Stryker buys $110m shoulder bag
Stryker has struck its latest deal at an interesting moment. Its $110m cash takeout of the private company Orthospace is timed just before the pivotal trial of the target’s sole product, a shoulder implant called InSpace, is due to read out – perhaps Stryker got a sneak peek at the data and found them satisfactory. InSpace is a fluid-filled balloon similar in shape to a whoopee cushion, implanted arthroscopically at the site of irreparable rotator cuff tear. It is intended to cushion the bones and speed rehabilitation, and biodegrades as the shoulder heals. The US pivotal trial pits the device against arthroscopic partial repair of these tears in 184 patients; outcomes are safety and change from baseline on the Western Ontario rotator cuff index. Results are due next quarter, and a trial success, and/or US approval itself, will presumably trigger some of the $110m milestone payments also included in the deal. The fast-growing sports medicine sector is one of the areas in which Stryker is focusing its investment strategy. It clearly believes that this bet will pay off.