- British medical device company Smith & Nephew announced Tuesday it completed its acquisition of California-based Ceterix Orthopaedics, paying $50 million upfront with the possibility of an additional $55 million over the next five years depending on the product's financial benefit to Smith & Nephew's sports medicine division.
- The acquisition was motivated by Ceterix's NovoStitch Pro Meniscal Repair System, which enables surgeons to repair complex meniscal tears. Smith & Nephew said that the device complements a product already in its line targeting vertical tears, a more commonly repairable injury.
- Despite a historic medical propensity toward surgically removing rather than repairing torn menisci, Smith & Nephew said it sees an opportunity to double the proportion of repaired menisci in the medium term.
Every knee has two menisci, described by the Mayo Clinic as C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act as cushions between the shin and thigh bones. A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries for people of all ages, causes pain, swelling and limited range of motion, and can lead to osteoarthritis in the knee if untreated.
Many tears are treated with partial or total meniscectomies, or surgical meniscus removals, but a shift in orthopaedic thinking has led to the incidence of meniscus repairs to now grow at a faster rate than removals.
President of Sports Medicine and ENT at Smith & Nephew Brad Cannon said in a December news release the Ceterix technology "addresses an unmet clinical need." The company's own Fast-Fix 360 repair system targets vertical meniscus tears, whereas the newly-acquired, 510(k)-cleared device enables surgeons to arthroscopically repair a wider range of injuries, including horizontal, radial, complex, bucket handle and root tears.
“NovoStitch offers the potential to repair tear types that were previously considered difficult or impossible to sew," said Peter Kurzweil, president of Memorial Orthopaedic Surgical Group in Long Beach, California, also in the news release.
The acquisition fits in with Smith & Nephew's specialties; sports medicine joint repair and arthroscopic enabling technologies are two of its highest-grossing sectors. Reported revenue growth for sports medicine joint repair was up 9% in the third quarter of 2018 versus the previous year.
The NovoStitch Pro will be sold through Smith & Nephew's sports medicine division, but will also continue to be sold by Ceterix’s sales team.
Though it's U.K.-based, Smith & Nephew has also been in the news this year for its involvement in NestCC's initial round of real world evidence test cases. The company has also been growing its robotic surgery capabilities and 3D printing ventures.