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Orthopedic and Dental Industry News Complete Archive »

Musculoskeletal News Roundup 24-Sept-09 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, SEPTEMBER 24, 2009

Funding
MedShape Solutions closed a $10 million round of equity funding from unnamed private investors. The company will use the funds to develop its portfolio of PEEK-based shape-memory devices.

An Indianapolis foundation granted $7.0 million for the creation of OrthoWorx, a Warsaw-based initiative to "support the growth of the orthopedics industry through educational and community efforts" in northern Indiana. These include establishing a new charter school for workforce development or encouraging research collaboration between industry and Indiana research institutions.

Spinal Kinetics closed on $5.3 million of an anticipated $9.5 million round of debt, rights and securities. Participants in the round were not named, but prior investors include Ascent Group, BA Venture Partners, De Novo Ventures, HLM Venture Partners, International Life Sciences Fund, Ivy Capital Partners, Lumira Capital and Scale Venture Partners.

Regulatory
MedShape Solutions received FDA clearance for its Morphix Suture Anchor, which is manufactured from PEEK and has shape-memory properties. The company says devices from this material offer potentially increased strength as well as the benefit of being able to enter a cavity or bony tunnel and deployed to a much larger size. The product will be released to select U.S. markets in the coming months.

Osseon Therapeutics received CE mark clearance for its Osseoflex DR drill systems for percutaneous vertebral augmentation. The device is curvable and steerable.

Product Introduction and Update
Axial Biotech announced that its SCOLISCORE AIS Prognostic Test is now available in the United States. SCOLISCORE is a saliva-based genetic test designed to predict the risk of progression of scoliosis. The test is marketed by DePuy Spine.

MEDICREA announced the U.S. launch of the PASS LP De-Rotation connector, designed to treat long and complex spinal deformities or curvatures. The rods are pre-bent to the desired curve in the sagittal plane. The company will also be initiating a clinical study to assess the clinical, functional and radiographic outcomes following the reduction of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis using PASS LP system and its De-Rotation Connector. The study will begin in 2010 and include three years of follow-up.

Medtronic launched the KYPHON Cement Delivery System, which allows physicians to stand further from the radiation source during cement delivery phase. It can also be operated with one hand, "preserving some tactile feel during delivery," and the cement flow can be stopped with a quick-release button.

Investigations
RTI Biologics subsidiary Tutogen is under investigation in Germany for allegedly harvesting and distributing tissue that was illegally obtained from a company in Ukraine.

Distribution
Osseon Therapeutics, Inc. signed a five-year agreement with MBA Incorporado to distribute Osseon's products in Europe and South America. No financial terms were disclosed. Osseon manufactures the Osseoflex and Osseoperm devices for treating vertebral compression fractures.

Wright Medical launched Wright Medical Australia to manage the company's extremity and biologics distribution for Australia and New Zealand.

Operations
Applied Spine Technologies Inc. will relocate to Rocky Hill, Connecticut from their New Haven office. CEO Craig Corrance says that initially, the company needed to be near Yale, where the technology that become the Stabilimax System was developed, but the new office is more comfortable and efficient.

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