Success or Failure…

The past 2 years in Orthopedics and Spine have been turbulent to say the least. The big companies had to deal with investigations of kickbacks, deferred prosecution agreements, and shareholder unease. The small companies had to deal with a scarcity of funding, increased costs in dealing with the FDA, and a whole host of other issues.

Some of the companies have come out stronger; others have become nothing more than a memory. We all have our opinions as to why the likes of IST, Pegasus Biologics, Archus, Vertebron, Disc Dynamics, etc have failed regardless of the money that was poured into them. You certainly can’t say they were victims of poor capitalization. So as we look forward what do companies need to do differently to ensure success?

IST took so long to get started that by the time they released products they were considered me-too. Also many considered this to be overfunded which led to no serious acquisition partners.

Pegasus had a great product portfolio but somehow couldn’t get saved towards the end.

Archus was trying to be a pioneer with new products but apparently $65 million wasn’t enough.

Vertebron was rumored to have been offered more than $10 million and ended up selling in bankruptcy for $1.3 million.

Disc Dynamics was one of the last surviving nucleus replacement companies. Is this technology dead too?

We really want to know what the industry thinks about these companies and the others that have been barely holding on and trying to turn things around like US Spine. Please join the conversation using our comment system. We really don’t want to see any more companies fail. Let’s do our own version of the Harvard Business Review so hopefully we can avoid the same mistakes happening again.


Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Spine Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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