SurModics to consider new directors

SurModics (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) reported the filing of preliminary proxy materials by Ramius Value and Opportunity Advisors, with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its nomination of three director candidates for election to the SurModics board at the company's 2011 annual meeting of shareholders.

The company does not intend to make a recommendation on Ramius' nominees at this time and will present its formal recommendation in its definitive proxy statement to be filed with the SEC. The corporate governance and nominating committee of its board of directors will follow SurModics' policy and procedures for considering director candidates recommended by shareholders.

SurModics noted that its board is currently comprised of nine directors, all of whom are independent.

SurModics partners with medical device, pharmaceutical and life science companies to make products that result in improved diagnosis and treatment for patients.

Spinal fusion market on the rise

According to Millennium Research Group (MRG; Toronto), a specialist on medical technology market intelligence, competition will intensify in the $740 million minimally invasive spinal fusion market with many players entering this fast-growing space.

“In 2010, the U.S. minimally invasive spinal fusion market was dominated by two leading competitors, NuVasive and Medtronic Spinal & Biologics,“ said Deanna Vankessel, senior analyst at MRG. “Medtronic lost its leading position in 2010 despite having a diverse product portfolio, large direct sales force, strong brand awareness, and training and education initiatives. NuVasive overtook Medtronic this past year because of its focus on innovative minimally invasive techniques, which enabled it to be one of the only major spine companies in the U.S. to continue to post double-digit revenue growth in 2010. The company has built its reputation and success on its renowned XLIF, or eXtreme lateral interbody fusion procedure, which was the first lateral approach to spinal fusion.“

MRG's “U.S. Markets for Minimally Invasive Spine Technologies 2011“ report includes procedure, average selling price, and revenue information on the minimally invasive spinal fusion (thoracolumbar, cervical, and trans-sacral traditional fixation and interbody devices), facet fixation, intradiscal therapy, and discography markets.