Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Rainmaker or Is It the Rainman Is Gone

As Yogi Berra use to say, "it ain't over t'ill it's over." Word coming out of Amedica is that the Rainmaker, aka Ben Shappley is no longer the CEO of Amedica.  An inside source has informed TSB that Ben Shappley was greeted by two BOD members and the CFO resulting in Custard's Last Stand at Little Big Horn.  No scalps were taken, but Ben was last seen being escorted from the building in a heated confrontation.  As the company went on to announce Mr. Shappley's termination via a conference call, the company erupted in simultaneous cheers and applause.  Free at last, Free at last, thank God Almighty, Free at last.

Could this termination be a by product of Ben's inability to take the company public?  Could this termination be the result of an acquisition, US Spine, gone awry? It will be interesting to see who will take the helm of this industry darling.  TSB knows that there will be plenty of candidates lining up to take a shot at the title.  You know what John Lennon use to say, "instant karma is going to get you, gonna knock you off your feet, better recognize your brother, everyone you meet." TSB wants to know what are readers think?

116 comments:

  1. Not the first spine scalp taken, but certainly one of thousands that already have been taken and/or are soon to be acquired in this imploding industry.

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  2. This news won't surprise anyone that has ever worked with Ben. Some great stories out there going all the way back to his Richards Medical and Danek days. Nice guy, just can't get anything done.

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  3. No it has to do with all the fleas that came from US Spine aquisition. The fact that Merril the vascular surgeon aka podiatrist is a consultant sure didn't help.

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  4. They did Ben a favor by firing him. Now he's off the sinking ship with a nice severance package. The rest of the company won't be so lucky.

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  5. How does that knuckle-headed, excommunicated podiatrist/vascular surgeon/astronaut have anything to do with Shappley taking the pink slip??

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  6. I heard they've raised over $200 Million which is now gone down a rat hole. That's gotta be some unhappy investors.

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  7. Oh no, what's Dr. Stromer's dear friend going to do? Maybe Dr. Stromer can hire him to run his various PODs (or schemes). Word has it he's in the stem cell business now....Makes sense, he's finally dealing in human tissue. WHat a crook. Pathological liar.

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  8. K2M the next Globus? 25% Growth this year and just bought some more distribution business in Midwest. Must be nice to have unlimited funds via Welsh Carson

    tb

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  9. I think that the use of knuckle-head in a post is appropriate.

    Sincerely,
    Charles Barkley

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  10. Amedica and US Spine should be deemed, "a match made in loser heaven". Both companies as separates had no clue and that was exacerbated coming together as one. The sales management of Amedica reads like a whos who of nothing. That huge booth used to deceive passers by is the best thing that company has going for them! I give them 2 years at best and then add them to the pile of companies gone belly up

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  11. Their website has been updated already. At least their IT department seems to be on the ball!

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  12. Ben Shappley is another example of a CEO who does not understand his own industry or the markets in which his company operates in. Under his management Amedica lost not only many of their original top distributors, but many quality employees. He actually expected Amedica's sales to increase 300% because of the US Spine aquisition. A true fool!

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  13. I need to buy me one of those pin stripe suits with suspenders maybe someone will hire me to run a company. What is it about this industry, to be continued

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  14. I'll give him this, he is one heckuva snappy dresser. Almost undetectable toupe. Suave and debonair. If that was all it took, he would be the king of spine.

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  15. Maybe Ben R Shappley can take Globus to the next step......A PUBLIC TRADED COMPANY!!!!

    Sincerely,
    Steve R Drunk

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  16. Hopefully they will be able to turn the corner and become a profitable company. Look at the company over the tenorship of Mr. Shappley. Three different VP of Sales, acquisition that didn't go anywhere, and as 6:04pm said, many good employees were lost.

    Website has been updated, but no press release. Looks like they shuffled the deck as well. No VP of HR, but it looks like he's still a director. If they have raised $200 million, what do the investors have to show for it? At the end of the day, investors demand action and a return. I'm not sure if they can go public, even globus hasn't gone yet. My guess is 18months, then firesale.

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  17. Phygen will save Amedica. What a great match these two are.

    Amedica getting into tissue is very scary. Are they the ones selling cord blood cells and comparing it to BMP? I really wish I was a lawyer instead of this.

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  18. Maybe Shappley was a victim of the industry's curse, but then again maybe he was the emperor with no clothes? Investors have no patience sometimes topped off by unrealistic expectations. Anecdotal knowledge, peripheral exposure, or listening to an analyst is quite different than being on the front lines in combat. So people decide to make irrational moves, i.e. acquisition of US Spine, they look for short-term results, placing little value on process, in the end people become collateral damage. Three VP's of Sales? What were they going to do if the portfolio had deficiencies? Let's face it, this company deserves what it gets because most of these companies are built on futures and sometimes you can't make beef wellington out of bullshit.

