Musculoskeletal News Roundup 13-April-17

April 13, 2017 | Blake Mossy

FUNDING

Ortho Kinematics secured $18.6 million in a Series D equity financing. The new capital will be used to expand the commercialization of the company’s Vertebral Motion Analysis (VMA) technology, designed for assessment of spinal instability and alignment.

REGULATORY

Audax Medical received an exclusive worldwide license from Northeastern University for a next-generation, self-assembling arinine-rich peptide in NU’s Nanomedicine Lab in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Initial studies indicate the potential of the material to accelerate healing and promote targeted cell functions, while limiting inflammation and infection. Moreover, the nanoparticles inhibit bacteria without the use of antibiotics. The company is eager to utilize the peptides in the wound care, oral surgery, and orthopedic/spine applications.

Mazor Robotics received clearance from the FDA for its Mazor X Align software, designed to assist surgeons in planning spinal deformity correction and spinal alignment procedures. The platform utilizes the company’s Pre-operative Analytics software suite to help surgeons create patient-specific, 3D spinal alignment plans. The 3D plan aims to enhance pre-operative strategy implementation and increase post-operative patient satisfaction.

CLINICAL

Anchor Orthopedics announced the first U.S. use of its AnchorKNot Tissue Approximation kit at the Texas Back Institute for the treatment of a herniated disc. The system aims to provide surgeons with solutions that optimize procedures in disc repair while preserving the biomechanics of the patient and improve surgical outcomes.

ConforMIS announced results from a study of its iTotal PS total knee replacement. The study compared the knee motion of patients implanted with iTotal PS to patients implanted with an off-the-shelf Zimmer-Biomet NexGen PS total knee replacement, the results indicated that patients treated with the iTotal PS more closely resembled those of a normal knee than patients treated with the traditional, off-the-shelf implant.

Inspired Spine announced the completion of 500 Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF) minimally invasive procedures. The system utilizes a 15 millimeter incision, reduces blood loss compared to traditional fusions, and requires no muscle detachment to access the disc space.

Simplify Medical announced the first patient has been treated using its Simplify cervical disc system evaluating the use in two adjacent levels of the spine. The system is comprised of PEEK-on-ceramic materials that are designed to be clearly view on MRI with minimal artifact, potentially protecting patients from radiation exposure from computed tomography (CT) scans. The prospective, randomized controlled trial will enroll up to 215 patients with cervical degenerative disc disease at 15 centers, and compare implantation of two of Simplify’s contiguous discs from C3 to C7 to 2-level cervical fusion.

Researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center concluded that a person’s body mass index (BMI) has no effect on whether or not meniscus repair surgery will fail, indicating that surgeons should not consider weight as a factor in deciding whether a patient is a good candidate for the specific procedure. Historically, surgeons utilize risk factors like weight, activity level, stability of the knee and type of meniscus tear to determine the surgical pathway for a patient with a torn meniscus using. If these risk factors allude to a moderate chance of a meniscal repair procedure failing for the patient due to their profile, then the surgeon could perform a meniscectomy, the removal of a part or all of the meniscus. Meniscectomies however, can often leave patients with a less stable knee and can eventually lead to a joint degradation, while research shows that repairing the meniscus, which preserves the natural cushioning rather than removing it, can prevent future knee issues like arthritis. In the study, published in The Journal of Knee Surgery, patients who underwent meniscal repairs, were followed and evaluated from 2006-2012. The 410-patient study determined that there was no meaningful difference in the rate of failures for patients with a normal BMI (less than 25) and those with a higher BMI of 25 or more. Therefore, patients with higher BMIs can achieve the same level of success as patients with lower BMIs for meniscal repair. The research team noted that 90% of the study’s patients had BMIs less than 35, so it is uncertain whether more severe obesity profiles can contribute to meniscal repair procedure failures.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Aurora Spine received a patent from the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) related to its Polyaxial ZIP ISP system, covering the implant’s polyaxial design. The patent permits full polyaxial maneuverability of the implant components in difficult situations during minimally invasive fusion cases and addresses the company’s ONE-STEP locking mechanism, which is designed to eliminate the use of a screw set.

COLLABORATION

DJO Global entered into a partnership with IPG for the delivery of its products to IPG’s health plan clients and patients. DJO’s surgical portfolio includes a full suite of advanced solutions for hip, knee and shoulder arthroplasty that aim to contribute to lowering surgical costs and patient out of pocket costs.

APPOINTMENTS

Spine Wave appointed Brian May as the company’s Executive Vice President, Research and Development. Prior to Spine Wave, Mr. May served as one of the two directors running Product Development for  Zimmer Biomet’s Knee Reconstruction business.