A Medical Device Daily

Zimmer (Warsaw, Indiana) reported that the Trabecular Metal Modular Cup has received the distinction of being awarded the highest reimbursement premium percentage granted to-date for an orthopedic product in Japan.

The Japanese Central Social Insurance Medical Council, otherwise known as the Chuikyo, awarded Zimmer's trabecular metal modular cup with an unprecedented 20% reimbursement premium. The decision was presented by the Chuikyo expert panel after a comprehensive review of both the material technology and clinical data. It was the opinion of the expert panel that the extensive positive clinical data clearly demonstrated significant clinical advantages and effectiveness of Zimmer's proprietary trabecular metal technology. Based on the review, a new functional reimbursement category has been established in Japan for the Trabecular Metal Modular Cup and will be introduced on Jan. 1, 2011.

Trabecular metal material is a highly porous biomaterial that resembles the structure, function, and physiology of trabecular bone.

“We believe Trabecular metal technology represents one of the most significant material advancements in orthopedics, contributing both outstanding clinical advantages and cost effectiveness to implants,“ said Cheryl Blanchard, PhD, Zimmer's senior VP and CSO. “Securing this reimbursement and its unprecedented premium level is a major achievement for Zimmer. Japan is the world's second largest orthopedics market after the United States and we are excited to provide the unique advantages of our Trabecular metal technology to the patients of Japan.“

Hong Kong hospital to use Varian's Unique

Prince of Wales Hospital (Hong Kong) has become the first treatment center in Asia to commence treating cancer patients using the Unique medical linear accelerator from Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, California). Clinicians used the new device for the first time last week to deliver an image-guided RapidArc treatment for a patient battling hypopharyngeal cancer, a tumor in the lower part of the throat near the larynx.

Kin Yin Cheung, head of medical physics at Prince of Wales Hospital said his clinic chose the Unique system mainly because it can deliver RapidArc radiotherapy, an arc-based approach to image-guided IMRT (intensity modulated radiotherapy), up to four times faster than is possible with conventional IMRT.

“The Unique system, with its capacity for fast RapidArc treatments, markedly enhances our treatment capacity,“ said Brian Yu, MD, head of radiation oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital. “It enables our center to provide timely precision radiotherapy to an increasing number of patients, helping to improve our throughput. This arc-based treatment shortens the treatment delivery time to less than two minutes. Prince of Wales Hospital will use RapidArc as a preferred modality for treating head and neck and prostate cancer.“

EDAP system gets South Korean FDA approval

Therapeutic ultrasound developer EDAP (Lyon, France)reported the approval of its new lithotripter Sonolith i-move by the South Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA).

South Korea is the second largest market in Asia for lithotripsy devices after Japan. EDAP has one of the largest lithotripter installed bases in South Korea, with more than 50 fully installed devices.

EDAP develops Ablatherm, which uses high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatment of localized prostate cancer. HIFU treatment is shown to be a minimally invasive and effective treatment option with a low occurrence of side effects. Ablatherm-HIFU is generally recommended for patients with localized prostate cancer (stages T1-T2) who are not candidates for surgery or who prefer an alternative option, or for patients who failed radiotherapy treatment.

Smiths receives Canadian license

Smiths Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) said it received a license from Health Canada and launched its Medfusion 4000 syringe infusion pump with the PharmGuard software suite in Canada. “The Medfusion 4000 wireless pump represents the next-generation advancement of the popular Medfusion 3500 syringe infusion pump, which is widely recognized for its accurate medication delivery to patients in critical care units, including neonatal and pediatric intensive care,“ said Martha Sewall, VP of infusion global product management. “We are excited to bring this new system to the Canadian market and provide customers with the convenience of wireless transfer of infusion information using their Medfusion and PharmGuard systems.“ The Medfusion 4000 pump includes enhanced and user-friendly features based on clinician usability input, including wireless (802.11b/g) and wired Ethernet capability to allow connections to the PharmGuard server software. The PharmGuard server software is installed at a hospital's site and communicates with Medfusion 4000 pumps to collect infusion device data to help determine patient compliance with therapies.

Dentsply in strategic partnership with DIO

Dentsply (York, Pennsylvania) reported that it has entered into a strategic partnership with DIO (Busan, South Korea). DIO operations include a manufacturing facility in Busan, producing dental implant devices and associated accessories, which are marketed in numerous countries including many emerging markets. Dentsply's investment includes an initial ownership of less than 20% of the outstanding shares of DIO, with an additional investment in debentures, which may be converted into common shares after a one year period. Jin Cheol Kim and Jin Baek Kim, co-founders of DIO, will retain a significant ownership in the company and remain active in the management and operations of the business.

This transaction includes synergistic opportunities for both companies and is expected to be slightly accretive to Dentsply's earnings in the first year excluding any related transaction adjustments and costs. This transaction is expected to close quickly.

Dentsply designs a broad range of dental products including dental implants, endodontic instruments and materials, orthodontic appliances, restorative materials, preventive materials and devices, and prosthetic materials and devices.