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  19. What do you guys think of k2m? Any comments about the company/products are appreciated...also anyone who sells it currently, please let me know how it compares to what you have sold in the past and or the big boys...much thanks.

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  20. I looked at K2M two years ago for potential distribution and it didn't pass my fist test, which is, would I want this in my body? The answer was no.

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  21. Pardon my spelling error...I meant "first" test. My "fist" test, as a one-punch fighter, is something completely different:)

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  22. K2M... I've seen worse. Not a bad product line, nothing special. An also-ran kind of place.

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  23. What other CEO's are due to be shown the door?

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  24. Paradigm Spine's Beagle Boy 167-761,
    a.k.a Marc V.

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  25. 11:25, care to elaborate? As of now Paradigm seems to be doing OK OUS. Coflex approval likely to be around the corner. Marc is too clever to be personally involved in any fishy business, isn't he?

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  26. 5:50, ". . .Coflex approval likely to be around the corner. . .".
    I can't stop laughing, man. You're so funny!

    Tell me: Why starting now a second IDE study with Coflex in Germany?
    This study has just begun in March 2011.

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  27. Come on @5:27. That's just turrible.

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  28. K2M is a solid company with growing revenue and they continue to come out with new products. Very nice low profile deformity system and some interesting patents on pedicle screws with no closure tops. They are strong in my area and are well represented, I would replace my bag with K2M if I could. They just introduced a new cervical plate and a lateral system at NASS.

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  29. What happened to Chris Hughes at Paradigm?

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  30. So Amedicas saving grace is not spine. Not joints either. It's the American Defense Industry. Aka DOD.
    That's right folks. They will be making bullets out of this stuff. WHY?! Because it shatters "explodes" on impact! Hence, an exploding bullet.

    And you want to put this in your patient! Good luck.

    Boss Hog and his ugly troll "work wife" can reap the wind.
    Do their dirty deeds else where. Maybe open up a BBQ place and used car lot back in Memphis.
    They sunk a what could have been a compelling product.

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  31. The Laughing PolicemanDecember 2, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Ben Shappley is a highly accomplished, highly competent CEO with his fingers on the pulse of spine industry. Just like us!

    Signed,

    Gary Grenter & Doug Daniels.

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  32. 8:50 First you malign anyone who would put Amedica implants in a patient, then you say they sunk what could have been a compelling product. Which is it? I bet you're the same person that always talks about "blumpkins" on this board. Sharp stuff, man.

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  33. ...Lots of speculation and no facts. Amedica has raised over $100 million and brought a differentiating, superior material to the orthopedic space. Peek spacers have a revision rate of 30%, yet Amedica's has implanted more than 5,000 of their ceramic spacers since they launched their product and there has not been a single revision. Perhaps the reason their CEO was shown the door is because he didn't work hard or smart enough to effectively sell and market Amedica's products.

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  34. Make of it what you will | http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbm.a.32498/full

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  35. 10:40 you sound like a board member or an investor, come to think of it, if you are, how competent are you if you hired Ben? The CEO's job is not to sell as we know it. Leadership, Vision, Strategic Thinking, Planning, Motivating a guiding coalition in executing a plan, Listening, Trusting, living in the present with an eye down the road, you know all the things that some investor thinks he knows when it comes to running a company just because someone made a lot of money.

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  36. PEEk spacers have a 30% revision rate? What crack have you been smoking. Let me guess you paid for that study?

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  37. 10:40

    "PEEK spacers have a revision rate of 30%"

    Say what?? I think the ceramic dust has gotten to your brain because there is absolutely no way that statement is true. It goes to show how weak your product is when you have to bold-faced lie in order to rationalize it.

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  38. 10:40... are you for real?!
    There have been many revisions of Amedicrap's stuff! Why don't you stop lying and start realizing that your product is not right for spine. There is no way to 'revise' a spacer if it is actually secure within the disc space unlesss you shatter the cage, right?

    I myself know of several incidences of the product migrating posteriorally and causing revision/implantation... always with my stuff not back again with your crap! Several of my collegues that I share lines with have stories about the same thing happening in their areas.

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  39. You heard it here first, my people! 10:40 is claiming "facts" of 100% fusion rates in over 5,000 cases! Impressive. Where do I sign up?
    But, first, to your point 10:40: "facts". May I please see a study of at least 1% (50 patients) proving this claim?

