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Orthopedic and Dental Industry News Complete Archive »

Musculoskeletal News Roundup 1-Oct-09 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, OCTOBER 1, 2009

Earnings
MEDICREA reported revenues of EUR 6.1 million ($8.6 million) in 1H:09, representing a 32% increase over 1H:08, which the company attributed to growth in sales from direct subsidiaries, primarily in the United States. Net loss was EUR 1.5 million ($2.1 million), improved from a net loss of EUR 3.4 million ($4.8 million) in 1H:08.

M&A
Wound Management Technologies acquired Resorbable Orthopedics LLC in an all-stock transaction. Resorbable Orthopedics manufactures a resorbable bone wax and a delivery system for bone void fillers.

Funding
Blue Belt Technologies closed a $2.4 million series a round led by private investors, including the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse and Innovation Works. The company will use the funds to develop the Precision Freehand Sculptor, an intelligent, handheld, computer-assisted bone-cutting tool.

The Center of Innovation for Biomaterials in Orthopaedic Research in Wichita, Kansas received $2.1 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to build a composite prototyping lab, where they will develop products like stretchers, braces and surgical tables.

Regulatory
Life Spine received 510(k) clearance for the SENTINEL Occipito-Cervico-Thoracic (OCT) System, a rigid fixation system that, among other features, offers "streamlined implants and instruments" and polyaxial screws in a number of diameters and lengths.

Product Introduction and Update
Cardo Medical announced the introduction and first successful implantation of the Align 360 Total Knee system. The Total Knee is an adjunct to the company's Align 360 knee platform, which consists of a uni-compartmental system and its patello-femoral system. All three systems are designed to conserve bone and to simplify the surgical procedure such that outcomes are reproducible.

Integra LifeSciences released a smaller configuration of its Accell Evo3 Demineralized Bone Matrix, a bone void filler initially indicated for large orthopedic reconstructive procedures. Now the smaller size of Accell Evo3 broadens the applications for the DBM.

Scient'x announced its focus on offering Dynamic Solutions for the spine. The cornerstone of the Scient'x Dynamic Solutions strategy is the Isobar Evolution Dynamic Rod, which the company introduced as an adjunct to posterior pedicle-based fusion. Dynamic Fusion, also known as semi-rigid fusion, immobilizes and stabilizes the spinal segment. It allows for load sharing across the fused construct and decreases stress at the screw interfaces when compared to rigid fusion.

Smith & Nephew launched the TRUCATH Spinal Injection System for use in performing transforaminal epidural injections. The device allows the needle to be placed outside the bony structure of the spine, delivering the catheter to the transforaminal entry point while reducing the potential for venous and arterial trespass.

Legal
Six hospitals in Indiana and Alabama will pay $8.3 million to the U.S. government, settling allegations that the hospitals defrauded Medicare by admitting kyphoplasty cases as inpatient procedures from 2002 to 2008 and billing the cases as such. Under most circumstances, kyphoplasty can be performed on an outpatient basis.

Distribution
RSB Spine signed an exclusive U.S. distribution agreement with Paradigm BioDevices, Inc., who have eight sales agents and more than 250 representatives. RSB Spine manufactures modular fusion products addressing the zero-profile market and plans to introduce two new products in 2010.

Partnerships
Stellartech and OrthoMEMS entered into a strategic alliance to produce a reader for wireless communication with the OrthoChip, a sensor implanted in the spine. The OrthoChip is described as a battery-less, wireless sensor that measures spinal disc pressures.

Scient’x Group S.A.S. announced a strategic alliance with Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA that will include collaborative biomechanical and clinical research, technology development and medical education. Scient’x recently launched its new strategy focusing on dynamic fusion, including the introduction of its Isobar Evolution Dynamic Rod, which is indicated as an adjunct to fusion for the lumbar spine. Oliver Burckhardt, President and CEO of Scient’x, said, “Partnering with an institution like AGH will expedite the study and global acceptance of such innovative technologies."

Appointment
Custom Spine promoted Frank Herrington to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Previously, Mr. Herrington held the position of Vice President of Sales for the Southeast Region of the United States.

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