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Johnson & Johnson Plans to Develop a Line of 3-D Printed Reconstructive Implants BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JUNE 26, 2014

Last month, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced that the company plans to file for more than 30 major product approvals within its Medical Device & Diagnostic (MD&D) unit by the end of 2016, in order to bolster the segment's overall growth. Management expounded that in regards to its Orthopedics division, which operates under the MD&D segment, the company planned to launch new products including, shoulder repair and hip replacement systems designed to preserve bone, electrosurgery, hydrocephalus, intramedullary nail and spine systems, a non-avian single injection therapy, and high speed power tools.

Recently though, JNJ has given further insight into the company's future product development priorities. A little less than a year ago, Johnson & Johnson opened its Kendall Square Innovation Center, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the aims of helping to foster early-stage biotech companies looking to get novel products off the ground. Last week, JNJ unveiled a series of research and development (R&D) collaborations and investments in early-stage companies of novel biotechnology and medical devices through its Boston-based innovation center.

In relation to orthopedics, JNJ’s Innovation Center with its medical device division, DePuy Synthes, formed a strategic collaboration with Tissue Regenerative Systems (TRS) to develop customized, resorbable, 3-D printed implants for large bone segmental defect treatment in trauma and orthopedic oncology. An advantage of such technology is that it doesn’t require metal screws for attachment. Moreover, two distinct advantages to 3-D printing technology has two distinct advantages to traditional non-printed implants are: 1) customized and personalized structures can be generated through a more streamlined process, and 2) the technology is capable of producing porous metal.

Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will develop implants utilizing DePuy's market leadership with TRS’s 3-D printing technologies. The collaboration also includes potential future development opportunities for applications within DePuy Synthes’ range of "strategic interest".

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