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Stryker’s Mako Robot Sales Momentum Continues to Fuel Growth

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Mar. 6 2018, Updated 7:33 a.m. ET

Mako’s 2017 sales

In 4Q17, the momentum in Stryker’s (SYK) Mako robot installations continued with total worldwide installations of 35 Mako robots, of which 27 were in the United States. The company continues to witness ~40% of Mako sales in competitive accounts—that is, those in which the company has a nil or below-average market share. The trend emphasizes Mako’s expansion in new and underpenetrated markets.

Since Mako’s launch, Stryker has been focused on training an increasing number of surgeons on its total knee application, which should help increase its utilization rate. The company has trained over 800 surgeons to date, 200 of whom were trained in 4Q17.

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Total Mako procedures in 2017 were reported to be 43,000 compared to 22,000 in 2016. In 4Q17, Mako’s utilization rate increased ~40% YoY (year-over-year), while its sequential growth was ~30%. As of the end of 2017, Stryker had Mako robots in 372 hospitals in the United States, representing ~10% of the company’s total customer base.

Mako total knee application

Stryker received FDA approval for its Mako total knee application in 2015 and held its limited launch in June 2016. However, the company announced the full commercial launch of the product in March 2017. The company now has a comprehensive robot-assisted surgery line consisting of partial knee, total hip, and total knee offerings. As per Stryker, the Mako robot’s upgrade to the total knee application is ahead of schedule. During 2018, the company expects continued growth in new installations and the complete upgrade of most of its Mako robots in the United States.

In Japan, Stryker sold its first Mako robot in 4Q17, and it expects to receive approval for its total knee application by the end of 2018. Since the robot’s launch, a total of 16,000 surgeries have been performed using Mako’s total knee application. The company’s total primary sales of Mako total knee accounts grew five times as much as its sales of accounts without Mako total knee.

With its recent acquisition of Orthotaxy, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has affirmed its commitment to entering into the surgical robotics space. The company previously entered into a collaboration with Alphabet’s (GOOGL) life sciences unit, Verily, to form Verb Surgical. The company aims to take over Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) as the market leader in the surgical robotics market. The company is likely to provide tough competition to other major players in this market, including Zimmer Biomet Holdings (ZBH) and Stryker.

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