During 2Q17, Globus Medical (GMED) acquired KB Medical, a robotic developer based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The transaction brings strength in product development, personnel and intellectual property. KB's AQrate™ Robotic Assistance system received CE Mark Approval in 2Q16 and was indicated for use in general spinal surgery. Clinical trials of the system in spinal fusion have been performed in Europe; however, GMED doesn't plan to commercialize the robot. Rather, the acquisition will shape future enhancements to GMED's ExcelsiusGP's robotic guidance and navigation system.
AQrate comprises hardware and software to support intra-op haptic steering. While its first iteration focused on the spine, KB Medical had noted its potential application in orthopaedics throughout the body.
Dave Demski, President of Emerging Technologies for Globus, noted, “The addition of KB Medical will enable Globus Medical to accelerate, enhance and expand our product portfolio in Imaging, Navigation and Robotics."
Meanwhile, Mazor Robotics has unified its R&D and Product groups to capitalize on synergies as they develop spine products and product enhancements. They have also assembled an Advanced Technologies group to leverage expertise in software and precision guidance in pursuit of non-spine-focused innovations.
Sources: Globus Medical, Inc.; Mazor Robotics Ltd.; ORTHOWORLD Inc.