Medtronic Spine 2019: The year in review

Written by Alan Condon | December 20, 2019 | Print  |

Medtronic's spine division had a big 2019 with several device launches, clinical trials, acquisitions and significant financial returns. 

Here are six of the biggest moments coming out of Medtronic's spine division over the past year:

1. In November, Medtronic posted $7.7 billion in second quarter revenue, which is a 3 percent increase year-over-year. Its spine revenue was up 5.5 percent for the second quarter, hitting $692 million. Geoffrey Martha, president of Medtronic, attributed the returns to the capital equipment, Mazor O-arm navigation, placements, sales and pull through of the company's spine implants. "When you stack quarter-after-quarter-after-quarter of meaningfully more placements than the competition, our installed base has gotten pretty big, and we've got a lot of momentum here."

2. The company announced it is moving forward with a clinical trial that will examine Infuse, or BMP, in TLIF procedures. Medtronic is recruiting patients for the trial, which could include up to 50 sites and 1,000 patients, and is also enrolling patients in a separate clinical trial evaluating Infuse for posterolateral fusions. The FDA and Medtronic are collaborating to include retrospective safety and efficacy data into the PLF trial. Infuse was cleared for single-level ALIF procedures in 2002, however it came under scrutiny when surgeons began experiencing complications and publishing peer review articles based on their findings. It has since been used in 2 million patients.

3. In January, four months after the acquisition of Mazor, Medtronic launched the Mazor X Stealth Edition in the U.S. The Mazor X robotic guidance system holds surgical instrumentation in place during spine procedures. The University of California San Diego became the first healthcare system to install the device, which Medtronic recently launched in India. The company reported that the system surpassed 1,000 patient cases in September and plans to expand its capabilities. 

4. Medtronic acquired Titan Spine in June, a private company focused on titanium spinal implants and surface technology. The acquisition enables Medtronic to bundle interbodies, screws, rods, biologics and enabling technologies — which includes robotics and navigation — for an overall integrated spine solution.

5. The company's restorative therapies group, which includes devices and implants for spine, musculoskeletal and brain conditions, is expected to see an uptick in revenue in the coming years, according to Trefis, an interactive data and analysis platform. Growing demand for Medtronic's brain and pain therapies could drive the restorative therapies group to reach $9.1 billion in revenue in 2021. The restorative therapies segment — which accounts for 26.8 percent of Medtronic's total revenue — reported a $1 billion revenue increase from fiscal year 2016 to $8.2 billion in fiscal year 2019. 

6. The FDA cleared Medtronic's Stealth Autoguide system for neurosurgical procedures in December. The system provides neurosurgeons with robotic-assisted positioning and trajectory guidance for cranial procedures. Stealth Autoguide, cleared for biopsies, stereoelectroencephalography depth electrode placement and for positioning Medtronic's Visualase bone anchor, aims to improve surgical workflow by providing real-time navigation and visualization of the robotic alignment.

More articles on devices:
Dr. Nicholas Grosso on why his practice avoided PE investment and how consolidation will impact orthopedics
49 orthopedic devices receive FDA 510(k) clearance in November
Dr. Terrence Kim, Cedars-Sinai see robotic spine surgery as the way of the future

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