SpineGuard, a medical device start-up, announced today
that it has elected well-known medtech industry entrepreneur and
investor Alan Olsen as a director, effective immediately.
Mr. Olsen was founder and President of Danek Medical, Inc. With
more than $90 million in sales during the early 1990’s after merging
with Sofamor, Sofamor Danek Group, a New York Stock
Exchange (NYSE)-listed company, became the world’s largest supplier of
implants, computer-assisted surgery products, and biologics for spinal
surgery and neurosurgery. Medtronic, the world’s largest medical
device company, acquired Sofamor Danek in January 1999.
“I was a young product manager at Sofamor when the spine industry
pioneer was acquired by Danek back in 1993, so I can truly appreciate
the significant influence that Alan Olsen has had on the spine industry.
We are extremely pleased that Alan has accepted to join our Board of
Directors,” said Pierre Jérôme, SpineGuard co-founder and CEO.
Stéphane Bette, co-founder and CTO, added: “Beyond what Alan
represents in our industry, he is bringing to our Board his insightful
and deep knowledge of the U.S. spine market, which is a must-have for
the success of a spine company.”
“After first being introduced to SpineGuard by Dr. Randy Betz and a
former Danek colleague, I was immediately impressed by the dedication
and entrepreneurism of Pierre and Stéphane to build a team of
professionals totally focused on making spine surgery safer. I am
honored to be invited to join this enthusiastic group, as they continue
their single purpose to improve safety during spinal procedures,” said Alan
“Alan has an outstanding track record in the medtech industry. We look
forward to working with him. His strategic insight and business
development experience will be most valuable to SpineGuard’s Board of
Directors,” added Alexia Perouse, Director at Crédit Agricole
Private Equity, lead investor of the first funding round.
Alan Olsen is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Atlas Spine, a
spinal implant company. He has also been an active investor and director
in six privately held companies, primarily in the medical device
industries, which have either been acquired or are profitable operating
businesses today. Mr. Olsen recently retired from the Board of Directors
of Cyberonics, a NASDAQ-listed company with core expertise
in neuromodulation. The company developed and markets the Vagus Nerve
Stimulation (VNS) Therapy System, which is FDA-approved for the
treatments of epilepsy and treatment-resistant depression.
In addition to his service on corporate and private boards, Mr. Olsen
has served as chairman or board member with eight charitable
organizations focused on spinal cord injury, children’s advocacy for
foster children and the arts over the past 10 years.
Nearly one million1 spine procedures using pedicle screws
were performed last year. According to published studies, pedicle screws
show high rates of misplacements—as high as 40 percent—which can
lead to a number of serious complications for patients, including
quadriplegia. Consequently, liability risks for spine surgeons are high.
Several peer-reviewed publications now validate the value proposition of
PediGuard for spine professionals and their patients: pedicle breach
anticipation plus reduction of radiation exposure and surgery time. The
company has a stake in the ground on all continents: impressive
ramping-up of sales in the U.S., a strong base in Europe, a great start
in Latin America, and significant interest from the Pacific Rim.
SpineGuard is partnering with the best distributors to allow more spine
surgeons throughout the world to use PediGuard and more patients to
benefit from a safer spine stabilization.
Co-invented by Maurice Bourlion, Ph.D., and Ciaran Bolger,
M.D., Ph.D., PediGuard is the world’s first and only
handheld device capable of alerting surgeons to potential pedicular or
vertebral breaches. Real-time feedback is provided via audio and visual
signals. More than 9,000 procedures have been performed with PediGuard
in 25 countries. Two multi-center clinical studies about PediGuard have
been published: one by Ciaran Bolger, M.D., Ph.D. et al., in the European
Spine Journal, and the other by Randy Betz, M.D. et al., in the Temple
University Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine.
These two studies demonstrated that PediGuard doubles the pedicle breach
detection rate, reduces radiation exposure by 30 percent, and decreases
by up to 10 percent the average time for pedicle screw placement.
SpineGuard’s mission is to make spine surgery safer. The company has
offices in San Francisco and Paris. For further information, visit www.spineguard.com.
1 Source: I-Data Rese
Source: Business Wire