Zimmer Returns To Its Roots
Once an implant manufacturer's most valuable asset, independent distributors have taken a beating recently. Now, one major implant company reaffirms the value of independent distribution in a cost-constrained marketplace.
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Amedica says its high-strength silicon nitride-based ceramic could be the answer to some of the more vexing problems in spine, hip and knee surgeries. But can this materials science expert become a real orthopedics company?
Once the very model of stability among orthopedics companies, Biomet went through a rocky period a while ago as its stock price tanked and its long time CEO left the company. To the rescue has come a group of private equity investors who will take the company private when the transaction closes later this year. Biomet officials insist the company's turnaround will be based on the same success factors that made the company successful in the past: product innovation, strong distributor relationships, and close customer ties. But the question is: what changes, if any, will Biomet's new owners bring?
For the past decade, fusion, cage or not, has been the gold standard in spine surgery. Now, a handful of companies, including Seattle-based Spinal Dynamics, is betting that fusion will be replaced by joint replacement, in this case artificial disc replacement, in spine surgery just as it did in total hip and knee surgery many years ago. Spinal Dynamics' main challenge lies in overcoming surgeon skepticism, especially in cervical procedures where fusions are common and very successful. And to help, they've lined up a distribution agreement with spine market leader Medtronic Sofamor Danek.