SAN FRANCISCO and PARIS, May 25, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — SpineGuard announced today that it has elected celebrated medtech industry entrepreneur and investor Alan Olsen as Chairman, effective immediately. Previously, Mr. Olsen has served as a Director of SpineGuard since November 2009.
Mr. Olsen was founder and President of Danek Medical, Inc. With more than $90 million in sales during the early 1990’s after merging with Sofamor, the Sofamor Danek Group, a New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)-listed company, became the world’s largest supplier of implants, computer-assisted surgery products, and biologics for spinal surgery and neurosurgery. Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device company, acquired Sofamor Danek in January 1999.
“We are extremely pleased that Alan has accepted to chair the SpineGuard board of directors,” said Pierre Jerome, SpineGuard co-founder and CEO. “Over the past six months, since he became a Director of SpineGuard, Alan has steadily and thoroughly integrated himself into the business of SpineGuard and has already made important contributions to our organizational development. He has demonstrated time and again his enthusiasm to help elevate SpineGuard beyond the start-up phase. No doubt, his extensive governance experience and strategic insights will be invaluable to SpineGuard going forward.”
“I am both honored and thrilled to be working with the professionalism associated with the SpineGuard team. In the short time I have been working with SpineGuard’s senior management and its board of directors, I have been very impressed by their passion and focus to make spine surgery safer with PediGuard and their pipeline of products,” said Alan Olsen.
“We are delighted by the nomination of Alan, who as Chairman will play a more important role within SpineGuard. His vast experience in the orthopaedic sector will contribute to the company’s success. Sharing the same corporate vision, he will participate actively in establishing SpineGuard’s technology as the standard for a safer pedicle screw placement in spine surgery,” added Alexia Perouse, Investment Director at Credit Agricole Private Equity as well as a SpineGuard Director and lead investor of the first funding round.
Alan Olsen is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Atlas Spine, a spinal implant company. He has been an active investor and director in six privately held companies, primarily in the medical device industries, which have either been acquired or are profitable operating businesses today. In addition to his service on corporate and private boards, Mr. Olsen has served as chairman or board member with charitable organizations focused on spinal cord injury, children’s advocacy for foster children, and the arts over the past 10 years.
Co-founded by Pierre Jerome and Stephane Bette, former executives at Medtronic Sofamor-Danek and SpineVision, SpineGuard’s mission is to make spine surgery safer and its primary objective to establish its FDA-cleared and CE Marked PediGuard(R) device as the global standard of care for safer pedicle screw placement in spine surgery. Nearly one million(1) spine procedures using pedicle screws were performed in 2009. According to published studies, pedicle screws show high rates of misplacements that can lead to a number of serious complications for patients, including quadriplegia. Consequently, liability risks for spine surgeons are high.
Co-invented by Maurice Bourlion, Ph.D., and Ciaran Bolger, M.D., Ph.D., PediGuard is the world’s first and only handheld device capable of alerting surgeons to potential pedicular or vertebral breaches. Real-time feedback is provided via audio and visual signals. More than 11,000 procedures have been performed with PediGuard on 25 all continents. Two multi-center clinical studies about PediGuard have been published: one by Ciaran Bolger, M.D., Ph.D. et al., in the European Spine Journal, and the other by Randy Betz, M.D. et al., in the Temple University Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine. These two studies demonstrated that PediGuard doubles the pedicle breach detection rate, reduces radiation exposure by 30 percent, and decreases by up to 10 percent the average time for pedicle screw placement.
SpineGuard has offices in San Francisco and Paris. For further information, visitwww.spineguard.com.
(1) Source: I-Data Research.