Out of crisis often comes opportunity, and so is the case with the ongoing morass over the safety of metal-on-metal hip implants. MedCity News reports that Indiana startup Iconacy recently gained FDA clearance for what could potentially be a safer and cheaper alternative to their all-metal counterparts that have caused their manufacturers, and patients, so many problems.
So far, Iconacy has raised $3 million, which helped support development and the regulatory approval process for its i-Hip total hip plant device, according to the article. Pending a new funding round expected to begin in January and clinical tests, the product will hit the commercial market. And it will go against much larger companies--from Smith & Nephew ($SNN) to Stryker ($SYK), Zimmer ($ZMH) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ)/DePuy--that have been roiled by increasing evidence of safety problems with all-metal hip implants and are now immersed in recall issues and thousands of lawsuits.
How does Iconacy's stand out? MedCity News explains that its i-Hip product is made from Vitamin E-infused polyethylene (licensed from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Cambridge Polymer Group). Envisioned more like a traditional implant rather than a metal-on-metal hip implant, the design is intended to make the implant easier to maneuver. Company president Tom Allen also told MedCity News that he envisions a cheaper product compared to those made by Iconacy's much-larger device industry rivals. Meanwhile, hip lawsuits against J&J/DePuy, Stryker and others continue to rise.
- read the MedCity News story