First “Artificial Meniscus” Granted FDA Breakthrough Device Designation, Enables Expedited Review

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Active Implants, LLC, a developer of orthopedic implant solutions for joint preservation, today announced that the NUsurface® Meniscus Implant has been granted a Breakthrough Device Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The NUsurface® Meniscus Implant is the first “artificial meniscus” to be marketed in Europe and, if cleared by the FDA, would be the first artificial meniscus in the U.S.

The FDA Breakthrough Devices Program was implemented to expedite the development and review process for medical devices that are novel or offer new technology for patients with life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating conditions. This program is designed to ensure patients and healthcare providers have more timely access to vital devices.

“The Breakthrough Device Designation is a significant step in our mission to fulfill a substantial unmet need in the U.S. orthopedic market,” said Ted Davis, president and CEO of Active Implants. “We believe we will have the data required for our FDA submission next year, after completing enrollment in our clinical trials in 2018. We look forward to working closely with the FDA to expedite the review process for the NUsurface® Implant to provide a new treatment option to the hundreds of thousands of patients who continue to experience persistent knee pain following meniscus surgery, but are too young for total knee replacement.”

“This will be significant for this patient population, who often don’t have good treatment options,” said Elliott Hershman, MD, practicing orthopedic surgeon and medical director for the NUsurface clinical trials. “I’m pleased to hear the FDA will prioritize its review of this important new device and possibly make this therapy available for use by other knee surgeons for their American patients.”

The meniscus is a tissue pad between the thigh and shin bones. Current treatment for a damaged or torn meniscus includes pain management, physical therapy, injections, repair techniques or meniscectomy. It has been estimated that from 700,000 to over 1 million partial meniscectomies are performed annually in the U.S. in an attempt to alleviate pain; however, studies have shown that many people who get a meniscectomy continue to experience pain that impacts their quality of life and can eventually lead to knee replacement surgery.(1)

The NUsurface® Meniscus Implant is an investigational treatment for patients in the U.S. with persistent knee pain following medial meniscus surgery. It is made from medical grade polymer and, as a result of its unique materials, composite structure and design, does not require fixation to bone or soft tissues. The NUsurface® Implant mimics the function of the natural meniscus and redistributes loads transmitted across the knee joint. The NUsurface® Implant is currently marketed in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Israel.


References

(1) Brophy RH, Gray BL, Nunley RM, Barrack RL, Clohisy JC. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2014;96(10):801-805. http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.M.00105

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