    10:40, you are a blithering idiot. lmao

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  40. 10:49
    It is my understanding that the article you posted is about CSC which is a 73% porous/air strucutred version of the ceramic. I was shown this product several years ago and it seems to be relevant. However, my distributor told me that version is unavailable, not FDA cleared and will likely never be sold in the US.

    It is interesting, however, that it compares itself equal to titanium which is readily available from several companies.

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  41. So, does Shappley's leaving effectively dimiss the healthy sonsultancy with Stromer? Is Stromer still in the "Amedica" boudoir?

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  42. 10:40 Needs a refresher course in Indian Poker.

    Manufacturer: Amedica
    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfmaude/search.cfm

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  43. 7:05

    Chris Hughes was forced from Paradigm because of the very weak revenue they have been generating. He has been unable to grow the business while running through a horde of cash.

    Paradigm has a very tiny share of the U.S market and has been unable to make any headway outside of a handful of surgeon investors.

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  44. Please elaborate on what distribution K2M purchased in the Midwest.

    Thanks,

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  45. At the risk of piling on 10:40, he said "Amedica has raised over $100 million and brought a differentiating, superior material to the orthopedic space." Bragging about raising over $100 million (I heard that the number is closer to $140 million) rings hollow, especially when the money has mostly been burned, much of it on executive salaries, severance and bonuses. And especially since no meaningful marketshare was achieved with that money-burn. What a waste.

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  46. Hughes just another Medtronic clone living off of the idea of Danek. Could manage a Krispy Kreme

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  47. 2:47pm

    Chris Hughes led out to the back forty and BANG. Now an opening in the stable and now Chris is on the POD wagon at PDP Spine. I get it. That makes sense. Now POD's are no place like home. Who will be next? TSB, do you have a witty line or song?

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  48. Paradigm BioDevices does not have any surgeon investors - not one. The person, Chris Hughes, never worked there. Paradigm BioDevices was founded in 1997, was self-funded by the owners, and has been operating in the black since 1999.

    I just want clarify any confusion that could be inferred by 7:05's comment. Thx.

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  49. Goes to show how many people do not know the spine market that post. Most are from big corporate companies/spine surgeons that drink the kool aid. When bashing someone, get your facts straight or you are hurting innocent hard working people. Paradigm Spine has the coflex. PARADIGM Biodevices sells the Interplate.

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  50. Paradigm spine is selling dss pedicle screw system that is not selling and the Coflex fusion that is selling well. Coflex motion pma is this year

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  51. K2M acquired long term Danek and DePuy reps. in the Chicagoland market, a few others too. They are a force to be reckoned with.

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  52. 4:05 yes, Mike, we all know the difference between Paradigm and your company- but thanks for the promo.

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  53. Sooo. When with the BOD take a que from Amedica and make similar changes at Alphatec? Seems like a change is needed considering how poorly Dirk and his band of defunct AVPs, and RMs have performed.

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  54. Be careful Mike. You may not have surgeon investors, but you certainly have surgeon consultants that get paid.

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  55. When posting a message, please include your "spine Experience"

    With experience and involvement in day to day cases comes knowledge of the industry.

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  56. 8:04
    You must be a congressman or senator. You initiate rules that you refuse to take part in. I see you ommitted your experience within the industry.

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  57. mike also has the same knock off products ruining the industry

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  58. Stromer is still a con-sultant. He will continue supp-lying dbm from IntrB, stock and billing products, and making his 5 points until they see him for what he is

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  59. 17 years as a spine rep.
    Do on average of 40 cases per week.
    Have worked for two spine companies in those 17 years.
    I work directly for company and last company.
    I work about 80 hours a week at my job. Nights, weekends, holidays etc.

    The point I was trying to make was, keep it as factual and informative as possible.

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  60. 30% peek revision rate? Come on?

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  61. Chris Huges is a POD guy now? Wow!!!!

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  62. AMEDICA has brought in industry veteran Jm Enright to handle the VP of US Sales position. Enright has been a key player at the Orthofix cluster F as well as an impact player at Aesculap Spine. What can I say about this business?? Merrill is a god in the scheme of things.

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  63. Who the hell is Enright??? Another clown in this business who thinks he can take this lost company to the next level. Run Forrest RUN!!

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  64. Amedica is the elephant graveyard of spine company castoffs. They go there so that their careers can die with a nice severance package, courtesy of the investors. $100 million down the drain. Unbelievable.

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  65. 40 cases a week, dang, must be the number1 rep in the country...you must be a 12-20 million dollar spine rep! Can I have your autograph?

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  66. Amedica had a chance in joints especially and spine to an extent had they of redone their designs and invested in both of the above with studies R/D vs. buying US Spine.

