Stryker in 3D

Stryker Corporation, manufacturer of the recalled Rejuvenate and ABG II modular hip implant systems subject to multidistrict litigation in Minnesota federal court (In re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2441), announced it will build a state-of-the-art 3D printing manufacturing facility in 2016.

X-Ray3D printing is becoming common in device manufacturing and Stryker’s decision indicates Stryker’s focus on manufacturing 3D implants in the future. Stryker already makes 3D-printed components such as tibia base plates, patella, revision cones with geometry, and a soon-to-launch 3D printed titanium interbody device for spine.

Stryker CFO Bill Jellison has stated that “[f]or the foreseeable future, at least the next three, four years or so, our focus is really on innovative new products and not replacing our existing products with 3D printed products. The pipeline of innovative new geometries that can’t be made without 3D printing is the area of focus. So it’s not about trying to replace our products and drive down cost. Over time ten years from now that could be the case, but in the near to midterm, it’s really focused on innovative new products.”

ASGLawyers_stryker_3d_hipimplantAs metallic 3D implants are harder to manufacture than plastic 3D implants, it may be some time before 3D printed implants become a profitable product for Stryker. However, Stryker will conduct studies this year to propel its use of robotic surgery, including on its Mako platform, which sold 72 units in 2016.

“With robotics and 3D printing, we believe we have the lead on both of those areas and those are things we can talk about that differentiate us from our competition,” Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo said. “[They] are not a huge component of our growth or our actual dollar sales, but we believe they are the ones that are causing that extra piece of growth and in a different view of Stryker for the future.”

In the earnings call announcing the 3D printing facility, Stryker reported that its Orthopedic business line (42% of sales) increased 3.3%, with hip and knee devices increasing 6.4% and 9.1%, respectively, in Q$ 2015. Overall, 2015 net sales were $9.9 billion.

If you or a family member have a Stryker hip implant (with or without suffering symptoms, side effects and/or related conditions), or have had revision surgery to remove and replace a hip implant, you and/or your family member may be entitled to money damages.

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