How CTL Amedica has grown since the $10M acquisition in spine, and what lies ahead

Alan Condon -   Print  |

CTL Medical acquired the spine portfolio of Amedica for $10 million in October 2018.

CTL Medical rebranded as CTL Amedica after the transaction, which made it the exclusive owner of Amedica's metal and silicon nitride spine products — Preference, Valeo and Taurus. Amedica has since changed its name to Sintx Technologies.

One year after the acquisition, at the North American Spine Society Annual Meeting in Chicago last month, CTL Amedica launched its new integrated cage system, Monet.

Two executives from CTL Amedica — President and CEO Daniel Chon and Vice President of Business Development and Marketing Rose Moore — spoke to Becker's about the company's development since the Amedica acquisition, its new product launch and what it takes to make an impact in such a competitive spine market.

Note: Responses were lightly edited for style and clarity.

Question: What innovation did CTL Amedica launch at NASS?

Rose Moore: We unveiled our Monet integrated anterior cervical fusion system. It comes in different material offerings and we will market PEEK and titanium to start. Ultimately that cage component is going to flow into our silicon nitride line as well. Our integrated system is unique in that we have both a two-hole and a four-hole option, and it's been incredibly well-received at the NASS annual meeting.

Q: How has the last year gone since the acquisition of Amedica?

Daniel Chon: It's interesting. You sometimes underestimate the integrative work that's involved in combining two companies. It took a lot of hard work and long hours. It's a big task but I think we've done really well in managing the different cultures and product lines and sort of reinventing the direction of the company. 

RM: The material has been well-received. It's unique for a company of our size to be able to offer a differentiated material. It's been a busy and exciting year with a lot more to come. 

Q: With such heavyweights like Medtronic and Stryker surrounding you, how do you strategize to stay relevant and make an impact in the spine market?

RM: We have an amazing team of motivated individuals that believe in the product and in our culture, and that really inspires the industry and the medical community to believe in our products as well. We can't be complacent for a second. 

Another way we make an impact is through innovation. As a more nimble company, it is crucial that we continue to innovate. 

DC: We're not big by any means but we're also not a startup company. We are at that awkward teenage phase of growth where the potential is there. Ultimately, we are a product company, and we cannot stop innovating. The larger companies have endless amounts of time, resources and money, and for us to navigate around those challenges, we really have to be smart about the decisions we make. There are some unforgiving decisions, such as if you run out of funds, what happens to you and the technologies you've invested in? Those are things we have meetings about as a team and lay out our direction and strategy. We have to make sure that we as a company are all united on that front and marching toward the same goal.

RM: From an innovation perspective, we don't have unlimited resources, so we have to make sure that products fill multiple needs — Monet is a great example of that. We needed to fill multiple indications with this system, that's why we have a two-hole zero-profile option and also the four-hole option that rests on the anterior portion of the vertebral body for increased stability. Also, it transitions a little better for those standard cage and plate users and provides a truly integrated solution for surgeons looking for options in the OR. It's true intraoperative flexibility. You're providing solutions for different anatomical variations, surgeon preferences and indications. That's what we're trying to do with all of our systems — develop truly comprehensive systems that answer multiple needs. And we're doing that with less resources than the larger companies.

DC: Especially the fact that we have a biomaterial [silicon nitride] that's truly unique. Silicon nitride really gives us a great option that we can incorporate into our product portfolio and biomaterial offerings. That's our long term goal, to truly differentiate from some of the larger companies that may be more powerful and have more resources. 

More articles on devices:
Stryker buys patient-specific implant tech from Conformis for up to $30M: 4 details
Omnia Medical gains FDA clearance for PEEK cervical vertebral body replacement device
How awake endoscopic spine surgery reinvigorated Dr. Raymond Gardocki's practice

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