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Astra Tech for Sale : $2 billion

AstraZeneca is considering spinning off a Swedish business that makes dental implants and medical devices for $2bn (£1.25bn). The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker said today that it had hired JP Morgan Chase to help with a strategic review of the firm. In 2009 the industry suffered its weakest year, with sales falling by 3% to 5%. This year the market has been flat but it is slowly recovering. Potential suitors for Astra Tech include US rivals such as privately held Biomet, along

Maxillary Bone Regeneration using Stem Cells

Researchers at the Regea Institute of Regenerative Medicine, part of the University of Tampere, Finland have successfully replaced a 65-year-old patient`s upper jaw with a bone transplant cultivated from stem cells isolated from his own fatty tissue and grown inside his abdomen. Stem cells were isolated from the patient`s fat and grew for two weeks in a specially formulated nutritious soup that included the patient`s own blood serum. When they had enough cells to work with, they attached them to

Gloomy forecast for Nobel Direct after three years

Three years after patients were given Nobel Direct dental implants, the risk of the implant loosening has increased even more. A follow-up by researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy shows that eight per cent of the implants are lost. “We have followed up 48 patients who were among the first to get the implant. For each passing year, we have been able to see how the problems related to these implants have grown more and more,” observes Pär-Olov Östman, a dentist

Astra Tech Aquires Atlantis Components for USD 71 million in cash

The Swedish medical technology company Astra Tech AB is purchasing the US dental company Atlantis Components Inc. for USD 71 million in cash. This business deal is part of Astra Tech’s growth strategy. “The purchase of Atlantis gives us an even stronger product portfolio in the field of dental implants. We strengthen our position in the North American market and can introduce the latest digital CAD/CAM technology in Europe. This also gives us a leading position in the fastest growing

Swedish Medical Products Agency Demands Nobel Biocare Improve Instructions

The Swedish Medical Products Agency(SMPA) released a demand for Nobel Biocare to improve the instructions for both its NobelDirect and NobelPerfect implants. Previously Nobel Biocare had released a response to the recent marketing ban on their NobelDirect implant following reports that it lost an excessive amount of bone following placement. The SMPA stood by its decision that the firm not be allowed to market the implants until it had carried out the improvement of the instructions. The SMPA stated that

Nobel Biocare responds to Swedish Medical Products Agency`s marketing ban on NobelDirect

Nobel Biocare has released a response to the recent marketing ban in their NobelDirect implant following reports that it lost an excessive amount of bone following placement. The response called the initial report to the Swedish Medical Products Agency (SMPA) on NobelDirect by Dr Albrektsson as `… incomplete and reported in an unscientific way. The analysis of the present manuscript shows that the material still suffers from intransparency and lack of scientific stringency. The process for peer-review may even be

Faciliate 1.0 from AstraTech

Astratech has released a customized version of Simplant for use with their implant system. The software program also contains 3D images of implants, abutments and teeth. This ensures efficient, accurate and reliable planning of implant positions, sizes and number of implants, and abutments to be used. In addition it provides better control over the esthetic outcome. When the case is planned, a surgical guide is ordered to make sure that the planning result will be replicated in the real surgical

Self-Regeneration of Teeth with the Wnt Pathway

Researchers from the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki and their collaborators from Berlin and Kyoto have now shown that continuous tooth generation can be induced in mammals. The research results were published in `Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,` (PNAS). The researchers activated the Wnt signaling pathway in mouse tissue; this signaling pathway is one of those used for cell communication and plays an important role in embryonic development. As a result of stimulating this particular

Nobel Biocare refutes criticism concerning its teeth-in-an-hour dental implant

Nobel Biocare refuted criticism voiced by Swedish scientists, saying its implant product `teeth-in-an-hour` is a scientifically proven concept with high success rates. The Swiss-Swedish implant maker said that one of its `ongoing studies with 19 patients and a total of 118 implants shows that after three years, 96.3 pct of all implants still function`. The complete report will be available in April, it said. The group`s statement came in reaction to a study by Sweden`s Karolinska Institute published on Saturday

`Teeth-in-an-Hour` may carry more complications than conventional methods

Swiss-Swedish Nobel Biocare`s Teeth-in-an-Hour implant system may carry more risk of complications than conventional methods, an abstract of a study by Sweden`s Karolinska Institutet showed on Saturday. The study examined 31 patients treated using the method, which uses computer modeling to reduce implant installation time and showed that complications such as the loss of fixtures and the need for adjustments arose for nearly a third. Nine percent of the 175 fixtures examined were lost, said Bjorn Klinge, professor of periodontology

Sweden`s MPA restricts sale of NobelDirect and NobelPerfect

The Swedish Medical Products Agency investigation of the dental implants NobelDirect and NobelPerfect show that there can be deficiencies in the instructions for use for the products.The MPA decision directs Nobel Biocare to clearly describe possible causes for the breakdown of the jawbone in the instructions for use and training programs. In addition, the company must describe how the risk for breakdown can be avoided. In sales and promotion information and instructions for use, the company shall indicate the user

Nobel Direct – too risky to use except with `great care`

Sweden`s Medical Products Agency has made a preliminary finding that Nobel Biocare AG`s dental implant Nobel Direct, is too risky to use except with `great care`. The regulator said it will over the next few weeks come to a final view on Nobel Direct and what eventual warnings will be attached to the implant. The agency issued its statement after investigating the results of Nobel Biocare`s own two year study and said this study was not based on a representative

Cresco(r) – Passive fit on screw-retained implant bridges

Astratech has released their Cresco(r) system for ensuring passive fit on screw-retained implant bridges. This system allows for up to 17 degrees of angle correction for screw-retained bridges using bendable wax tubes giving maximum flexibility in terms of being able to compensate for angled implant placement when bone quality and quantity are poor. Using a Cad-Cam-like milling machine corrects the casting distortion of prosthetic superstructures to a very high degree of precision. The majority of implant systems are supported.

NobelDirect – Verdict delayed

Sweden`s Medical Product Agency (SMPA) has announced it will delay its final verdict on the safety of Nobel Biocare AB`s dental implant NobelDirect, which is alleged to cause bone-loss, until November. The agency cited a delay in the release of Nobel Biocare`s two-year follow-up study as being responsible. Two Swedish dentists in May 2005 alleged that the product is causing bone-loss, prompting investigations by the heathcare authority.

NobelDirect – Analysts` Report on Bone Loss Controversy

Merrill Lynch and UBS have released stock research reports regarding Nobel Biocare`s NobelDirect implant design. Several recent studies suggest more than 3mm of bone loss in 14-55% of patients. An expert panel advising the Swedish Medical Products Agency on the safety of the NobelDirect implant has responded to a recent Nobel Biocare rebuttal letter in a critical manner. The Merrill Lynch analyst suggests a NobelDirect withdrawal may be ahead.

Nobel Biocare`s Groovy Implant Surface

Nobel Biocare has introduced an improvement to their Ti-Unite Surface. By placing micro grooves on the surface they claim to increase the implant stability by up to 30% thereby allowing for more rapid bone formation. This surface improvement takes a mechanical approach to increase Bone-to-Implant Contact as opposed to the chemical surface modification`s introduced by Astra (Osseospeed) and Straumann (SLAtive), their main competitors.