    Shappley, who is full of nothing but bacon bits and lies, screwed it all up. No VP of Marketing until his last month there so he and M.Stromer could be on the take with that BioD crap and lord knows what else.

    Most of all, he decided to take his eye completely off the ball and start making industrial versions of silicon nitride to include "exploding bullets" for the DOD. Holy crap, what a dumbass move... how do you sell that now to the skeptical surgeon?

    No studies on joints, no studies on spine, no product reiterations since it's release. No studies outside of imperical data that exist about nanotechnology surfaces and other dated material on ceramics. Also, a completely non-existant international sales piece and no colletion of data over-seas on any of the material in any of it's versions.

    Guy did nothing but blow about 30M and sink the last real opportunity of the company. They will be all but out of business by July.

    Clearly one of the worst CEO's in the industry and right up there with the most unethical, too.

    For what it's worth- I don't think he is getting paid much of a severance... instead, he better be running for cover as I believe he will be sued, heavily, by the last round of investors who feel they were lied to...

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    Replies
    1. http://dockets.justia.com/docket/utah/utdce/2:2011cv01198/83132/

      or sue them?

      Delete
  67. This blog has become a sounding board for retards and ignorants. Please, please stop responding about K2m and Globus when the discussion is about Amedica.

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  68. Amedica: Best severance packages ever. Cash is king.

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  69. Yeah, you're right.

    So, When is Globus going public?

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  70. How long before the Alphatec wreck finally slips below the waters surface? Stock is below $2 and they continue to post fiscal losses.
    Lyrics from a popular Chrismas song can be heard in Carlsbad.
    "All I want for Christmas is my POD. My POD. My POD."

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  71. 6:23: Do you seriously think Paradigm has the cash to start an other IDE study? Certainly not! If Paradigm conducts another study OUS, then this is most likely geared towards the OUS market. Maybe an attempt to differentiate Coflex from all the other interspinous spacers?
    Paradigm is - if nothing else - at least one company taking clinical data serious. Marc V is at risk if this fires back, FDA won't approve the Coflex, or the company simply runs out of cash because they don't manage to expans US market share. If 2:22 or anyone else has inside information on this please enlighten us.

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  72. 6:30 AM

    That's pretty good.

    Back to Paradigm Spine-I was recently approached by a friend to push Coflex i my territory. He says it is approved for fusion in the US. Is that correct?

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  73. 10:18

    "exploding bullets" ? Now that's what I call innovation - by diversifying your spine portfolio. Honda did it by making lawn mowers. "La Vida Loca" ~ Ricky Martin

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  74. 7:29

    Correct: Paradigm is running two IDE studies:
    http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=coflex

    One in US, one in Germany.
    At least two surgeons in Germany are paid consultants by Paradigm Spine.
    See previous publications by these germans.
    So, you are talking about SERIOUS clinical data?

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  75. Yes, I'm sure they will sell plenty of bullets at a great profit to our government (and hopefully not to any other nation). But, so far as medical device, DOA.

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  76. 5:53 that post is comedy!!!!! Force to be wreckoned with in Chicago cause they hired washed up glorified cover reps from Medtronic and Depuy!!! Histerical!

    I'm Medtronic Bitch!! Hahahahahahah NERDS! Not even salesman either!

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  77. Ldr is done. Their cervical disc will only cannibalize their current business showing its not worth more than $100mm.

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  78. Is there anything else to talk about besides Coflex and ldr?

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  79. Only a few companies can truly afford to complete an IDE.
    How many small companies have we seen enter the spine market, stay around for a few years then sell to the big guys or close shop.

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  80. What % of sales comes from IDE products that Globus sells?

    Most are 510k

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  81. Their cervical disc would be the first IDE product. To date, haven't heard that they have received FDA clearance to market.

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  82. Coflex vs. xstop?

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  83. I beloeve it's Coflex vs. spondy 1 stenosis with pedicle screws

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  84. OK, so the second Coflex study is decompression alone vs. decompression + Coflex. Valid and interesting to investigate as you may not neccessarily need to stabilize a decompressed segment. So it's NOT an IDE study, I see nothing wrong with it - besides as previously noted - most of the investigators being consultants to Paradigm...

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  85. When are the xspine investors going to dig deeper into business dealings with Stromer he is the buffer to everything.

    http://www.jigsaw.com/id461164/1/x_spine_systems_inc_company_directory.xhtml

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  86. obviously coflex will not win in that scenario (the ide) and needs to do the international study.

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  87. Coflex is about to rule the world, ha haha ha

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  88. Enough of this theoretical Coflex crap. How about some factual stuff?

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  89. It is not getting approved.

