Is Wright Medical Back on Track?
Wright Medical hasn’t enjoyed the smoothest ride over the past 15 years, a stretch that included a spin-out, debt problems, and a buyout, as well as an IPO. All the while, though, the company has proven to be an innovator in the large joints industries and now—under new CEO Gary Henley—it is establishing itself as a force in the extremities and biomaterials markets.
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China’s MicroPort Scientific paid $290 million in cash for Wright Medical’s hip and knee business, which has a pipeline of products – including FDA approved implants – ready for sale in China’s growing orthopedics market. The acquisition pits MicroPort against multinationals that previously held an edge selling implants to Chinese patients and doctors who seem to favor devices that carry approval from the US FDA.
While the mature hips, knees, and spine segments of the orthopedics industry are growing by low single-digit rates, some sectors of the extremity industry are growing by 13% to 14%. START-UP profiles three companies in different sectors of extremities: Conventus Orthopaedics, in the hand and wrist market, Nextremity Solutions, working on devices for the forefoot, and Cartiva Medical, with a cartilage platform and an initial focus on the great toe.
After more than a decade of crafting small bone orthopedic implants from its innovative PyroCarbon biomaterial, Ascension is hoping to reach its full potential by obtaining regulatory approval for a line of carbon shoulder replacement systems that might change the way the joint is treated.