Ottobock Buys Boston-Based “Active” Prosthetic Maker BionX

David Holley, March 29, 2017

BionX Medical Technologies, a Boston-area company that makes a prosthetic foot and ankle product that uses robotics technology, has been acquired by Ottobock, a German prosthetics company with North American headquarters in Austin, TX.

The deal was announced earlier this month. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, so it’s hard to tell how good an outcome it is for investors and shareholders. BionX raised more than $60 million in equity and debt funding since its inception, including $17 million in late 2015. The company’s investors include General Catalyst, WFD Ventures, Sigma Partners, Gilde Healthcare, and ZGC Shiner Investment.

BionX was founded as iWalk in 2006 by Hugh Herr, an MIT Media Lab professor who runs the school’s Center for Extreme Bionics and who himself is a double amputee below the knees. The company’s device, called the Empower Ankle, uses robotics to propel an amputee forward while adapting to his or her walking style; the actively driven ankle joint tries to replace the function of muscles and tendons. Ottobock says the device can give the user more energy while walking.



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