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Orthopedic and Dental Industry News Complete Archive »

Musculoskeletal News Roundup 7-Feb-08 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, FEBRUARY 7, 2008

Earnings
Smith & Nephew announced 4Q:07 revenues of $967.0 million, beating estimates of $933.0 million and reflecting a 25% (reported) increase over 4Q:06. Adjusted earnings per share was $0.16, in line in estimates and up 10% over the year-ago period. Orthopedic reconstruction revenue was up 49% to $374.0 million, and Trauma/CT was up 21% to $176.0 million. In particular, the company noted that the in the U.S., the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System was performing well and that knee revenue growth was recovering.

Regeneration Technologies Inc. reported 4Q:07 revenue of $25.5 million, up from $19.1 million in the year-ago period. Revenue beating estimates by $1.1 million. Net loss per diluted share for 4Q:07 was $0.09, compared to a net loss per diluted share of $0.22 for the year-ago period, which the company attributed to certain after-tax charges. Among segments in 4Q:07, spinal revenue was up 27%, to $10.3 million; sports medicine implants were up 96% to $9.0 million; bone graft substitutes were up 16% to $3.9 million; and general orthopedic implant revenue was at a similar level as last year at $0.25 million.

Tutogen reported FQ1:08 revenues of $15.0 million, up 30% over the year-ago period and beating estimates by $0.1 million. Adjusted earnings per share was $0.02, missing estimates by a penny. Among segments, dental revenues increased 27% and surgical specialty product revenues increased 73%. Additionally, on February 27, a special meeting of Tutogen's stockholders will convene to consider and vote on the proposed merger with Regeneration Technologies.

CONMED Corporation reported 4Q:07 sales of $189.6 million, beating estimates of $180.7 million and representing an 12% increase over 4Q:06. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share was up 33% to $0.44, beating estimates of $0.38. Sales growth was attributed to the arthroscopy segment, where revenues were $78.6 million and up 31% over the year-ago period.

Funding
Archus received a $10.0 million loan facility from GE Healthcare Financial Services. Archus will use the funds to "accelerate their growth and clinical development process."

M&A
Nobel Biocare has agreed to acquire AlphaBioTec Ltd, an Israeli dental implant company Nobel credits as "the innovator of the predecessor to NobelActive." Nobel will acquire all outstanding shares in the company for $95.0 million in cash and shares. The company expects the transaction to close in 2Q:08 and be accretive from the first year.

Product Introduction
Wright Medical announced a limited launch of the BIOFOAM™ Cancellous Titanium Tibial Base. Among the product's features, the press release describes the BIOFOAM™ Tibial Base as having a "roughened texture that 'bites' into bone for cementless fixation of the implant." The company also launched the SUPERCAP® technique for total hip arthroplasty, designed to minimize the damage to surrounding soft tissue during a THA, the PROFEMUR® Xm Hip Stem and the PROFEMUR® Z Revision Hip Stem.

Medtronic launched its NANOSTIM™ Synthetic Bone Paste for use in surgical procedures in the European Union and other ex-U.S. markets. According to the press release, NANOSTIM is a nanohydroxyapatite-based bone graft substitute that does not harden; the company adds that it stays in place, is non-exothermic and can fill voids in any shape.

Investigations
Synthes and Viscogliosi Brothers LLC have been subpoenaed by the New Jersey attorney general over financing for the development and testing of Synthes' ProDisc. The news follows a New York Times article last week insinuating that surgeons' financial interests affected results in ProDisc's clinical trial.

Partnerships
Tornier, Inc. and BioSurface Engineering Technologies, Inc. have entered into an exclusive world-wide technology collaboration to develop, commercialize and distribute products based on BioSET's synthetic growth factor technology, known as F2A. The collaboration will focus initially on ligament and tendon repair products that will feature F2A-based coatings.

License Agreements
Alphatec Holdings, Inc. announced that the company's wholly owned subsidiary, Alphatec Spine, Inc., and Progressive Spinal Technologies L.P. entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement that provides Alphatec Spine the right to commercialize Progressive's dynamic anterior cervical plate technologies. The technologies incorporate a unique self ratcheting mechanism that enables the dynamic anterior cervical plate to allow for axial settling in order to increase load sharing with the graft and thereby improve fusion rates.

Distribution Agreements
Misonix, Inc. entered into a distribution agreement with Aesculap, Inc. for the U.S. distribution of the Misonix BoneScalpel™, a bone-cutting device used in spine and cranial applications. Included among the terms are minimum purchase requirements and royalty payments on sales of disposables.

Operations
Zimmer announced plans to open a 100,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Shannon, Ireland. Zimmer will invest between $70.0 and $75.0 million over the next two years in the new facility and plans to begin manufacturing operations in late 2008. The facility will produce knee replacement implants, though other products could be added in the future.

Clinical
TiGenix announced the publication of new ChondroCelect® clinical study data in the February issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The study found that at one-year follow-up, patients who received the ChondroCelect procedure had repair tissue superior to that identified after microfracture.

Appointments
Alphatec Holdings, Inc. announced that Rohit M. Desai and Dirk Kuyper, Alphatec's current President and CEO, were elected to Alphatec's board of directors. The appointments increase Alphatec's board of directors in size from seven directors to nine, and increases the number of independent directors from four to five.

Thomas Kirk was appointed president and chief executive of Hanger Orthopedic Group, replacing Ivan R. Sabel. Sabel will remain with Hanger as chairman.

Applied Spine Technologies appointed neurosurgeon Michael J. Giordano, MD, MBA, as its Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Giordano will oversee an ongoing, randomized, controlled, national clinical study of its Stabilimax NZ® Dynamic Spine Stabilization System. The study is evaluating the Stabilimax NZ device against patients receiving traditional fusion surgery for the treatment of lumbar stenosis.

SpineVision promoted Stephane Bette to the position of General Manager of SpineVision Inc., its U.S. operations. Mr. Bette, who co-founded the company, has served as Vice President of SpineVision's U.S. Operations and Director of R&D since January 2007.

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