer from depression worldwide. Medical professionals expect that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause additional stress and psychological pressure for a large portion of the population.
  2. STIM’s NeuroStar TMS Therapy was approved by the FDA in 2008 for patients with MDD. Since NeuroStar’s approval, STIM has installed over 1,200 system and delivered over 3 million treatments. However, the coronavirus has negatively impacted STIM as prospective customers closed their practices or limited access to their offices. Q2 revenues which include system sales and treatment revenue declined 41% to $9.7 million compared to Q2 2019 revenue of $16.6 million.
  3. In March, STIM made the surprise announcement of the immediate departure of its CEO of six years, Christopher Thatcher. The company also announced that the FDA had granted the company breakthrough device designation to its NeuroStar system for the treatment of bipolar depression. In July, STIM appointed Keith Sullivan as president and CEO, an outside hire with past experience commercializing medical technology products that involve both capital equipment and recurring revenue streams. Earlier this month, a former colleague of Mr. Sullivan, Sara Grubbs was appointedP. of sales. It was noted that Ms. Grubbs has extensive expertise commercializing medical devices similar to NeuroStar that involve ongoing sales of consumables and customer support.
  4. Additional positive developments for STIM include numerous favorable reimbursement decisions and positive data from several studies supporting NeuroStar treatments. The insurance coverage decisions are primarily related to a reduction in failed pharmacotherapy treatments prior to approved use of NeuroStar Advanced Therapy. Cigna, Aetna, and HCSC/BCBS all reduced the criteria from four failed drugs to two failed drugs prior to approving coverage for NeuroStar use. New study data was presented at the Sept. 29 Clinical TMS Society virtual event further supporting the efficacy of NeuroStar therapy. On October 13, STIM announced that the December 2020 issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders (Currently available online) will publish clinical data from the NeuroStar Outcomes Registry that suggests TMS be evaluated as a first-line treatment for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
  5. STIM and its new leadership have discussed a growth and expansion strategy that includes increased commercialization of NeuroStar both in the U.S. and internationally, promoting new unit sales and increased procedures at existing installations. Pipeline development for new indications including bipolar disorder and PTSD are also underway. However, STIM competes in a crowded market. The Clinical TMS Society website indicates seven different TMS systems, including STIM’s NeuroStar, have been cleared by the FDA to treat MDD. To succeed and return STIM to growth, its new management must successfully adjust to the coronavirus realities and navigate the competition.


Will STIM’s new CEO and sales leadership reverse the company’s declining sales trend? Is STIM’s expansion and growth strategy for increased treatment volume at existing NeuroStar sites realistic? Is it realistic to expect significant new sales and treatment volume during the coronavirus pandemic? How will the breakthrough device designation for treating bipolar disorder impact STIM’s growth? What impact will the NeuroStar’s Outcomes Registry clinical data suggesting TMS as a first line treatment have on STIM’s growth? To answer these and other questions, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: Psychiatrists, TMS centers, Sales channel, Competitors, and Industry specialists. 


Companies: Neuronetics Inc. (STIM), Brainsway Ltd. (BWAY), Nexstim Plc (NXTMH.HE)


Research Begins: October 19, 2020


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