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  90. Are you getting tired TSB? Isn't this all so tedious? I'm right there with you. Alas, we persevere.

    Good luck and Godspeed!

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  91. No TSB is not getting tired, just selective about things to write. Look out for our big story on Blackstone, Orthofix and the SCOTUS this week.

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  92. What's the scoop on the OFIX / Blackstone?? Bad Good???

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  93. Not too good for either Blackstone or Orthofix, word on the Street is that the SCOTUS denied their Writ of Certiorari which was inevitable, looks like the Brothers and their friends at OFIX will either have to go to trial or go crawling on their knees (deservedly so) to the DOJ and kiss some good old ass, couldn't happen to a nicer group of people. Pinstripe suits in the future? You never know.

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  94. TSB could criminal charges be awaiting our friends. Hopefully, the government will not accept a settlement without accountability.

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  95. Who cares about Blackstone or Orthofix! I've never seen them in the field once.

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  96. You may not see them in the field, but their shameful legacy predominates the market.

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  97. I only see Orthfix involved in specific surgical practices in my geography. They are very selective in who they choose to do business with so I assume strong criteria must be adhered to. I can only imagine the vetting process they go through. Must be a really upstanding organization. I wonder if they will be hiring soon?

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  98. lies to investors set up for shappley to take the cross. viscious webs of deception abound. A betrayal coup - you know who you are! The snakepit of Utah...Amedica/US Spine good toxic marriage. Can't rub stink out no matter who tries.. So take head...run for your lives - if you have not sold your soul to do the bidding for the devils on the board..

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  99. Amedica's IT Department isn't that sharp. Shapley is still on the Board of Directors on the website.

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  100. I have worked w/shappley over the years and found him to be of the highest integrity of the executives in this industry. He has always brought value to investors and proven his ability to affect turnarounds and complete M&A activities. We all know that Amedica has had a large investments and 3 CEOs prior to shappley's joining. It appears that a very weak board in a very difficult market is at play.

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  101. Should we start laughing now or later

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  102. 6:45: Good commentary, Ben. Good luck with your next gig.

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  103. 10:05
    I agree if that rep is doing 40 cases per week that's 8 cases per day. I want his autograph too.. After a decade in this industry I have decided to leave. I'm sick of competing with Brother in laws, sons, brothers, wives, mistresses of docs, or the doc who ask for cash, and or studies in the first meeting. I have truly enjoyed the last 10 years with all the innovation but to be honest this shit is going down hill!

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  104. 6:45, Stacie- you are truly pathetic.

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  105. Ass Sphincter Says WHAT?

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  106. "The people's blog site where news, ideas, job opportunities and what's been heard on the street can be discussed in a professional manner."

    Yeah, right. What a joke. I would say the majority of posters should be ashamed of themselves, but 90% of the people in the spine industry know no shame, so why bother.

    But as far as the "publisher" of this site, you should be ashamed. Conversations among high schoolers on Facebook are more "professional" than the crap on here.

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  107. 10:46

    Here's our advice, start your own blog or please log onto OTW and read another ridiculous story on Stem Cells. Considering that you are on this blog reading and posting on it, you sound like a complete fool.

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  108. Are you talking about Spock Enright, the Blue Tooth King or Orthopedics? Are you kidding me that they brought that old retread in from Orthofix. He is listed a sales demotivator, can sell to a surgeon or a freind! Good Luck to the Sales team left that needs to report to him. Enright what a joke!

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  109. http://t.co/plFZdYOG whom will NASS kill next...?

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  110. Word on the street is that more heads are rolling at Amedica. The director of marketing and the VP of operations were fired yesterday.

    More lining up and lay-offs and firings are going to be standard fare as this company restructures itself to be a DOD manufacturer vs. orthopedic/spine venture.

    How long before they sell off the US Spine piece to someone for pennies?

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  111. Facts would totally ruin the hilarity of this site... thanks for keeping it stupid folks!

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  112. Nice post. Good writing. Thanks for sharing.
    Keep writing.

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  113. Hey... Trivia question: Did Ben Shappley actually earn a college degree?

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  114. I saw Benny Ray Shappley shuffling around NASS in a poorly-fitting suit looking for a job. I almost felt sorry for him... Looking all beaten-down and defeated. I wonder if he ought to be looking for work in a different pond. Everyone in our tiny industry knows he lost his wrongful termination lawsuit because the judge determined he demonstrated a "continual, chronic pattern of deceit." Ouch!!! Hey, Benny-Ray... The garbage haulers association meets in Louisville in April and the lower-school custodians society annual meeting is in Fayetteville in June. Good luck, buddy!!!

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