Spine Wave Teams Up With MBI

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Spine Wave, Inc., of Shelton, Connecticut, a company formed in 2001 by former Sofamor Danek executives to commercialize injectable spinal nucleus technology, is partnering with start-up MB Innovations (MBI) based in Memphis, Tennessee, according to a December 20 press release.

The initial plan is for MBI to develop products exclusively for Spine Wave by putting together a team of engineers and advisors who have had experience developing commercially successful medical devices. Troy Drewry, President of MBI, will lead the team. Drewry began his career in product development at Medtronic Sofamor Danek and most recently held the position of vice president of U.S. Operations for Paradigm Spine.

A partner at MB Venture Partners, Mike Sherman, will serve as executive chairman of MBI. Sherman’s product development career spans over 20 years at Synthes, Smith & Nephew and Medtronic Sofamor Danek where he generated over 90 issued U.S. patents.

The agreement between Spine Wave and MB Venture Partners was developed over a year of discussions. Officials of both companies say they are “excited” over the development.

“We are excited to connect Spine Wave’s engineering team with the team at MBI,” said John Pafford, Spine Wave’s chief technology officer. “Mike, Troy and I worked together for several years while at Sofamor Danek and I have the utmost respect for their capabilities. We have already identified the initial product opportunities which will leverage Spine Wave’s intellectual property portfolio. I am confident that MBI will accelerate the pace at which we execute on our mission of delivering important and highly differentiated technologies to the spine surgeon community.”

Speaking for MBI, Sherman said, “We are very excited to enter into this unique and highly collaborative arrangement,” he said. “MBI’s goal is to rapidly develop the next generation of novel spine products for Spine Wave as we build MBI into a significant entity capable of supporting multiple clients. The abundance of engineering talent in this area makes Memphis the ideal location for this type of company. Spine Wave is the ideal partner because [the company] is committed to innovation and is rapidly assembling the distribution network necessary to achieve commercial success.”

A Spine Wave press release announces that in 2012 the company plans to launch a family of cervical products and further offerings within the percutaneous fixation systems.

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