An industry analyst expects Zimmer Biomet’s Rosa Knee robotic system to represent a formidable competitor to Stryker’s Mako Knee after the Rosa Knee’s full launch later this year. However, both Mako and Rosa have their strengths and weaknesses, and neither is clearly superior, the analyst said.
Surgical robotics is hotter than ever this year, particularly on the orthopedics side, and Zimmer Biomet is about to crank up the heat even more. The Warsaw, IN-based is expected to initiate a full launch of its Rosa Knee robotics system in the back half of the year.
FDA cleared the system for use in robotically-assisted total knee replacement procedures in January, but Zimmer Biomet took a disciplined approach to commercialization.
“We’re going to do a limited launch out of the gate,” Zimmer Biomet CEO Bryan Hanson said during a Feb. 1 earnings call. “We want to be very disciplined in our approach to launching a new robotic system to make sure that we do it right. We have the right education. We have the right service levels. And we will do that limited launch for, let’s call it six months. Post that limited launch is when we move into full launch. And that’s when the organization gets unleashed and we utilize that technology in that full launch status.”
Needham & Co.’s Mike Matson published an analysis Wednesday of the potential impact of the anticipated full launch. In particular, Matson looked at how Rosa might impact Stryker’s Mako robot, which garnered impressive revenue during the fourth quarter of 2018.
Interestingly, Stryker also took a conservative approach to its Mako launch. The Kalamazoo, MI-based company made the market wait more than a year after FDA approval for the full commercial launch of its Mako total knee product. In Stryker’s case, the product proved to be well worth the wait.
Zimmer Biomet has lost knee market share on a year-over-year basis in nearly every quarter since the Zimmer-Biomet merger, according to Matson. The full launch of the Rosa Knee is likely to change that story though. The analyst also noted that the company’s share loss can be attributed to supply issues and other product gaps, not just the lack of a robotics offering. He also acknowledged that the share loss did slow last year as Zimmer Biomet began to address its supply issues.
By Amanda Pedersen | MD+DI
Image Credit: Zimmer Biomet
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