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Orthopedic and Dental Industry News Complete Archive »

Musculoskeletal News Roundup 24-Jun-10 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 24, 2010

Funding
Baxano closed on a $30.0 million Series C round led by new investor CMEA Capital, who were joined by new investors Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Affinity Capital Management and existing investors Prospect Venture Partners, Three Arch Partners and Kearny Venture Partners. The funds will support the U.S. launch and post-market study of the iO-Flex System, a minimally-invasive device indicated for lumbar decompression.

SpineForm LLC received $1.0 million in funding from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission to support the development of HemiBridge, which is described as a staple to be used for the treatment of scoliosis without spinal fusion surgery. Colorado-based Lanx received the same award to form an Ohio division to "finalize the design and commercialization of a device to measure range of lumbar motion in patients with back injuries."
A third recipient of the award was OrthoHelix Surgical Designs Inc., who plan to finalize the design of a variable-angle locking technology for extremity applications.

Product Introduction and Update
Aesculap launched the S4 MIS (Minimally Invasive Solutions) Cannulated Pedicle Screw Spine Fusion System, which the company describes as allowing for "guided pedicle screw technique with a reduced incision size." It is indicated for use in the thoracolumbar spine.

Medtronic launched the KYPHON ActivOs 10 Bone Cement with Hydroxyapatite. The company reports that in a rabbit model, the HA enabled new bone to form on the surface of the cement without an intervening fibrous tissue layer.

Legal
Smith & Nephew was awarded an injunction against Arthrex by a U.S. district court in Texas in an ongoing patent case concerning Smith & Nephew's ENDOBUTTON Fixation Device for use in arthroscopic knee surgery. The judge also moved to stay the injunction pending Arthrex's appeal. In February, a jury ruled in favor of Smith & Nephew and awarded the company $4.7 million in damages.

Legislation
The Senate passed a patch on a scheduled 21% cut to physician Medicare pay. The block will raise pay by 2% through November.

Collaborations
Kensey Nash and Arthrex entered into an agreement regarding Kensey's extracellular matrix (ECM) technology. Kensey will develop and manufacture porcine dermis-derived biologic surgical meshes which Arthrex will market for use in sports medicine tendon repair and small joint surgeries.

Toronto-based Therapure will provide manufacturing services for ProChon Biotech, which is developing a fibroplast growth factor technology for articular cartilage regeneration. Therepure adds that pending FDA approval of ProChon's product, the companies are also negotiating contracts for ongoing manufacturing services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Operations
BioTime established a new subsidiary called OrthoCyte to "focus on the development of novel stem cell-based regenerative products for orthopedics." Potential products will include therapeutics for bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. Arnold Caplan, Ph.D., will serve as CSO of OrthoCyte.

NuVasive leased a new office building in Paramus, New Jersey. The company says the facility will include a training facility for doctors and house research and development and sales personnel. The new site should open in July.

Appointments
Vertos Medical, which markets a minimally-invasive technology for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis, appointed Randel W. Woodgrift senior vice president of operations and research and development and Ann Deren-Lewis vice president of marketing. Prior to joining Vertos, Mr. Woodgrift served as business unit vice president at Edwards Lifesciences Corp. Ms. Deren-Lewis was most recently vice president, medical services and professional relations for Merz Pharmaceuticals.

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