Medtronic aims to complete its collection and build out a fully integrated spine surgery solution featuring artificial intelligence at every step, from procedure planning to 3D imaging to robotic surgery on the day.
With its latest plans to acquire Medicrea—the French developer of patient-specific, 3D-printed titanium spinal implants—Medtronic will add personalized interbody hardware as well as workflow software to help surgeons use predictive modeling to digitally reconstruct a person’s spine to its optimal profile.
This will join the surgical platforms launched over the past two years, following Medtronic’s $1.6 billion takeover of Mazor Robotics and its acquisition of the titanium interbody implant and spacer maker Titan Spine, among others.
“Spine surgery is one of the more complex procedures in healthcare because of the high number of different parameters to take into consideration,” said Medicrea founder and CEO Denys Sournac. “It is impossible for the human brain to compute all of them for one single patient.”
This past February, Medicrea received FDA clearances for its custom-designed interbody cages, letting surgeons alter their dimensions, features and endplate morphology to fit a person’s anatomy—bringing its total number of 510(k) implants to over 30. This not only allows for precise designs aimed at correcting the spine’s curve, but also to optimize the surface contact between the implant and the vertebrae.
“The medical world has been waiting for the arrival of customization in spinal surgery,” said Sournac. “With scientific progress in understanding sagittal balance and spinal injury, combined with the advent of new digital technologies, it is now possible to offer spinal patients entirely customized implants.”
Medtronic has pitched an all-cash offer of €7 for each of Medicrea’s shares, a 22% premium compared to its July 14 closing price. The deal has been approved by both company’s boards of directors, but is subject to customary closing conditions and clearance from French and U.S. regulators. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.
Medicrea counts 175 employees worldwide, including 35 in New York, and a 3D manufacturing facility in Lyon, France.