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Medtronic Spine Releases New Spinal Screw; Enters Agreement with Amgen

Minneapolis, Minn.-based Medtronic Inc. has introduced the CD Horizon Solera spinal system sagittal adjusting screw (SAS), designed for use in the surgical correction of complex spinal pathologies. The SAS features a fixed head made of cobalt chrome that contains a sliding saddle. This engineering concept is reported to give vertebral body control with accommodation of rod seating, allowing surgeons the ability to position the SAS in the natural kyphotic (outward) and lordotic (inward) curves of the spine.

“The sagittal adjusting screw is another key element in enhancing the capability of our CD Horizon Solera pedicle fixation system,” said Doug King, Medtronic senior vice president and president of Medtronic Spinal. “It brings new innovation to the market and extends our industry-leading portfolio of spinal therapies.”

The CD Horizon Solera spinal system is Medtronic’s fifth-generation spinal fusion system and is cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, fracture, dislocation, failed previous fusions, tumors and, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The system accommodates multiple rod material options and gives surgeons and hospitals an array of choices to treat a diverse set of spinal conditions.

In other Medtronic Spine news, the company has agreed to promote Thousand Oak, Calif.-based Amgen Inc.’s Prolia injection. Representatives from Medtronic’s Interventional Spine division will promote Prolia to spine specialists in the United States for use in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis (PMO) at high risk for fracture. According to Amgen, Prolia is the first approved therapy that specifically targets RANK Ligand, an essential regulator of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bone).

Terms of the strategic partnership are set for three years. Medtronic sales representatives will begin promoting Prolia to spine physicians treating patients who have a history of osteoporotic fracture no later than July 31. Financial terms of this agreement are not being disclosed.

“Amgen’s commitment to serve PMO patients at high risk for fracture combined with Medtronic’s expertise in orthopedic and spine surgery provides a unique opportunity to reach an audience of physicians who are at the forefront of evaluating and treating women with fractures caused by PMO,” said Marion McCourt, vice president and general manager of bone health at Amgen. “This partnership allows us to intervene shortly after an osteoporosis-related fracture has occurred, and encourage therapeutic intervention to help reduce the risk of a subsequent fracture.”

It is estimated that one in two women older than the age of 50 will have a fracture related to osteoporosis in their lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Studies also show that only 24 percent of women who suffered an osteoporotic fracture received treatment during the following year.

“This new agreement increases awareness and access to our current base of orthopedic and spine physicians already treating patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures,” added King. “Identifying successful treatment options and access to care at the site of service for the growing number of women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture is our primary objective. We could not have selected a better partner in Amgen, known industry-wide for their treatments and patient care.”

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