Intellirod Spine Receives $1.6 Million Ohio Third Frontier Award

AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Intellirod Spine, the spinal implant company developing implantable wireless sensor technology to aid in the assessment of spine fusion, secured debt financing of $1.6 million from the Ohio Third Frontier’s Commercial Acceleration Loan Fund (CALF). This award allows the company to accelerate its plan to commercialize the Intellirod™ Sensor and related lumbar fusion implants.


The Akron-based medical device company plans to use the funding to pursue CE Mark and FDA approvals, add a companion pedicle screw system to its technology offering and hire additional staff. “We appreciate this award from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission as it enables us to not only accelerate our timeline to obtain regulatory approvals and a companion pedicle screw system but also expand our staff – all critical milestones,” stated Intellirod Spine’s CEO and President, Ric Navarro. “Intellirod Spine recently hired Robert Eberle as Vice President of Clinical Affairs, adding more than 25 years of orthopedic clinical research and study management experience from orthopedic powerhouses Medtronic and Zimmer.


Intellirod Spine’s breakthrough implantable microelectronic spine fusion sensor, known as the Intellirod™ System, will enable surgeons to assess the progress of spinal fusion while minimizing costs from CT scans and exploratory surgery. The system targets downstream cost reductions and surgeon decision making to improve patient outcomes. In addition, the Intellirod system is more quantifiable than imaging, providing an evidence-based approach to managing and customizing a patient’s recovery.


Dr. Rolando Puno, a co-founder of Intellirod Spine and spine surgeon at the Norton Leatherman Spine Center stated, “I believe the Intellirod™ will be a valuable tool to determine when bone healing in spine fusion is complete.  Currently used plain X-rays or CT scans are but a snapshot in time, generally done 3 to 6 months following surgery, when complete healing probably occurs sooner.  Having the Intellirod™ indicate when healing is complete means patients may be able to return to work sooner and bring significant positive economic benefits.  With the Intellirod™, fusion will be determined more physiologically without the need for radiation, saving the patient from exposure to high doses of radiation.”


Intellirod Spine recently raised $1.1 million in equity capital and plans to close on additional equity investments in the current quarter. “We’re very appreciative that Ohio supports innovation through programs like Third Frontier and CALF to help technology companies like ours reach key milestones much quicker so we can help patients and help the region’s economy,” says Navarro.


About Intellirod Spine (formerly known as OrthoData) The company was formed in 2008 by University of Louisville professors and Dr. Puno.  It is developing new sensor technology for improving the evidence of lumbar fusion to benefit surgeons and patients while lowering post-operative continuum of care costs for payers.  www.intellirodspine.com


About Ohio Third Frontier Commercial Acceleration Loan Fund (CALF)
The goal of CALF is to accelerate the development and growth of key technology industries in Ohio by supporting the move of products and services into meaningful market entry through efforts including commercial scale demonstrations in market-use conditions; manufacturing scale-up beyond pilot plant operations; final customer validation, product certification, and/or regulatory certification; acquisition of exclusive intellectual property rights; launch of the next-generation of existing products, services or processes; and engineering or packaging design.


Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Sales Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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