Prior Fiscal: $1.10 billion
Percentage Change: +6.3%
No. of Employees: 2,800
Global Headquarters: San Diego, Calif.
Chris Barry, CEO
Matt Link, President
Matt Harbaugh, Exec. VP and CFO
Dale Wolf, Sr. VP, Global Operations
Sean Freeman, Sr. VP, Strategy and Corporate Development
James Garrett, Esq., Sr. VP, Government and Regulations Strategy
Kyle Malone, VP, Clinical, Medical, and Regulatory Affairs
Suzanne Hatcher, VP, Internal and External Affairs
Known for his mental toughness and relentless playing style, Jerome “The Bus” Bettis, Super Bowl champion and NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer is considered one of the best NFL running backs of all time. But even The Bus isn’t immune to back pain.
When Bettis started suffering back pain, he noted in the early stages he felt he could push through any amount of pain, leveraging his “play through the pain” mentality. But as the pain progressed, The Bus found it was more than just a regular, everyday ache. About a year after his symptoms began, Bettis couldn’t enjoy normal activities foundational to his life like teaching his kids to play basketball and golf. It even began to affect his ability to walk long distances and stand up straight.
“I knew that this pain couldn’t go on because the daily things that as a father, you’re supposed to do, I wasn’t able to,” he said.
Bettis began conducting research on posterior and lateral surgeries, consulting with several surgeons. He eventually met Dr. Juan Uribe, chief of Spinal Disorders with Barrow Neurological Institute, and was introduced to the XLIF procedure. Bettis was delighted to hear the less invasive XLIF could reduce recovery time compared to traditional posterior surgery. He moved forward, and was able to play a full round of golf about three months post-op. Since the XLIF procedure, The Bus is back to an active lifestyle, playing golf two or three times a week.
“After experiencing the ease of surgery and quick recovery with NuVasive’s minimally invasive surgery, I want to share my story and encourage patients considering [surgery] to take the leap and get their life back,” Bettis said.
Emboldened by the success of the minimally invasive, lateral approach XLIF procedure, The Bus became NuVasive’s brand ambassador last August. 2019 also marked CEO Chris Barry’s first full fiscal year leading the company. The year proved to be successful—NuVasive grew revenue 6.3 percent, garnering $1.17 billion. The Spinal Hardware franchise, which contains implants and fixation products, climbed 8 percent to reach sales of $851 million. Product volume for the spinal hardware business boosted revenue by about 11 percent, offset by unfavorable pricing impacts of about 2 percent.
Last February the Precice Bone Transport System joined the NuVasive Specialized Orthopedics (NSO) collection thanks to both FDA clearance and CE mark approval. The system includes an implantable, magnetic intramedullary nail with a dual slot to support intercalary bone segment transport. After implantation, an external remote controller moves the bone segment up to 10 centimeters depending on each patient’s specific needs. The all-internal solution is contrary to traditional external fixation systems, which require wearing an external device for an extended time. (A milestone of 10,000 nail implants using the Precice system was achieved last August.)
The first uses of Cohere XLIF, a lateral porous PEEK implant for XLIF and lateral single-position spine surgery, took place last April. Cohere XLIF is part of the ongoing NuVasive prospective multicenter study that began in September 2018 to assess advanced implant technologies in XLIF procedures. Cohere XLIF was the first product launch for the XLIF and lateral single-position surgery applications using porous PEEK technology.
“The transition from smooth PEEK to Cohere XLIF has been seamless. In my experience, workflow and imaging properties are essentially the same, and neither impaction forces nor graft containment have been compromised,” said Dr. Anthony Kwon, board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital.
Last June, the firm expanded its Advanced Materials Science (AMS) portfolio by releasing Modulus TLIF-O, a porous titanium spine implant for transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Its porous topography facilitates osseointegration, and a porous, roughened endplate design promotes new bone ongrowth at four weeks. A lattice structure balances strength and radiolucency while mimicking the stiffness of bone. Modulus TLIF-O’s lordosis is cut in the oblique plane, and has the ability to insert and rotate or impact the implant with the same instrumentation to restore sagittal alignment with introducing coronal misalignment.
The Modulus TLIF-A (A standing for anterior here) porous titanium spine implant hit the market last August. Modulus TLIF-A completed NuVasive’s AMS portfolio for all major posterior interbody fusion techniques used in TLIF. The new implant boosted the firm’s standing in the U.S. interbody device market—estimated to be over $1.2 billion.
“The Modulus TLIF-A system is the perfect synergy between optimized material properties and deliverability,” said Jeffrey L. Gum, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at the Norton Leatherman Spine Center. “The lattice design allows for improved imaging characteristics, a prime environment to promote fusion, and an ideal modulus of elasticity.”
The porous titanium Modulus Cervical interbody implant for cervical applications was released in September. This augmented the AMS portfolio by including both porous PEEK and porous titanium options for anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) techniques, which are commonly performed to address cervical disc degeneration or spinal instability.
The firm earned FDA clearance to expand the CoRent Small Interlock system’s indication to use at multiple contiguous levels from C2-T1 for ACDF procedures. The CoRoent Small Interlock system is a no-profile interfixated device implant in the confines of the vertebral disc space to treat cervical disc degeneration and spinal instability. It features a zero-step locking mechanism, large fusion aperture, angled instrumentation, and a three-screw implant design.
The Surgical Support segment, which encompasses intraoperative monitoring services, disposables, and biologics, and capital equipment, earned $317 million last year and remained relatively flat. Product and service volume increased proceeds by 2 percent, but unfavorable pricing impacts tempered the growth by 1 percent.
The company revealed the X360 system integrated with the Pulse surgical automation platform at last April’s American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting. Proprietary surgical procedures XLIF, XALIF, and XFixation are integrated with the Pulse platform so multiple procedures can be performed from the lateral position throughout the surgery. The X360 approach can reduce up to an hour of operating time, according to a study in BioMed Research International. According to NuVasive, integration with Pulse saves a hospital nearly $5,000 per patient on average.
The Pulse integrated technology platform officially launched last July. It combines neuromonitoring, surgical planning, rod bending, radiation reduction, imaging and navigation functions, robotics, and smart tools to boost OR efficiency during spine surgery. The integrated technologies help improve utilization of minimally invasive surgery techniques.
Pulse’s 2D and 3D imaging combine novel camera, array, and workflow technologies. Preoperative planning software incorporates alignment parameters, implant integrations, surgical modeling, and other tools to create a reliable pre-surgical plan. An automated nerve detection system help minimize variability and speed interpretation of neural information. LessRay smart imaging takes low-dose, low-quality images and improves them to look like full-dose images. Spinal rod-bending technology creates patient-specific rods bent precisely to implant locations.
“The advantages of an integrated ecosystem delivering an intuitive, automated workflow and future-proof expansion capability has the potential to revolutionize my spine practice more than any other new technology introduced over the past decade,” commented Stephen Ryu, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Palo Alto Medical Foundation.