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Exactech (EXAC - Snapshot Report), which develops and markets orthopedic implant devices, recently expanded its spine franchise with the launch of the Proliant polyaxial pedicle screw system for orthopedic and neurosurgeons.

The Proliant polyaxial pedicle screw system represents the first internally-developed spinal system by Exactech. It has been geared to provide secure fixation of the thoracolumbar spine and offer surgeons a simple, faster and easy-to-use posterior lumbar fixation system.

The Proliant system features a secure interlocking mechanism that stabilizes the construct. The pedicle screw’s dual lead thread design allows insertion of the screw twice as fast as standard screws, thereby saving time in the operating room.

Exactech established its spine business through a couple of acquisitions. The company added spinal fusion products (including two pedicle screw fixation systems for lumbar fusion) through its acquisition of spinal implant devices maker Altiva Corporation in January 2008.

Moreover, Exactech, in August 2010, acquired multiple spinal product lines from VertiFlex Inc, which develops less intrusive spinal surgery technologies that help preserve motion.

The launch of the Proliant system represents an important milestone for Exactech’s spine franchise as posterior lumbar fixation is a core segment of the growing spine surgery market. A full commercial launch of the product is expected in second-half 2011. 

Gainesville-based Exactech develops and markets orthopedic implant devices. Its orthopedic products are utilized in the restoration of bones as well as joints that have degenerated due to disease.

Exactech competes with the likes of  Wright Medical Group (WMGI - Analyst Report), Stryker Corp. (SYK - Analyst Report), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Analyst Report), and Zimmer Holdings Inc. (ZMH - Analyst Report), some of whom are much larger in size with deep R&D pockets.

Exactech recently reported better-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2011 results. Revenues for the quarter rose 9% year over year to $53.4 million, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $52 million. Its adjusted earnings per share of 28 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny while exceeded 26 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The company registered strong growth across its hip and extremity product lines in the quarter with revenues zooming 21% and 33%, respectively. However, its biologic-spine sales fell 5%. Exactech backed its revenues and earnings guidance for fiscal 2011.

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