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.
Image Credit: Fink Densford / MassDevice