UPDATED AND CORRECTED
On Wednesday, I forwarded the argument of an analyst that Medtronic’s (NYSE:MDT) controversial bone graft product Infuse will likely live on in a diminished form, even if an independent review confirms its safety.
So the obvious question is, who will fill the void left by Infuse?
While no company or product single-handedly can be an alternative to Infuse, Caroline Corner, the analyst from MLV & Co., believes that some companies have products that will now naturally be the surgeon’s next best option.
They are Osteocel Plus sold by California firm NuVasive, a Medtronic rival with which the company is engaged in a lawsuit; Trinity Evolution, sold by Orthofix Biologics in Texas; and Vitoss sold by Pennsylvania firm Orthovita, now part of Stryker.
But there is one company that Corner feels particularly excited about. That company is Montana-based Bacterin International.
The company, which is public, published results of a small clinical trial on 28 patients where its OsteoSponge product went head-to-head with Infuse. Data showed that it had as good spinal fusion rates as Infuse and none of the risks. Bacterin management estimates that Infuse has roughly 35 percent to 40 percent of the orthopedics biologics market, and Corner added that if Bacterin can show positive OsteoSponge clinical data on a larger sample, it would have a winning argument.
The pricing — Corner estimates OsteoSponge costs one-third of Infuse — can only help given the cost-conscious era we live in right now.
Let the race begin …
This version removes an incorrect quote about OsteoSponge.