Swedish-Developed Technology to Treat Osteoarthritis Hundreds of Surgeons Have Adopted the Device As an Early-Stage Treatment Larger Version Will Make Joint Preservation Available to More Patients
NEW YORK, September 1, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Small Bone Innovations, Inc. (SBi), a single-source provider of products, technology and education for the small bone and joint sector of the orthopedic industry, has added the Artelon(r) CMC Spacer LG to its line of thumb-base osteoarthritis (OA) treatments.
The Artelon CMC Spacer LG is of similar design to the Artelon Spacer CMC-I used primarily to treat basal thumb OA in women, who make up about 75% of patients for this implant. The new spacer is essentially an implant for bigger thumb joints. It is a T-shaped woven construction of biodegradable Artelon fibers that acts as a scaffold to preserve the joint and promote bony ingrowth to support restoration of joint function without harvesting tissue.
The vertical portion of the Artelon CMC Spacer LG interposes the arthritic joint between the trapezium and the first metacarpal. At 2.0-cm, it is twice the length of the CMC-I. The horizontal 'wings' of the Spacer, fixed to the trapezium and metacarpal, stabilize the joint and prevent subluxation. The wings are 1.5 cm in length and 1.5 cm in width, compared to the 1.0 cm by 1.0 cm wings of the CMC-I.
Cleared by the FDA in September 2004, the Artelon Spacer CMC-I has so far been adopted by more than 200 surgeons to treat early-stage basal thumb OA. The CMC-I design was originally targeted at female patients in Scandinavia, but research within the U.S. during the past 12 months has revealed a significant need for the larger implant to treat male patients.
The Artelon CMC Spacer LG is the first new product launched under SBi's November, 2005 global licensing agreement with Artimplant AB (STO: ARTI-B), the Swedish developer of the Artelon platform. The agreement is focused on a variety of small joint applications.
Anthony G. Viscogliosi, Chairman & CEO of SBi, said, "Small Bone Innovations is fully committed to the largest, most advanced product portfolio for upper and lower limbs. The success that this type of tissue sparing, function restoring, and motion preserving implant is having on its patients is further focusing surgeon attention on the small bone and joint sector of the orthopedic market. The Artelon CMC Spacer LG will quickly enhance SBi's mission to provide new and innovative solutions to orthopedic surgeons and their patients."
Michael Simpson, President & COO of SBi, commented, "This ground-breaking technology offers an appealing, intermediate choice between drug therapy and joint fusion surgery when the efficacy of long term pain medication regimes is under challenge. The Artelon CMC Spacer has quickly become a thoroughbred in the stable of SBi products, and this new, larger version will only help more surgeons and their patients find relief."
Alejandro Badia, MD, of the Miami Center for Joint Reconstruction, added, "The use of tissue-sparing technology holds immense promise in treating basal thumb osteoarthritis. While active women traditionally made up the population of patients that were afflicted and diagnosed, men with symptoms of osteoarthritis are becoming increasingly prevalent. They now have a viable option for relief from pain and restoration of motion."
About Small Bone Innovations, Inc.
Small Bone Innovations, Inc. (SBi) was founded in 2004 by Viscogliosi Bros., LLC, (VB), the New York-based merchant banking firm that specializes in the musculoskeletal /orthopedic sector. VB created SBi as the first company to focus purely on small bone & joint science. By integrating established companies and professionals in the field, SBi today offers a broad, clinically proven portfolio of products and technologies to treat trauma and diseases in small bones & joints. Today, SBi has more than 140 employees at facilities in New York, NY, Morrisville, PA, Minneapolis, MN and Bourg-en-Bresse, France.
VB's acquisitions and technology licenses included: Avanta Orthopaedics, Inc. (hand/wrist/elbow arthroplasty and trauma products -- USA); Envision, Inc. (implant manufacturing -- USA); Actipore(tm) (porous metal technology -- Canada); Artelon(biologically active & biodegradable technology -- Sweden); Xtremi-T, LLC (resorbable trauma technology -- USA); and Fixano, S.A.S. (broad line of small bone & joint implants -- France).
SBi completed a Series B financing, raising a record total of $42.2 million, announced in January, 2006. Based on data provided by Venture Source, this was the largest venture capital investment ever recorded in the field of orthopedic devices. SBi was a 2006 recipient of Red Herring magazine's annual "Red Herring 100 North America" award, recognized as one of the nation's leading technology companies and the only orthopedic device company selected among an initial entry of more than one thousand firms. Additionally, SBi's Artelon CMC-I Spacer, developed for patients with thumb base osteoarthritis, was featured on the cover and highlighted within Medical Design Technology magazine's "Year of Innovation" issue as one of the most fascinating technologies influencing the medical device industry.
For more information on SBi, please visit: www.totalsmallbone.com
About Viscogliosi Bros., LLC
Established by Marc R. Viscogliosi, John J. Viscogliosi and Anthony G. Viscogliosi in New York City in 1999, Viscogliosi Bros., LLC (VB) was the first venture capital/private equity and merchant banking firm dedicated to the musculoskeletal/orthopedics sector of the health care industry.
Today, VB is a leading independent firm with a mission to create, build and finance companies founded on innovations developed by surgeons and uniquely focused on "life changing" musculoskeletal/orthopedic technologies. VB has worldwide surgeon, industry and trade relationships and significant financial expertise in the musculoskeletal/orthopedic sector.
As principals of VB, the Viscogliosi brothers have a combined total of nearly half a century of experience analyzing and investing in the musculoskeletal/orthopedics sector, directing literally billions of dollars through the orthopedics industry. They have pioneered innovative financial, strategic and management initiatives for nearly 150 companies in the sector, from start-up, seed and development stage all the way to exit, while helping thousands of people lead better lives through the orthopedic and spinal products marketed and sold by the companies they have assisted in developing and financing.
For more information about VB, please visit: www.vbllc.com
About Artimplant AB
Artimplant is a biomaterials company, based in Vastra Frolunda, Sweden, and focused on solutions to problems in orthopedic, odontological and reconstructive surgery. The Company is engaged in the development, production and marketing of degradable implants designed to restore active lifestyles and improve quality of life. The proprietary Artelon technology, a long-term degradable biomaterial, offers new solutions to unmet clinical needs and opens new markets. Artimplant's business model is that of licensing its products and technology to global partners. The Company currently has six licensing agreements and one distribution agreement with three global partners. Artimplant is a public company, listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, O-list.
For additional information, please visit: www.artimplant.com
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties impacting the Company's business including increased competition; the ability of the Company to expand its operations and to attract and retain qualified professionals; technological obsolescence; general economic conditions; and other risks.
CONTACT: Viscogliosi Bros., LLC Anthony G. Viscogliosi (212) 583-9700 ext. 100 Creative Partners Chris Storer (203) 705-9219 Cell: (203) 952-6403