Healthcare Industry News:  Alaris 

Devices Orthopaedic Surgery

 News Release - April 17, 2008

Tornier and Tepha Announce Human Usage of Sutures Derived from New Class of Resorbable Polymers

Firms Expand Collaboration Focused on Extremity Orthopedics

EDINA, Minn.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Tornier, Inc., a global leader in extremities orthopedics, and Tepha, Inc. announced today that an initial series of patients have been treated with the TephaFLEX® Absorbable Suture. These procedures, performed by several leading orthopedic surgeons in the United States, represent the first human usage of an FDA-cleared device derived from Tepha’s new class of resorbable polymers characterized by a unique profile of mechanical and biologic properties. Tornier and Tepha, based in Lexington, Massachusetts, have recently expanded their collaboration which was established in early 2007. The two companies are developing a range of Tepha polymer based devices that will target soft tissue repair opportunities within extremities orthopedics.

Doug Kohrs, President and CEO of Tornier, commented, “We are very excited about our involvement in the first human usage of an FDA-cleared device derived from Tepha’s unique polymer technology. Our collaboration with Tepha further evidences Tornier’s commitment to new biomaterials and biologic technologies to improve clinical outcomes for both soft and hard tissue repairs.”

The TephaFLEX® Absorbable Suture is derived from a new class of polymers called polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA’s). The Tepha PHA family of polymers is a product of its patented recombinant DNA technology which allows the engineering of materials with mechanical and biologic properties that are matched to specific tissue repair and replacement applications. The TephaFLEX® Absorbable Monofilament Suture is up to 30% stronger, more flexible, and has better strength retention than currently marketed resorbable sutures.

Randy R. Bindra, MD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Loyola University Medical Center said about the new materials, “The promise of a stronger degradable material with the potential for less inflammatory response is a distinct advantage.” Lew C. Schon, MD, Director Foot & Ankle Services, Union Memorial Hospital, added, “Our impression was very positive. I found it superior to currently marketed absorbable sutures in terms of the elasticity, knot holding security, and ease of passage and tying.”

About Tornier

Tornier develops and markets orthopedic medical devices designed to restore function and return patients to an active and healthy lifestyle. The company's innovative extremity products include the Aequalis® line of shoulder arthroplasty prostheses, the Salto™ and Salto TAlaris™ total ankle prostheses, and a broad portfolio of foot and hand products including the NexFix™ system for reconstructive foot surgery and CoverLoc™ system for wrist fracture repair. Tornier has also established collaborations with innovative materials companies such as BioSurface Engineering Technologies, LifeCell, and Bioretec in order to access novel non-metal technologies that may better address unmet soft and hard tissue repair needs of orthopedic surgeons and their patients.

For more information regarding Tornier, visit

Source: Tornier

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