Stryker’s spine business
Stryker (SYK) registered strong growth in recent years. In 1Q17, Stryker reported YoY (year-over-year) growth of ~18.5%. The Neurotechnology & Spine segment contributes the least to Stryker’s revenues out of all the company’s business segments. However, the segment presents immense growth potential for the company. The spine side of the segment has seen a weak performance in recent quarters due to some supply issues in the US.
The company expects strong spine sales in 2Q17 and the rest of the year due to easing supply issues as well as new product launches in its interventional spine and 3D printing and titanium platform. Medtronic (MDT), Nuvasive (NUVA), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) are some of the other leading companies in the neurotechnology and spine market. Investors get diversified exposure to Stryker by investing in the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI). Stryker accounts for ~0.20% of VTI’s total holdings.
MultiGen 2 radio frequency generator
On July 11, 2017, Stryker announced that it received the FDA 510(k) clearance for its MultiGen 2 RF (radio frequency) generator. The company claims that the next generation of radio-frequency ablation procedure arrived when the device launched. The product is expected to help physicians perform radiofrequency ablation, which is a minimally invasive procedure for facet joint pain, more efficiently with higher reliability and control.
Facet joint pain is the pain at the joint between the two vertebrae in the spine that enables bending and twisting. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, lower back pain impacts around 70 million Americans at any given time.
The MultiGen 2 RF generator provides a customizable procedure platform based on the physician’s preference and patient’s needs. It has flexible stimulation controls. The product is powered with double the industry standard. The target temperature is achieved faster with minimal errors. The product allows physicians to start a procedure by pushing a single button. Physicians can create strip lesions without removing electrodes and simultaneously resolve errors without stopping the procedure. These abilities shorten the time it takes to complete procedures.
Next, we’ll look at the company’s recent product launch in the orthopedics segment.