By Jeff Buchanan – July 19, 2016
Last week, Mequon, WI-based Titan Spine made a pair of announcements related to its ongoing effort to commercialize a new line of surgical implants.
The first: that Southlake Equity Group, a private equity firm based in Southlake, TX, had made a “substantial” investment in Titan Spine.
The second: that the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had created a new medical billing code for “a nanotextured surface on an interbody fusion device.” Titan Spine co-founder and CEO Peter Ullrich says that the product line his company is preparing to roll out meets those criteria, and is the only set of devices that has been approved for use of the code.
Ullrich estimates that 85 percent of the market for spinal implants is controlled by six companies. They are all large and publicly traded: Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), Stryker (NYSE: SYK), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA), Zimmer Biomet (NYSE: ZBH), and Globus Medical (NYSE: GMED).
“This is why the code is so immense for us,” Ullrich says. “Market access is difficult for small companies. If we have a different code than Medtronic and Stryker, [they] can’t say, ‘We already have one,’ because they don’t. It’s going to be a big selling point.”