Quick-to-Dough? No, Not Pillsbury Flour, but Medtronic Bone Cement

For a second, Medtronic's (NYSE: MDT  ) announcement late Monday that it was launching a new-and-improved bone cement conjured images of baking.

After all, the Fridley, Minnesota company's statement read that the Kyphon Xpede Bone Cement being launched in the U.S. was "quick-to-dough."

But it appears that the faster the bone cement reaches the doughy texture, the more time and control a surgeon has to use the product in surgical procedures involving spinal fractures.

Xpede Bone Cement reaches the doughy state more than twice as fast compared with previous iterations -- the Kyphon HV-R Bone Cement and Kyphon ActivOs 10 Bone Cement. It is used to correct spinal fractures with Medtronic's minimally invasive Kyphon Balloon Kyphoplasty.

"I find that Xpede Bone Cement streamlines the balloon kyphoplasty procedure," said Dr. Wade Wong, professor of clinical radiology and anesthesiology at the University of California, San Diego and chief of neurointerventional spine, in a news release from the company. "It is quick to dough and has a long working time, which provides me with increased control and ease of handling."

While Medtronic lauded the benefits of the new bone cement product, which is part of its Kyphon family, it has not yet received the fruits of the Kyphon acquisition. In its quarterly earnings call on Feb. 22, CFO Gary Ellis told analysts that Kyphon revenue was down 5 percent. He hinted that the company has a ways to go in evangelizing surgeons on the benefits of the Kyphon Balloon Kyphoplasty procedure.

"We remain focused upon generating evidence to support the clinical and economic benefits of BKP," Ellis said.

It appears that the Kyphon acquisition, four years later, is only half-baked. Medtronic, which makes new innovative medical devices, paid $3.9 billion to acquire Kyphon in 2007.

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