Medtronic launches spinal surgery system with Mazor technology
UPDATE: Jan. 28, 2019: Medtronic on Monday said surgeons are now using its Mazor X Stealth Edition system for spinal patients at sites in Kentucky and Virginia. The company plans to expand the American launch of its robotic surgery system to additional key U.S. regions throughout the coming year.
- Medtronic said Wednesday it has completed its acquisition of Israeli company Mazor Robotics for a reported $1.7 billion total, a deal first announced Sept. 20.
- The addition of Mazor's robotic guidance system for spinal surgery to Medtronic's own spine implants and navigation and 3D imaging technologies give the medtech giant a "fully-integrated prodcedural solution" for use by orthopaedic and neurosurgeons, Medtronic said in a news release.
- The company also used the opportunity to tout the November 510(k) clearance of the Mazor X Stealth Edition, a product of the Medtronic-Mazor partnership that brings together Medtronic's surgical navigation software and Mazor's robotic-assisted surgery platform.
Wednesday's announcement finalizes the largest acquisition by Medtronic since January 2015, when it completed its nearly $50 billion merger with Covidien. Having bought a 15% stake in Mazor in 2016, the actual cost of this year's acquisition was closer to $1.3 billion.
Mazor will become part of Medtronic's neurosurgery business, under the Restorative Therapies Group's Brain Therapies division. For the quarter closed Oct. 26, the neurosurgery business grew in the high-single digits, bolstered in part by sales of the Mazor X system, of which it has been the exclusive worldwide distributor since August 2017.
Geoff Martha, executive vice president and president of the Restorative Therapies Group at Medtronic, called the Medtronic-Mazor partnership the "latest example" of the company's strategy to "integrate implants, biologics and enabling technologies like navigation, 3D imaging, robotics and powered surgical tools," with the end goal of "refining procedures, reducing variability and impacting procedural outcomes."
The Mazor buy shows that Medtronic is serious about getting a significant piece of the growing robotic surgery pie, a market where Intuitive Surgical still reigns supreme.
On a Nov. 20 conference call, Medtronic executives highlighted that the company's own robotic-assisted surgery platform, which has been Medtronic's single largest R&D investment, will likely have a fiscal 2020 launch, with work on hardware, software and verification testing still in progress. Johnson & Johnson, Zimmer Biomet, Stryker and Smith & Nephew are among the competitors also investing in the space.