Israel's Premia launches alternative to spinal fusion

Premia Spine touts its device as safer and more effective than spinal fusion.--Courtesy of Premia Spine

Israeli devicemaker Premia Spine is expanding the reach of its Total Posterior Solution System, an implant designed to treat spinal stenosis and slipped discs without the need for fusion surgery.

The device works much like a hip or knee replacement, replacing diseased spinal segments to relieve narrowing of the spinal canal and restore mobility. However, unlike similar devices from Medtronic ($MDT) and Globus Medical ($GMED), Premia's implant has a polyurethane core that allows for full range of motion, the company says.

Premia has now commercialized the CE-marked device in its home country and across Europe, and CEO Ron Sacher told Reuters it plans to expand into Asia this year, filing regulatory applications in Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Thailand. FDA approval is likely about 5 years off, Sacher said, but Premia has already kicked off clinical trials in the U.S.

All of Premia's data points to its device being safer and more effective than spinal fusion, and Sacher said the device's benefits will help Premia snag a share of the worldwide market. About 650,000 people undergo spinal fusion surgeries each year, a market worth about $3 billion, and Premia's tech can treat about 35% of the ailments that lead to fusion, Sacher said.

Premia acquired the technology from Impliant back in 2011, and, with its early success in commercialization, the company joins the growing list of Israeli devicemakers developing innovative products and marketing them around the world.

- read the Reuters news