Smith & Nephew’s Orthopaedic Trauma & Clinical Therapies division will distribute, market and sell the product, called Spine Fix, in North America, Europe and Australia. Spine Fix is used to treat painful compression fractures in the spine. It is a ready-to-use, self-hardening bone cement that is injected into the vertebrae through a minimally invasive procedure known as a vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty.
Procedures using Spine Fix, which are meant to reduce pain and improve mobility, can take less than one hour; pain relief can be felt as quickly as 25 minutes following the procedure.
Spine Fix has been approved in Europe since 2003. In 2006, it got the go ahead in the U.S., where Smith & Nephew plans to launch it officially in the third quarter of this year. The market for Spine Fix is substantial, with more than 700,000 spinal compression fractures occurring each year and more than 10 million people suffering from osteoporosis.