3D printed hips and shoulders, bio-wireless electronics and digital orthopaedics. No, this is not an instruction manual for building a robot - it is today’s reality for EQT’s portfolio company LimaCorporate (“Lima”), a global leader in orthopaedic devices. Following the new collaboration with the Hospital for Special Surgery, US’ top-ranked orthopaedic hospital, and the recent acquisition of the orthopaedic software company, TechMah Medical, Lima will continue to drive innovation and industry transformation.
Lima was founded in 1945 by the Lualdi family, an Italian family of entrepreneurs who pioneered the processing of metals, including titanium which eventually lead to the development of orthopaedic implants. Today, the company is a global leader in additive manufacturing of 3D printed orthopaedic implants, covering the entire spectrum of large joint and extremities reconstruction including custom-made implants for shoulders, elbows, hips and knees.
During EQT’s ownership period, the strategy has been focused on further penetrating existing markets, specifically the US as the world’s largest orthopaedic market, and to drive innovation by leveraging EQT’s deep sector expertise in healthcare and tech. Lima leads continuous advancements in new technologies beyond 3D printed implants, a technology the company pioneered more than 10 years ago.
Challenging established business models
In early January 2019, Lima announced a new collaboration with Hospital for Special Surgery (“HSS”), the US’ number one orthopaedic hospital, located in New York City. Founded in 1863, HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health, and in 2017 provided care to some 135,000 patients performing more than 32,000 surgical procedures. HSS was attracted to Lima’s innovative advancements within orthopaedic 3D printing and the collaboration will provide Lima with an advantageous gateway to the US market.
Together with HSS, Lima will establish the first hospital-based additive manufacturing facility for personalized, 3D printed implants offering tailor-made solutions for patients with the most complex surgical cases. The concept of on-site manufacturing is challenging the industry’s established business model, which has remained unchanged for decades. The new facility, which will be operated by Lima on the hospital’s main campus, will leverage the combination of Lima’s proprietary 3D printing technology and HSS’ expertise in clinical care.
Luigi Ferrari, CEO at Lima, comments: “The partnership with HSS will foster and accelerate innovation in advanced orthopaedic joint care and it further leverages Lima’s strategy to grow its footprint in the US. Orthopaedic 3D printing is disrupting the industry as we know it and the ambition of the partnership with HSS is to develop new products and solutions improving the quality of life for patients in the US and across the world.”
Digitizing orthopaedic care
In the fall of 2018, Lima further strengthened its capabilities within digital orthopaedics through the milestone-based acquisition of TechMah Medical (“TechMah”), a medical device software company founded in 2014 by industry veteran Dr. Mohamed Mahfouz and focused on digital technologies dedicated to orthopaedic surgery. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, TechMah develops bio-wireless electronics, biomechanics, imaging and instruments that will be used with Lima’s implants and devices. TechMah’s expertise in reconstructive software is highly complementary to Lima’s innovative implant portfolio bringing the companies to the forefront of digital transformation by providing innovative digital solutions which will change the approach to orthopaedic surgery.
Dr. Mohamed Mahfouz, founder and CEO of TechMah, comments: "Lima is the most innovative and agile company in orthopaedics today and the ideal partner for us to develop our technology and advance the digitization of the industry.”
Michael Bauer, Partner and Head of EQT’s Healthcare team, concludes: “During the last 10 years, Lima’s products have helped more than 700,000 patients around the world. As global life expectancy continuous to rise, and with a growing proportion focusing on active lifestyles, the market for orthopaedic implants is expected to continue to grow at mid single-digit rate. The demand within Lima’s focus areas, extremities and highly complex cases, is expected to increase significantly more. The alliance with HSS will generate exciting growth opportunities in the US as Lima now starts on-site production of 3D printed implants in the world’s largest orthopaedics market. The geographical expansion, coupled with the digital capabilities from TechMah, constitute the next chapter in Lima’s growth journey as they future-proof their role in advancing orthopaedics.”