Hot Startups (just my opinion)
Recently, readers have been asking me, “What are the hot startups in Orthopedics?“
Orthopedic startups have come and gone for decades. I have a good eye for seeing the ones that are positioned for big disruption and success. This skill served me well in joining Ellipse Technologies just before the rocket took off in 2012.
Disclaimer 1: The list is 100% my opinion. No one is paying me. It’s just my opinion.
Disclaimer 2: “Hot” means that these startups are early stage, thinking BIG and taking chances. “Hot” does not necessarily mean that these startups will be successful. Startups are inherently risky because not all management teams can navigate the risks along the journey (technology, regulatory, funding, adoption, business model, distribution model, etc).
#1 In2Bones Global (Memphis, TN) – Category: Extremities
In2Bones is on fire! Starting in August 2016, the company completed a consolidation merger with its French subsidiary, In2Bones, SAS (Lyon, France) to form In2Bones Global, Inc headquartered in Memphis, TN. Since the merger, the company has launched several innovative products including the NeoView® PEEK Distal Radius Plate, the NeoSpan® SuperElastic Compression Staple, the Reference Toe System™, AlloAid® PIP, AlloAid® Nail, the CoLink™ Forefoot Plating System, the 5MS™ 5th Metatarsal Fracture Repair System and the CoLag™ Compression Screw System. The CoLag™ Screw represents an entirely new concept in orthopaedic bone fixation. Almost nothing has happened in orthopaedic screw design in the past 25 years. The CoLag™ screw with its “compressive stability” feature highlights the true game changing design work of In2Bones. As is true with all In2Bones implants, the CoLag Screw is provided sterile, UDI compliant and traceable. In2Bones is growing and advancing the science within the extremity market. It is a company to watch! www.i2b-usa.com
#2 Trice Medical (King of Prussia, PA) – Category: Joint Diagnostics
Trice has a greatly disruptive product, an instant MRI in the doctors office for $450. Patients get an instant diagnosis. A clinical trial will study the diagnostic arthroscopy in the physicians office using a needle with a camera and light source. They are just getting started. Their second generation Mi-Eye is fast and simple as a needle biopsy and the image is great. Raised $18M in Series B and held the first-ever National Sales meeting in 2017. They have a CPT Codes for Diagnostic Arthroscopy. Watch Trice!
#3 ActiveProtective (Philadelphia, PA) – Category: Trauma
AP is trying to solve the coming epidemic of fragility hip fractures as the baby boomers move into their 8th decade. AP has developed a wearable belt that deploys an airbag when a fall is detected to help prevent hip fractures in older adults. They are focusing on a consumer play in the personal safety category (translation – no FDA). Huuuuuge market, a small team, a recently closed $2.6M seed round and a Series A round, and will complete their first pilot in 2017. Watch the Ted Talk (5 mins)
These guys are ones to watch.
#4 The NextStep Companies (Akron, OH) – Category: Total Joints
Randy Theken, known as the founder of Theken Spine, is a young serial entrepreneur that you have to take seriously. He has just gone “all in” on additive manufacturing. He’s created three complementary companies – NextStep Arthropedix, NextStep Ideas, and Slice Manufacturing Studios – that will deliver disruptive 3D printed technology in total joints. Randy claims, “Within five years, I intend to be able to make the claim: NextStep is the largest medical device manufacturer producing implant devices, using 3D printing technology.” Still pretty stealthy. Stay tuned. For more insight read – A peek into serial entrepreneur Randy Theken’s new venture, NextStep
#5 CyMedica Orthopedics (Phoenix, AZ) – Category: Sports Medicine
The e-vive system provides wireless, app-controlled muscle stimulation therapy individualized for each patient’s comfort and convenience, E-vive helps keep patients engaged with their rehab by tracking their progress and allowing data sharing with clinicians.
#6 OrthoSpace (Caesarea, Israel) – Category: Sports Medicine
#7 Treace Medical (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) – Category: Extremities
Bunion deformity surgery has a bad rap. Given the vast majority of surgical treatments are “metatarsal osteotomies” with published recurrence rates as high as 78%, it isn’t hard to see why! While osteotomies by nature address only the “symptom” of the bunion, Treace Medical has developed a game-changing surgical treatment, called the “Lapiplasty procedure”, designed to reproducibly correct the multi-plane bunion deformity at its root cause. The company believes Lapiplasty will change the negative stigma of bunion surgery by dramatically reducing recurrence rates and improving the mechanics and function of the affected toe. Over the past year the Lapiplasty procedure has gained rapid clinical adoption and was recently awarded a broad method patent. A large neglected market, a disruptive therapy, plus an “A-list” board of directors with a track record for home runs, puts this one on my radar.
#8 Mazor Robotics (Caesarea, Israel) – Category: Spine, Robotics
The Israeli’s are known as great entrepreneurs. With Mazor they have done it again. Mazor is accelerating faster than any robotics company in spine with more precise and less invasive technology. Think Intuitive Surgical. With tons of cash (IPO + major Medtronic investments) and a global Medtronic distribution deal, they are likely to dominate this space. Follow the historical success of Mazor through stories here.