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Orthopedic and Dental Industry News Complete Archive »

Musculoskeletal News Roundup 3-Jun-10 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 3, 2010

M&A
GEMCITY Engineering and Manufacturing, a contract manufacturer and Riverside Partners portfolio company, acquired Vistek Medical. Vistek is a contract manufacturer of medical devices and components and is located in Ivyland, Pennsylvania. No financial terms were disclosed.

Product Introduction and Update
Mazor Surgical Technologies announced the first sales of its GO-LIF spine implants in Germany. The GO-LIF fixation system is designed for use with the company's SpineAssist robots. The company also sells its devices in Russia.

OrthoDynamix launched the ArthroSteer Biter, a disposable biter for meniscal shoulder and knee repair. The company says the jaw can bend 180 degrees and has 360-degree jaw rotation, which can align the jaw with the tissue plane and can "literally eliminate dozens of reusable biter instruments configured with varying pre-set bent shafts," according to CEO Bill Dennis.

Osprey Biomedical introduced the Eagle Cervical Allograft Series, which is part of the company's ATPS Preservation System. The product is delivered in a non-toxic solution that "preserves allografts in their natural hydrated state." The ATPS line of hydrated grafts is designed to "reduce brittleness and fracturing, save valuable OR prep time, and minimize the documented fracturing effects of freeze drying."

Wright Medical announced full commercial launch of the VALOR Hindfoot Fusion Nail, which is indicated for the treatment of skeletal deformity, late-stage arthritis or neuro-osteoarthropathy. The system has been in limited use in a few centers in the U.S. while the company gathered early clinical results since November of 2009.

Legal
The DOJ settled with the Idaho Orthopaedic Society, a Boise orthopedic practice and five orthopedists over allegations that the parties agreed to not treat most worker compensation cases and threaten to withdrawal from Blue Cross of Idaho insurance to negotiate more favorable contracts.

Stryker and Wright Medical settled a decade-long copyright infringement suit over a knee technology filed by Stryker's Howmedica Osteonics Corp. Wright Medical will continue to sell its Advance knee product line without any required payments to Howmedica.

Intellectual Property
Amedica received U.S. Patent No. 7,695,521, covering a monoblock ceramic acetabular cup made from the company's silicon nitride material for use in hip replacements.

Cambridge Polymer Group received U.S. patent 7,619,009 related to its hydrogel technology. The patent covers methods for "preparing a biocompatible liquid that gels in vivo without chemical reaction." The company is developing this technology for nucleus pulposus augmentation, orthopedic applications, synthetic tissue models and tissue bulking.

Clinical
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons issued a position statement supporting total ankle replacement surgery as a "safe and effective treatment option for select patients with end-stage ankle arthritis."

Pioneer Surgical Technology noted that among patients in its NuBac IDE feasibility study, there have been no device expulsions at two years. The NuBac implant system, made from PEEK-OPTIMA, is a nucleus replacement device that "utilizes an articulating inner ball and socket design that seeks to achieve load sharing and uniform stress distribution under various physiological loading conditions."

RepRegen, formerly known as Bioceramic Therapeutics, announced three-month data from an in vivo study of its StronBone bioactive glass, designed for use as a bone void filler. The company reports that bone in the defect was 68% stiffer and 41% denser in the StronBone defect than in the control defect.

Education
Zimmer is partnering with the EFORT (European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology) Foundation to provide grants to post-graduate surgeons specializing in adult reconstructive orthopedics and trauma. Zimmer will donate EUR 0.1 million ($0.2 million) to the EFORT FOUNDATION Visiting Fellowship Program, which will award grants to 40 visiting fellows so that they can "learn about new techniques in practical orthopedics, trauma science and pathophysiology" at high-volume European centers.

The grants are specifically intended for
Transparency
Medtronic is now posting annual physician payments exceeding $5,000 on its website. Additionally, the company has also standardized its practices for physician collaboration and compensation, taking steps that include identifying a precise business need for each collaboration and using services agreements, standardized across businesses, that document in advance services to be provided by physicians and the fair market value payment to be made for the services.

Miscellaneous
Medtronic announced that Steve La Neve would leave his post as the head of the company's Spinal and Biologics business.

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