Where global spine market leaders are headed: 7 key notes on Medtronic, DePuy Synthes, Stryker & more

Spinal Tech

Here are key notes on some of the leading companies in the spine device market space — where they are today and where they're headed.

1. Medtronic has been a leading player in the medical device — and spine — space for years, and its Covidien acquisition last year moved headquarters to Ireland for continued growth. While the company's revenue was up in the third quarter, the spine revenue declined 5 percent. In the United States there was double-digit growth among BMP products, which partially offset the low-single digit decline in the company's core spine platform. There were also declines in interventional spine, and a loss of BMP sales in Europe.


The company is focusing on technologies and services that "can play a central role to make the shift to value-based healthcare successful," according to CEO Omar Ishrak.


2. DePuy Synthes, a Johnson & Johnson company, is looking to innovate beyond the operating room. The company recently entered into a strategic alliance with Value Stream Partners to develop and implement bundled payments for hips. Additional partnership opportunities could arise in the future as IBM Watson develops patient engagement tools and Google Graphs become more integrated in healthcare.


The company's worldwide orthopedic sales were down 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, but United States orthopedic sales grew 7.4 percent. Worldwide spine sales were down 5.5 percent but United States spine sales grew 3 percent to $2.2 billion.


3. Stryker reported net sales growth in the first quarter of this year at 4.9 percent, reaching $2.5 billion. The neurotechnolgy and spine business was up 12 percent from the same period in 2015, reaching $480 million. Spine sales for the quarter were $1.79 million, up 1.1 percent over the same period last year. However, spine sales dropped 12 percent internationally. Stryker recently acquired CareFusion's vertebral compression fracture portfolio and completed Physio-Control and SafeWire acquisitions, further diversifying its offerings.


4. NuVasive reports first quarter revenue at $215.1 million, up 11.8 percent over the same period last year. However, the company still experienced a net loss of $8.9 million for the quarter. CEO Gregory T. Lucier reports NuVasive is off to a "strong start" and plans to continue innovating this year. The company recently acquired Ellipse Technologies, including the MAGEC and PRECICE technologies, and delivered an operating margin expansion of 150 points for the quarter.


5. Globus Medical reported worldwide net sales increased 10.7 percent last year and the company launched 14 new products. Globus Medical is also working on a robotic technology product, which made steady progress last year. The company is working on a product trauma line integrated the branch medical acquisition to increase in-house manufacturing capabilities.


6. Zimmer Biomet reported $1.93 billion in fourth quarter revenue and total net sales last year were up 28.3 percent, reaching $5.9 billion. Spine sales were up 95.2 percent to $404 million. However the company recently finalized a definitive agreement to acquire Cayenne Medical, which will complement the company's sports medicine capabilities.


7. LDR published long-term clinical results in support of the two-level artificial disc replacement using the Mobi-C cervical disc earlier this year. The device showed lower secondary surgery rate when compared with spinal fusion and a higher composite overall success rate after five years — 61 percent compared with 31 percent. A cost utility analysis was also published in February showing the Mobi-C is cost-effective when compared with fusion five years after surgery. The company reported fourth quarter revenue at $44.5 million, up 16.2 percent, and full year revenue up 16.4 percent to $164.5 million. The United States represented 82.9 percent of the company's total fourth quarter revenue. But the company remains $5.8 million in debt.


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