NASS 2018: Robotic platforms take center stage

Here’s a roundup from the North American Spine Society’s annual meeting in Los Angeles

Medtech companies in the spinal market are rushing to join the robotic revolution, with Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Globus Medical (NYSE:GMED) leading the pack, according to a Leerink Partner analyst’s note from the North American Spine Society’s 2018 annual meeting.

In a letter to investors, analyst Richard Newitter suggests that a “growing number of companies,” including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Zimmer Biomet (NYSE:ZBH) and NuVasive (NSDQ:NUVA), are focused on developing their own spine-focused robotics platforms, and that spinal robotic technologies are “clearly picking up steam and gaining surgeon mindshare.”

Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic made its move to the front of the pack with its recent $1.6 billion acquisition of Mazor Robotics (NSDQ:MZOR), Newitter wrote. During the company’s analyst session, management commented that “robotics is the most differentiated technology it believes it has seen in spine for over a decade and one that will represent [Medtronic]’s next chapter and point of differentiation going forward to drive share gains,” according to the letter.

Medtronic reportedly said that they felt it was “necessary to own Mazor as some of its integration plans/efforts were just taking too long within the context of separate organizations.” With the acquisition, the medtech giant said it can now accelerate product development initiatives as it looks to maintain its leading position in the category, according to the letter.

The company has plans to release a system which combines Medtronic’s Stealth navigation system with Mazor’s X robotics platform by the end of the year, which Newitter said will be the system Medtronic uses to make a “big incremental push on robotics.”

With the accelerated development and commercialization, Medtronic’s management said they estimate that robotics has the potential to comprise 30% of all spine procedures over the next decade, equating out to approximately $2.4 billion in recurring revenue opportunity, Newitter wrote.

By Fink Densford | MassDevice

Image Credit: Fink Densford / MassDevice

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About Peter Coffaro 693 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the orthopedic industry. Recognized by MedReps.com as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager and Distributor. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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