Mako Surgical Corp.’s (NSDQ:MAKO) commercial launch of the RIO surgical robotic arm for hip replacement surgery won some love from analysts and investors on Wall Street today.
Shares jumped 7 percent to $38.76 in mid-day trading, after closing at $36.27 Friday, with analysts at Leerink Swann noting that MAKO shares are outperforming the market today.
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The device helps surgeons more accurately align and position implants based on a pre-operation three-dimensional model of the patient’s hip. The robotic arm also assists the surgeon in preparing the joint and placing the hip implant.
The device was cleared for use in February 2010, according to a press release, and has been available for surgical treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee for 5 years.
"Mako’s robotic hip solution has the potential to open up significant incremental revenue opportunities," wrote Leerink analysts Rick Wise and Richard Newitter. "The total hip arthroplasty market is much bigger than the market for partial knee replacements."
"Mako’s platform, until today, only targeted uni- and bi-compartmental knee procedures. We estimate the [worldwide] hip market represents a $5-6B opportunity," the analysts wrote.
About 10 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip, a wearing away of the cartilage that cushions the bones, causing pain and stiffness that can affect mobility. About half of the acetabular cups used in hip replacements are implanted improperly, which can lead to dislocation, fracture and increased wear on the implants, according to a study cited by Mako Surgical.
The RIO system may have a tough battle ahead. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NSDQ:ISRG), a Zacks Investment Research favorite, has virtually cornered the market on robotic surgery.
Luckily for Mako, it has a couple of ringers on the bench: Intuitive Surgical co-founders Frederic Moll and John Freund, who sit on its board of directors.