Medtronic Launches OsteoCool System for Spinal Metastasis

In an attempt to expand its product portfolio that addresses pain therapeutic solutions, Medtronic plc MDT recently launched its OsteoCool radiofrequency (RF) Ablation System in the U.S. market, subsequent to the receipt of the FDA 510(k) approval for the same. The OsteoCool System is designed to treat cancer patients suffering from painful spinal metastasis.

 Incidentally, the OsteoCool RF Ablation System came under Medtronic’s wings through the company’s acquisition of the device and its intellectual property rights from original developer Baylis Medical in Dec 2015.

This deal also entails a strategic partnership between the two companies, for further improvement of the OsteoCool system. The collaboration aims to enhance patients’ access to this novel spinal tumor ablation technology.

We believe the commercial availability of this next-generation ablation system will be accretive to Medtronic’s Neuromodulation business, which suffered a partial revenue loss in connection to the consent decree filed against it by the FDA in Apr 2015.

It is worth mentioning in this context that spinal metastatic is a common condition affecting cancer patients. Evidently, bone metastasis occurs in 60–80% of cancer patients, more often among those with primary malignancies of the breast, prostate, liver and lung.Out of these bone metastatic patients, 70% have been found to develop at least one lesion in the spine.

The American Cancer Society estimates 1,685,210 new cancer case diagnoses in the U.S. alone in 2016. Naturally, a huge number of cancer patients stands the risk of spinal metastasis – a common byproduct of which is a painful tumor.

The OsteoCool System seems to better Medtronic’s traditionally available Kyphon Balloon Kyphoplasty, used for reducing or eliminating back pain associated with a spinal fracture only. In Nov 2015, Medtronic received expanded clearance for its Kyphon Xpede Bone Cement for treating microfractures, often caused by cancer cells breaking down bones in the body.

On the other hand, the improved OsteoCool Bone Access Kit can also be used for a subsequent, physician-directed procedure such as kyphoplasty. We believe, once launched, the success of the OsteoCool system in the U.S. market will soon pave the way for its impending CE Mark in the European Union.

With the global neuromodulation market expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.2% from 2015 through 2020, to reach $6.20 billion; we expect the aforementioned developments to allow Medtronic gain a larger share of this market potential, going ahead.

Currently, Medtronic carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked medical products stocks are Abaxis, Inc. ABAX, Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. CAPR and LeMaitre Vascular, Inc. LMAT. All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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