Spine's Next Generation
As the growth of the spine market outpaces virtually every other orthopedic segment, spine companies are hot. But the challenges that small spine start-ups face aren't only technological; they're also competitive as the market is defined by large spine players and a host of major orthopedic companies looking to tap into spine's potential.
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For the past several years, NuVasive has been growing faster than its rivals in spine, thanks to its innovative XLIF procedure, a lateral approach to minimally-invasive spine surgery. But now the spine market overall has hit a wall. In a market no longer growing, can NuVasive continue to grow?
Medical device investors still see great potential in companies developing products to treat the spine. But they're particularly eager to find companies with fresh new approaches toward treatments rather than those that offer a marginal improvement to current products on the market.
Medtronic recently declared that InFUSE, the company's blockbuster spine bone graft product that provides the growth factor rhBMP-2 as part of a lumbar fusion cage, was well on its way to becoming standard of care in spine surgery. The company's success has fueled interest in a plethora of potential entrants into the biologic bone formation market.