WASHINGTON Small Bone Innovations (SBI; New York), a new company formed by merchant bankers Viscogliosi Bros. (VB; also New York) to create a single source of small bone and joint implant products made its debut at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS; Rosemont, Illinois) annual meeting.

VB said it has "quietly" acquired during the past year U.S. and European companies and technologies in the "small bone" field, as well as licensing and distribution rights for a Swedish biological treatment for arthritic thumbs and the Actipore porous metal technology from Biorthex (Montreal).

Those companies and technologies have been formed by Viscogliosi Bros. into the SBI entity. SBI's acquisitions include Avanta Orthopaedics (San Diego), Envision Manufacturing (Morrisville, Pennsylvania) and Xtremi-T (Lawrenceville, New Jersey).

The company also has secured rights to market and distribute Artelon bioabsorbable thumb spacers from Artimplant (Vasta Frolunda, Sweden) and the Actipore porous metal technology from Biorthex.

As a result of the acquisitions, SBI said it has a pipeline of 40 new products under development.

Anthony Viscogliosi, chairman and CEO of Small Bone Innovations and a principal of VB, said: "We recognized the potential for growth and innovation in small bone surgery a decade ago. With the prevalence of arthritis in our aging population, surgical techniques are a compelling alternative to drug therapy. As a result, we have translated that vision into a company quite different from competitors in the sector by becoming a vertically integrated, single source of products and technology for small bone & joint surgeons."

SBI has more than 50 employees in the U.S. and Europe and has assembled a broad portfolio of FDA-approved implants to treat both small bone and joint degenerative diseases and trauma patients.

Viscogliosi Bros. is deeply involved in the discovery and development of promising orthopedic technologies. In 2003, the firm sold its artificial spine disc company, Spine Solutions, to Synthes-Stratec (Oberdorf, Switzerland) for $350 million. The firm has been credited with creating the concept of spine arthroplasty as an alternative to fusion in repairing spinal disc diseases.

SBI featured product demonstrations at its booth on the Washington Convention Center exhibit floor and held an industry briefing during the AAOS meeting at the Renaissance Hotel adjacent to the conference center.

Established by Marc Viscogliosi, John Viscogliosi and Anthony Viscogliosi in 1999, VB was the first venture capital/private equity and merchant banking firm dedicated to the musculoskeletal/orthopedics sector of the healthcare industry. The brothers have a combined total of more than 35 years of experience analyzing and investing in the sector.

BBI Staff Report