A hip replacement system designed by four pioneering Sheffield surgeons has been acquired by multi-award winning healthcare company JRI Orthopaedics.
Professor Ian Stockley, Andrew Hamer, Robert Kerry and Simon Buckley formed Sheffield Medical Products Ltd (SMPL) eight years ago to bring to market a new total hip replacement system.
“There are very good cemented implants on the market,” said orthopaedic surgeon Andrew Hamer, who is based at the Northern General Hospital.
“However, we felt we could improve on the best design by making it more user-friendly, with much more streamlined instrumentation, more cost-effective and compatible with the widest range of hip sockets.”
After securing European CE quality and safety accreditation, the first patients received their new AEON hips in September 2011 and over the last five years around 700 patients – largely in Sheffield – have received the implant.
AEON became the first hip replacement system to go beyond standard regulatory requirements by entering the Beyond Compliance scheme, ensuring close post-market follow-up. It has now been awarded the coveted 3A* ODEP rating.
During this process SMPL have partnered with JRI Orthopaedics, who have world-class expertise in the design, development and manufacture of orthopaedic implants and surgical instruments.
JRI Orthopaedics, which has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Chapeltown, has been the exclusive distributor of the AEON hip system and, over the last 18 months, has also been sub-contract manufacturing some of the instruments and implants.
The multi award-winning company has also worked in partnership with SMPL on enhancements to the instrumentation and extensions to the product range, based on post-market surveillance feedback.
Mr Hamer added: “With most competitor implants you have two or three boxes of kit but we have a single tray of very simple, high quality instruments that have been designed from the surgeon’s perspective to make them as simple to use as possible.
“We have had a lot of time to make sure that the instruments function correctly and have worked closely with the excellent team at JRI on modifications and enhancements to the system.”
Having taken the system this far, SMPL Directors felt JRI Orthopaedics would be better placed to deliver further developments and to negotiate the increasingly complex and demanding regulatory routes into new geographic markets.
JRI Orthopaedics has now acquired SMPL and will manufacture all AEON implants, which will now be known as Avanteon, in Chapeltown.
Chief executive Keith Jackson said: “The Avanteon hip system will be fully integrated with our own developed products to provide a comprehensive total hip and hemiarthroplasty hip offering to the market.
“This is a hugely important step in our business growth strategy as we expect Avanteon to feature as a significant and increasingly important part of our product portfolio over the coming years.
“We are delighted that the surgeons who developed it will continue to be involved, providing training based on a wealth of experience, and expert input to further enhancements of the implant range and instrumentation.”
JRI Orthopaedics has a long-established reputation for innovation and is wholly owned by the charity, Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK). The company Gift Aids the majority of its operating profits to ORUK to fund independent research into bone and joint disease and an expanding medical education programme.
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr Hamer said: “We are delighted that SMPL has been acquired by JRI as it will allow for further development of the hip system with potential sales in the UK and overseas markets.
“We are particularly pleased that it will be manufactured in Sheffield, which is world renowned for high quality orthopaedic device manufacture. We will continue to play an active role in the future development of the system with particular focus on surgeon training and education.”