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Orthopedic Design and Technology
May 9, 2017
The system includes patented InSet™ glenoid technology.

Shoulder Innovations, an emerging developer of shoulder replacement systems, announced $1.5 million in Series A equity funding. Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Angel Fund led the round, with participation from Start Garden, Novus Bioventures, BRCC, Invest Michigan, Genesis In-novation Group, and other equity holders. In addition to providing additional resources to accelerate new product development, the investment will be used to purchase inventory and grow the sales and marketing team to meet the demand for its Total Shoulder Replacement System.

Shoulder Innovations has developed a total shoulder replacement system, which includes patented InSet™ glenoid technology, originally innovated by Stephen Gunther, M.D. Since the system’s first commercial availability, it has been implanted in many patients and approved for use in dozens of hospital systems.

“Shoulder technology needs to change in order to meet the demands of a changing patient population, who want to stay active in life, even after a total shoulder replacement surgery,” said Matt Ahearn, president, and COO of Shoulder Innovations. “The Shoulder Innovations Total Shoulder System provides a simple reproducible surgical technique, a stable implant, and highly streamlined instrumentation, which provides an opportunity for improved O.R. performance. The investment round will enable us to introduce this technology to new orthopedic surgeons and hospital systems across the U.S.”

In the U.S. alone, more than 100,000 patients receive shoulder replacement surgery each year, with demand increasing ten percent annually. Despite this growth, patient satisfaction or survivorship rates are lower than more well-known replacement surgeries: total hip or total knee arthroplasty. According to recent publications, up to half of all shoulder replacement patients are forced to undergo revision surgery after ten years as a result of the high loosening rates of current conventional glenoid technology.

“The Shoulder Innovations product is a breakthrough product for shoulder replacement surgery, and what we’ve seen so far from interactions with surgeons is that the Shoulder Innovations Shoulder System is so simple, straightforward and efficient, that they can get up to speed very quickly,” said Robert Ball, chairman of Genesis Innovation Group.

The Shoulder Innovations clinical team, including Chris Chuinard M.D., Stephen Gunther M.D., Peter Johnston M.D., Jay Keener M.D., Robert Tashjian, M.D., designed a revolutionary surgical technique to address the most common issues facing shoulder arthroplasty. By leveraging the InSet™ glenoid technology, published research has shown the potential for enhancement of glenoid fixation strength by at least 87 percent, providing a solution targeted directly at the leading cause of implant failure, loosening, and failure of implant fixation.

Further clinical results published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery show that near-term results of patients with severe glenoid bone loss, treated with the Shoulder Innovations technology, documented excellent radiographic and functional results at a minimum 4.3 year follow up. Separate studies showed the potential for a statistically significant increase in range of motion, reduction in pain, and high patient satisfaction, as a result of surgery.

“The Shoulder Innovations Shoulder System helps the surgeon through its intuitive, simple instrumentation. The InSet™ glenoid technology helps the patient by almost eliminating the “rocking horse” forces which can lead to glenoid loosening during daily shoulder activities,” said Dr. Chuinard. “Together with its simple instrumentation and cutting edge technology, these advantages provide reliable solutions for managing even the most difficult and challenging cases of bone loss in anatomic shoulder replacement while reducing the risk of glenoid failure.”