Although ConforMIS been around for several years, its iTotal patient-specific knee implant (the first to hit the market)has launched the company into its most exciting stage yet. The iTotal has been in a limited release phase since May, and the time period has allowed the company to obtain usage feedback from surgeons about device design and surgical techniques. The product will be available in this limited capacity through the end of 2011, and ConforMIS hasn’t set a date on the broad commercial launch, according to Jong Lee, senior vice president of marketing and business strategy at the company. As of about a month-and-a-half ago, about 20 surgeons had been trained on the iTotal and this number continues to grow.
Although there are orthopaedic companies that provide custom jigs that are used to optimize the alignment of an implant for knee procedures, the iTotal is a completely custom device.
The company is still driven by its partial knee business, but not for too long, according to Lee. “We expect iTotal will become our flagship brand and the principle driver of the business.” Lee adds that he believes ConforMIS is currently the fastest growing orthopaedics company on a procedure basis.
“The extremely positive feedback and experience with the initial iTotal surgeries and the recently announced CE Mark approval continues to strengthen our global momentum.” said Dr. Philipp Lang, MD, CEO of ConforMIS. “We will expand the launch to select surgeons in the US and Europe, with the goal of broad commercialization next year.”
As for right now, there’s still some work to be done. Part of the challenge for ConforMIS is communicating that the iTotal is a completely patient-specific implant. “We’re the only implant system that tries to preserve the J-curve,” says Lee. Although there are orthopaedic companies that provide custom jigs that are used to optimize the alignment of an implant for knee
procedures, the iTotal is a completely custom device.
“It’s not just the jigs; it’s the implants. We marry the two to get the best results,” says Lee. Having the iTotal available in a limited capacity is helping the company better educate the market while also changing how many surgeons approach total knee replacement.