A federal judge in New Jersey yesterday transferred a sales rep poaching case between DJO Global and Stryker (NYSE:SYK) to Indiana because the quintet of ex-Stryker sales reps involved live there and most of the events in th case occurred in the Hoosier State.
The lawsuit, originally filed in April 2016 in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, alleged a scheme by DJO and the former Stryker sales reps – Kywin Supernaw, Brad Bolinger, Justin Davis, Jake Eisterhold, Eric Huebner and Tim Broecker – that took a roughly 33% bite out of Stryker’s ortho & trauma sales in Indiana in 2015.
In June 2016 DJO and the reps fired back, asking Judge John Michael Vazquez to dismiss the case for lack of evidence, or alternatively to shift it to the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana. Yesterday Vazquez granted the motions to relocate the case, according to court documents.
Image Credit: MassDevice
In an exciting year for healthcare, orthopedic device companies underwent mergers and acquisitions, strove to find the most innovative solutions and made calculated decisions in the hopes of achieving long-term success as the market becomes increasingly competitive. So who had the best 2016?
In what could potentially serve as an important moment in the quest to 3D-print body parts, a team of scientists from Sweden’s Sahlgrenska Academy and Chalmers University of Technology have managed to successfully implant human cartilage cells in six-week-old baby mice.
The researchers created a gel composed of human cartilage cells, printed it through a CELLINK 3D bioprinter and implanted the material inside the lab mice. Once implanted, the tissue began to grow and proliferate inside the animal, eventually vascularizing, with blood vessels growing inside the implanted material. After two months, the material began to more closely resemble human cartilage, which was further stimulated with the addition of stem cells.
The team worked with local plastic surgeons to implant the material, which could one day be used to create more natural implants for patients who have lost ears, noses or knees due to accidents or diseases like cancer.
Image Credit: TechCrunch
Dr. Matthew T. Hummel of Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers performed the first total knee replacement surgery using new robotic-arm assisted technology at St. Elizabeth Healthcare — technology available at only a handful of medical centers in the nation.
Today’s successful surgery was performed using a device called the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System. The surgeon’s use of the robotic-arm system brings exceptional accuracy to the surgery — which can mean the patient has a much better result, with more natural movement and less pain after the surgery.
Together with highly detailed computerized scans of the knee before surgery, the robotic arm-assisted device ensures incredibly accurate cuts for the surgery, along with precise alignment and placement of the knee implant. The device allows for accuracy within a single millimeter, or the thickness of a thread.
“I think our ability to use this advanced technology can really change the world for our patients who need this type of surgery,” Hummel said. “With our surgical expertise and with this equipment, this surgery can now be performed with exceptional accuracy, providing better results for patients.”
Image Credit: Stryker
Spinal Orthopedics: PhD Student at Stevens Institute of Technology Creates 3D Printed Scaffolds at 8 Cents Each
There are so many things we can 3D print today, from entire homes and cars to integral parts being created today in nearly every industry, from aerospace to apparel. The medical field, however, has benefited from countless 3D printed innovations—with many of them pertaining to scaffolds meant for various purposes and often aiding in tissue and bone growth.
The overall benefits of 3D printing continue to be proven by those using the technology all over the world, demonstrating self-sustainability in manufacturing as well as allowing for products that could not have been created before due to a range of hardware, software, materials, and textures. And while some products may be expensive to produce en masse via 3D printing, often affordability is a major part of the equation—offering stunning savings. This is certainly the case with a new 3D printed plastic scaffold that costs a mere eight cents to 3D print, and may be able to promote bone growth at a more accelerated rate.
Image Credit: Stevens Institute of Technology
Surgical robots dominated the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons as Stryker launched its highly anticipated Mako total knee application, Smith & Nephew showed off a prototype of its Navio total knee application (with a projected launch of mid-2017), and Zimmer Biomet announced an aggressive timetable for launching its Rosa total knee application within the next 18 months.
All the hype surrounding robotics begs the question, do these robots represent the future standard of care in orthopedics, or are they just a fad?
“We think robotics are real and here to stay,” said Mike Matson, an analyst with Needham & Co. “But the tougher question is, just how big will it get?”
Matson said he does not expect robotics to break out of its niche and become the standard of care. He also predicted that adoption of surgical robots could be slower than some investors are anticipating.
“Has robotics addressed the difficulties of navigation (ease of use, learning curve, added time, etc)? We’re not convinced that it has, at least in its current form,” Matson said.
On the other hand, Matson said patients seem to have an easier time grasping the concept of robotics than navigation, which should make consumer marketing more effective. Still, he added, “we’re not sure that this is enough to make robotics the standard of care.”
Image Credit: Zimmer Biomet
These new orthopedic products generated a lot of buzz at last week’s meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
The annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is an opportunity for orthopedics companies to showcase their latest, greatest innovations for customers. At this year’s event in San Diego, the following products especially caught analysts’ eye.
By Jamie Hartford | Qmed
Image Credit: Stryker