David C. Paul, Exec. Chairman
David M. Demski, CEO
Anthony L. Williams, President
Daniel T. Scavilla, Sr. VP and CFO
Eric Ian Schwartz, Sr. VP and General Counsel
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 1,500
GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS: Audubon, Pa.
In 2000, Intuitive Surgical brought robotic-assisted surgery into the limelight with the market release of its da Vinci Surgical System. Since then, others have tried to catch up to the definitive leader in the space. Titan Medical, Verb Surgical, and TransEnterix are just a few of the companies developing similar systems or who have already launched alternatives into the market. Focusing on orthopedics, Stryker’s Mako, Smith and Nephew’s NAVIO, and the Medtronic-backed Mazor X from Mazor Robotics are where a majority of the attention is focused within the space, although other providers are rapidly introducing their own solutions. Last year, Globus Medical added to that group of orthopedic-focused robotic surgery assist platforms with its Excelsius GPS.
The company started 2017 off on a positive note as its robotic solution gained a CE mark shortly after the start of the new year. The versatile system supports both minimally invasive and open orthopedic and neurosurgical procedures, with applications ranging from the cervical spine to the sacroilium, long bones, and cranium. According to Globus, the Excelsius is designed to minimize radiation exposure, streamline workflow, and reproducibly assist in implant placement.
Unfortunately, when attempting to gain access to the much more significant U.S. market where robotic surgical procedures are used in more cases than anywhere else in the world, according to Avicenne Medical’s Ali Madani, the company hit a bump in the road. In May, Globus received a letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stating the company had not “sufficiently addressed the FDA’s questions regarding the company’s 510(k) submission…”
The delay, however, was brief. In August, the company announced it had secured the necessary clearance from the FDA and would therefore be able to market the robotic system within the United States.
“Excelsius GPS is the culmination of years of research and development efforts and demonstrates Globus Medical’s product development capabilities,” said Norbert Johnson, vice president of robotics, imaging, and navigation. “We believe the Excelsius GPS System will advance patient care and provide tangible benefits for surgeons and hospitals in terms of time, accuracy and reduced radiation exposure through the application of robotic and navigation technology in spine and orthopedic surgery.”
Doubling down on its investment in the technology, in the second quarter of 2017, Globus Medical had closed on the acquisition of robotic developer KB Medical SA, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“The acquisition of KB Medical demonstrates Globus Medical’s continued commitment and enthusiasm for the potential impact of robotic technology on surgery,” said Dave Demski, then president of emerging technologies. “The addition of KB Medical will enable Globus Medical to accelerate, enhance, and expand our product portfolio in imaging, navigation, and robotics. KB Medical’s experienced team of technology development professionals, its strong IP portfolio, and shared philosophy for robotic solutions in medicine strengthen Globus Medical’s position in this strategic area.”
Given the growth opportunities this area offers for Globus, perhaps it was a logical choice for the Globus Board of Directors to name Demski as the new CEO in August. As previously mentioned, Demski had been serving as president of emerging technologies since 2015, a role designated to forward Globus’ long-term growth strategy in the development of new businesses. He had been a senior executive at Globus Medical since its inception in 2003, first serving as CFO until 2008. He then became president and COO, a position from which he navigated the company to above-category growth and profit margins, culminating in a successful initial public offering in 2012.
Demski moved into the role of CEO to replace Globus Medical’s founder and chairman of the board, David C. Paul, who was recovering from a health condition. Paul remained as executive chairman, however, where his focus was more on strategic initiatives and less on day-to-day operations.
“With Dave taking over day-to-day management of the company, I can focus on the things I am most passionate about and the areas in which I can bring the most value to our shareholders: strategy and technology innovation,” said Paul. “Globus Medical was built on delivering groundbreaking solutions to surgeons and their patients, and we will not stray from our core mission. We have built a strong company and will move forward with the same vision and passion for which we are known. I look forward to being part of the company’s continued success.”
That success includes offering more than 180 products indicated for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. Sales of those products reached just short of $636 million in 2017, which was an impressive double-digit increase of 12.8 percent over 2016’s $564 million. Its two business segments demonstrated equally substantial growth over the prior year.
Innovative Fusion includes a range of implant and surgical approach options to treat degenerative, deformity, tumor, and trauma conditions along the entire spine. The business enjoyed sales of $327 million, a 13.8 percent increase over 2016. Notable within this segment was the QUARTEX—a Occipito-Cervico-Thoracic stabilization system—and Alphatec products distributed by Globus following a transaction between the two companies in 2016.
The other half of Globus Medical, Disruptive Technologies, offers expandable cages, MIS, INR technology, motion preservation, and regenerative biologics technologies, as well as interventional pain management solutions. It saw sales rise to $309 million, which also represented double-digit percentage growth—11.6 percent. Noteworthy products from this division include the aforementioned Excelsius GPS, which saw its first commercial sale in the fourth quarter of 2017. In addition, the segment offers biologics products such as bioactive glass-based KINEX and SIGNIFY bone void fillers. The first orthopedic trauma products came out of the Disruptive Technologies unit and launched in the fourth quarter of the year. Among the company’s 11 FDA-cleared trauma systems are CAPTIVATE compression screws, ANTHEM fixation plates, AUTOBAHN intramedullary nails, and the ARBOR external fixation system.
Fueling a substantial portion of the growth for Globus last year was the previously mentioned 2016 transaction with Alphatec International. That $80 million deal gave Globus Alphatec’s existing international direct and distributor sales channels, which, prior to the deal, generated approximately $71 million in sales in 2015 and $15.6 million in the first quarter of 2016. As a result of bringing those distribution channels under Globus’ umbrella, the company saw its international sales grow 66 percent to $106 million in 2017. Comparatively, U.S. sales only increased 5.9 percent to $530 million.