Monday, October 5, 2009

Atlas Spine: Can They Carry The Weight of the Spine Industry on their Shoulders?

Atlas was the brother to Prometheus (Clay Baynham, M.D., the wise brother) and Epimetheus ( Matt Baynham, the indecisive brother). Maybe there was a sub-conscious reason why the company was named Atlas? Recently, the company launched a new pedicle screw system called the "Apelo" meaning to appeal or petition. The "Apelo" is a post system, that provides surgeons with 5.5mm, 6.5mm, 7.5mm and 8.5mm screw diameters with lengths starting at 25mm thru 60mm in 5mm increments, in addition the system has cross-connectors.

Atlas has been around for an estimated four to five years, and has Chet Sutterlin, M.D. as head of the Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Sutterlin has always brought a realistic approach to spine. Recently, the company enlisted Alan Olsen of Sofamor Danek fame to head up the companies search for additional capital. The word on the street is that Atlas has some interesting IP for anterior and posterior fixation. Though I have never seen it, I must take the word of our knowledgeable sources. The Spine Blogger would estimate that this company is generating $4-$6 million in revenues per annum. Like most early-growth stage companies, the Spine Blogger believes that Atlas is at a crossroads, in search of additional capital to take it to the next level. Their initial product the Verteview seemed to attract some attention, yet, by our analysis, this company needs cash to execute its strategic objective.

The Greek mythology character Atlas, was immortal and could not die, having to carry the weight of the world on its shoulders, the question is will Atlas be able to support itself? The Spine Blogger wants to know what its readers think?


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  2. Starting an implant company with "me too" products is a daunting task. How many ways can you design a pedicle screw or a cervical plate? Even with the addition of Mr. Olsen and Dr. Sutterlin's knowledge, the struggle for success will be challenging utilizing home grown funds.
    It's interesting that Atlas didn't develop and market the "interesting IP" initially as did Trans1, St. Mary's X-stop and Lanx's Aspen with their niche products. Then pull through the other "me too" products on the coat tails of the IP. This seems a more successful pathway.

  3. MDE: No offense, but, the question that TSB asks is whether or not this company can survive? I guess as long as Clay Baynham operates they could exist as a Florida based company. PS: you need working capital if you want to run with the bulls, and I just don't see someone investing into another "me too" company.

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