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Harrison 10-26-2004 06:59 PM

A most "unusual" innovation...a bit bizarre I think, but you be the judge!

Theken First to Design Artificial Spinal Disc with Embedded Microelectronics; Revolutionizing Post-Operative Patient Management

AKRON, Ohio --(Business Wire)-- Oct. 26, 2004 -- Theken Disc to Present at Windhover Information and Medtech Insight's "IN SPINE" Conference

Theken Disc will be presenting at Windhover Information and Medtech Insight's Inaugural "IN SPINE" Event, taking place November 11, 2004, at the Westin Stonebriar Resort in North Dallas, Texas.

Theken Disc, a pioneer in disc replacement technology, announced today that they are debuting the eDISC(TM), the first artificial lumbar spinal disc with embedded microelectronics, at the Medtech Insight IN SPINE conference in Dallas, Texas, on November 11.

300,000 people in the US undergo disc operations every year. About half of these operations are for the lumbar or lower back area. Prior to non-fusion or artificial disc technology, these operations were primarily fusion procedures to remove the disc and fuse the vertebrae together. The revolutionary non-fusion technology of the Theken eDISC provides surgeons the unprecedented ability to assess and manage their patients through embedded microelectronics. Its unmatched replication of human disc motion separates the eDISC from 1st and 2nd generation designs.

The eDISC is the first artificial disc with embedded microelectronics. The microelectronics module and integral sensors allow the disc to collect data on the motions and loads experienced by the implant. Using a handheld PDA communicator, the surgeon wirelessly collects data from the eDISC to access real-time or stored patient data. The data downloaded from the eDISC is interpreted through a user-friendly interface, allowing the surgeon to compare historical and current data. In-office patient maneuvers can be performed and analyzed real-time in order to assess patient performance. This functionality will make it possible for the surgeon to monitor patient rehabilitation, improve surgical placement and assist in detecting auto-fusion.

Created to withstand the motions and loads of the lumbar spine, the eDISC restores and maintains six degrees of freedom and elastic motion provided by a natural disc.

The eDISC is constructed using proprietary Theken-developed polymer. Over two years of in-house Theken development with world-renowned polymer experts, resulted in an elastomeric polymer specifically tailored to withstand the loads and motions of the lumbar spine. Rigorous load controlled fatigue-testing shows that the Theken developed polymer is two to ten times more fatigue resistant than competing elastomers.

The eDISC is expected to begin clinical trials in 2005 and be commercially available in 2009.

The Theken family of companies -- Theken Spine LLC, Theken Orthopaedic LLC and Theken Disc LLC -- specializes in pioneering spinal implant technologies that improve the surgical technique benefiting the surgeon as well as the patient. Theken provides comprehensive product lines that offer surgeons peace of mind through steadfast product reliability and easy-to-use instrumentation. Products include cervical plates, pedicle screws, interbody systems and trauma devices. Theken also leads the market in next-generation artificial disc technology.

Warning: The eDISC is not approved for implantation in the U.S.A.

Theken Spine, Theken Orthopaedic, Theken Disc and eDISC are registered trademarks. Other company and product names mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their perspective holders.

About Medtech Insight

Medtech Insight's medical technology investment conferences are considered the premier forum for senior executives in the investment and medical technology community to preview emerging medtech companies in need of funding, acquisition and/or strategic partnership. Medtech Insight, which was recently acquired by Windhover Information Inc. (, publisher of IN VIVO: The Business & Medicine Report, and Start-UP: Windhover's Review of Emerging Technologies, offers a wide variety of products and services for the medical technology executive. In addition to conferences, the company publishes the "medtech insight" newsletter, a monthly publication covering the latest trends and innovations in the medical technology industry, as well as analyses of medtech markets through its Reports group, and offers custom consulting and market research. To register for the IN SPINE conference or for more information on Medtech Insight, please call Scott Pantel at 949-219-0150 or 888-290-2225 toll-free in the U.S., e-mail, or visit

myprodisc 10-26-2004 10:05 PM

Cool! maybe someday they will design a disc that acts like the high tech dynamic suspenision systems in cars.

Alastair 10-27-2004 04:03 AM

Hi Harrison,
this sounds like a sort of ADR disc which really just does some "reporting" of the actual movements of the spine. What practical use this is I don't know, it does sound though as if they are improving on the plastics side of things, and it certainly sounds as if the new technology of ADR is being taken really seriously.

ADR Should have been taken seriously many years ago, certainly it was across in Europe, the technology for us in the UK I feel was hidden or suppressed.

Because of our limited medical facilities, I feel that a lot of things like ADR were hidden from UK people for many many years even though it was just a few miles across the Channel.

Talking to one of the UK's leading ADR surgeons, (he is a bright and clever surgeon aged 36 and an up-and-coming star) he said he did a lecture to a group of spine surgeons up in Manchester which is about 170 miles away from London (he had travelled up from London to give this talk). He said he spoke about ADR instead of fusions and other techniques and basically the people who were listening to him was simply disinterested and were going to continue with their laminectomies and fusions in the future.

I think both for patients and professionals, this was a disappointing outcome but it gives you the attitude of a very depressed and frustrated UK medical professionals.
Best wishes,

Alastair 11-13-2004 02:47 AM

Hi Mark,
it would be good if you could give us a link to point members to a web site where we could see these new pro thesis

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