Healthcare Industry News: Zimmer
News Release - March 22, 2006
Zimmer Holdings Displays Gender Solutions(TM) - the First Knee Replacement Designed to Address Unique Anatomical Needs of WomenWARSAW, Ind., March 22 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Zimmer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ZMH ; SWX: ZMH ), a leader in the orthopaedics industry, announced today it is demonstrating at the world's largest orthopaedic surgeon meeting the first knee replacement system designed specifically to address the unique needs of women patients.
"Our Gender Solutions(TM) Knee Femoral Implants have been specifically designed for women, which distinguishes our system from those which are merely downsized versions of existing designs -- women are clearly not little men," said Ray Elliott, Zimmer Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have a pending 510(k) regulatory clearance to market this system as a means of addressing the specific anatomical differences typically seen in women. We believe we are the first company to do so."
Women represent the majority of knee replacement patients with approximately 60% of all cases. A woman's knee anatomy is different from a man's in the ratio between the width and height of the femur, the angle of the femur in relation to the tibia, and a less prominent anterior surface of the femur, among several other differences. The ligaments supporting the knee tend to be more "lax" in women than in men.
"The new Gender Solutions implants will address a need that we as surgeons have realized for some time now -- that compromises are made in matching implant sizes to a patient's anatomy," said Dr. Robert Booth, Chief, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pennsylvania Hospital (Philadelphia, PA). "The design of these implants is significant because it is based on anatomical studies of the differences between men and women, meaning that we are able to address real differences and come closer to matching components to each patient. With women representing so much of our patient base, it only makes sense that we would take this step to try to improve implant fit through very specific design features. I honestly believe that the Gender Solutions design is one of those leaps in knee surgery and I think, with Zimmer's help, this is going to be the advance of the decade."
The Gender Solutions knee implant is based on the tradition and clinical success of Zimmer's flagship brand, the NexGenŽ Complete Knee Solution. The Gender Solutions implant will first be available in Zimmer's "flex" design, which enables patients who are able to achieve high degrees of flexion for their specific lifestyle needs, such as bending and kneeling.
According to Dr. Mohamed R. Mahfouz, Co-Director, The Center for Musculoskeletal Research, The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Assistant Professor, Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Tennessee, who was part of the research team for the Gender Solutions implant design, anatomical studies indicated some clear distinctions between female and male knee anatomy.
"We created what we call 'anatomical atlases,' or bone morphology atlases, which are huge collections of data sets that we can combine in a statistical way and then start using the atlases to highlight differences between males and females," said Dr. Mahfouz. "During the course of more than five years of research and, in the aggregate, more than 800 femurs and patellae reviewed, we found significant differences between males and females, including the narrower width of female femurs, reduced anterior condyle height and a tendency toward a more lateral patellar track. Zimmer addressed these anatomical differences in their Gender Solutions design."
The Company hopes to receive regulatory clearance to begin marketing the implants with specific claims regarding women patients in the second half of this year.
About the Company
Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, Zimmer is the worldwide #1 pure-play orthopaedic leader in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing reconstructive and spinal implants, trauma and related orthopaedic surgical products. Zimmer has operations in more than 24 countries around the world and sells products in more than 100 countries. Zimmer's 2005 sales were approximately $3.3 billion. The Company is supported by the efforts of more than 6,700 employees worldwide.
Visit Zimmer on the worldwide web at http://www.Zimmer.com
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This press release contains forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the orthopaedics industry, management's beliefs and assumptions made by management. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terms such as "may," "will," "expects," "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "assumes," "guides," "targets," "forecasts," and "seeks" or the negative of such terms or other variations on such terms or comparable terminology. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, our ability to successfully integrate Centerpulse AG and Implex Corp., the outcome of the Department of Justice investigation announced in March 2005, price and product competition, rapid technological development, demographic changes, dependence on new product development, the mix of our products and services, supply and prices of raw materials and products, customer demand for our products and services, control of costs and expenses, our ability to form and implement alliances, international growth, governmental laws and regulations affecting our U.S. and international businesses, including tax obligations and risks, product liability and intellectual property litigation losses, reimbursement levels from third-party payors, general industry and market conditions and growth rates and general domestic and international economic conditions including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the disclosure materials filed by Zimmer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Zimmer disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers of this document are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, since, while we believe the assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. This cautionary statement is applicable to all forward-looking statements contained in this document.
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