On the road to IPO, Field Orthopaedics raises $5m for push into US
The rapidly growing Australian orthopaedics devices company, Field Orthopaedics (FO) has just completed a fresh round of fundraising, equipping it with $5million in new capital for a push into the US$11billion trauma and extremities market. As one of the fastest growing market sub-sectors, at a rate of 7-10% per annum, hand and wrist orthopaedics is now around 40% of the upper extremities market.
After gaining FDA approval for their first product – the Field Micro Screw - in July 2018, FO subsequently launched in the US in 2019. Created to improve efficiency with the fixation of small fragments in the hand, wrist and foot, the product was well received being 12% smaller and able to generate compressive strength twice the magnitude of existing products.
Field Orthopaedics now has a pipeline of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved devices, including its innovative micro screws, hand plates, nail systems and single use power tools. Its comprehensive hand trauma system brings together a suite of these devices giving surgeons and hospitals the confidence to address many hand and wrist trauma challenges in a single offering from a single supplier.
While the US is the current priority, with TGA approval on its devices already sealed or pending, FO expects Australia will also be a key market.
Field Orthopaedics CEO, Chris Jeffery said “the devices developed are in no way a punt on what the market wants; we’re much more strategic.
“Our approach to product development is driven by consultation with the market. Together with engineers, we work with surgeons through industry bodies to determine what are their day-to-day bug bears. We particularly focused on devices that reduce surgery time and improving patient outcomes,” said Dr Jeffery.
“It was also important that we successfully underwent the intense regulatory scrutiny in both the US and Australia to ensure safety and efficacy before our devices were commercialised.”
According to Dr Jeffery, orthopaedic devices for upper extremities, in particular the hand and wrist, have largely been ignored by the major orthopaedics companies in favour of the high volume, high price hip and knee markets.
The lack of innovation in hand and wrist orthopaedic devices has left hand and wrist surgeons under-served with a lack of anatomy-specific tools which leads to elongated surgery times and surgeon frustration in having to use sub-optimal tools.
In 2018, the Field Micro Screw System won Product Design Gold at the 2018 Australian Good Design Awards® for its ergonomic design and ground-breaking storage, safety and sterilization capabilities.
“Our focus now is its commercial success in the US and then in other markets around the world once we achieve the approvals necessary. Our initial sales and this recent fund raising, have placed us in a strong position to continue marketing the Field Micro Screw System and help propel forward our other products in development,” Dr Jeffery said.
“Our single-use power tools, for instance, are set to compete with smaller versions of tools designed for knee and lower limb operations, not optimised for the needs of upper extremity surgeons. Purposed designed with specialist hand surgeons, the acceptance for our products is already there, as participants have helped develop the product,” said Dr Jeffery.
Investors in this third round of fundraising were largely sophisticated family offices and high net-worth individuals. The Flannery Family Office, through its investment arm Ilwella, is the largest non-founding investor, with around a 22 percent stake in the company and Quentin Flannery is chair of Field Orthopaedics.
“Ilwella has invested in each funding round for Field Orthopaedics,” said Mr Flannery. “Given Dr Jeffery’s and FO’s unique innovation in the extremities orthopaedics market, we see this as an exciting opportunity for our family office. As FO is targeting an underserviced niche in the market and due to its consultative approach to product development, we are confident the demand will be there.
“Once FO has a firm footing in the upper extremities market, we see substantial opportunities for FO to move into the wider extremities orthopaedics market,” said Mr Flannery.
Field Orthopaedics has also signed up multiple extremities-specific distributors globally, but most notably in the US, distributers who already have strong relationships with leading and influential hand and wrist surgeons.
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Field Orthopaedics (FO) is a rapidly growing Australian Orthopaedics devices company that focuses on the design and manufacturing of orthopaedic devices to address the shortcomings in the trauma, extremities and biological markets.
FO was founded by engineer, doctor and CEO Dr Chris Jeffery and orthopaedic surgeons, Dr Greg Couzens and Dr Libby Anderson in 2016.
Created from within the Australian medical community, the founders formed a significant collaboration with surgeons and physicians to identify their greatest industry problems.
With the world’s spotlight on the importance of the medical community working collaboratively to solve big health issues, FO were able to demonstrate how this could be done.