Behind the Scenes: The Thriving Artificial Disc Market and the Underdog Fighting to Catch Up

Cervical disc

The artificial disc market has been on a steady rise in recent years, and in 2021, it reached new heights with a double-digit growth rate. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the market has not only recovered but has also surpassed its pre-pandemic values. This growth is largely attributed to the increasing popularity of cervical artificial discs (CADs), which have gained traction due to their favorable clinical results, simpler approach, and lower average selling prices (ASPs). With a favorable reimbursement environment, the artificial disc market is expected to keep growing, albeit with a decelerating positive growth rate. As the market for cervical artificial discs continues to expand, two major players, NuVasive and ZimVie, have received significant attention. In this blog, we will explore what the two companies are doing to draw attention and how they are performing in terms of revenue and units sold.

NuVasive’s Acquisition of Simplify Medical Yields Significant Revenue Growth

In 2020, NuVasive made a significant investment of $150 million to acquire Simplify Medical, a move intended to expand the company’s cervical spine technology portfolio. NuVasive anticipated that the Simplify assets would play a more critical role in the company’s growth in 2021 and beyond, a strategy that aligns with the company’s broader business goals in the face of ongoing pandemic-related disruptions.

While NuVasive experienced a slow start in the market in 2020, selling only about 20 units and generating less than $70,000 in revenue, the company experienced a dramatic turnaround in 2021, generating over $2.1 million in revenue and selling almost 410 units. This impressive performance can be attributed to several factors, including a slight increase in the average selling price of the Simplify cervical artificial disc from Q4’20 to Q2’21. This increase in price may have played a direct or indirect role in driving the significant increase in revenue, bringing the company much closer to achieving the revenue goals set following the acquisition of Simplify Medical.

40% Decline in Revenue for ZimVie’s Mobi-C®

ZimVie, formerly known as Zimmer Biomet, made a strategic acquisition of LDR in 2016. LDR’s revolutionary cervical artificial disc, the Mobi-C®, received FDA approval in 2013, becoming the first cervical disc to be approved for both one- and two-level indications in the United States. Mobi-C®’s success was impressive, quickly gaining widespread adoption by commercial health insurers, making it the most widely covered device for cervical disc replacement.

In 2018, ZimVie’s revenue from Mobi-C® reached almost $100 million, and the product became the leader in its market with nearly 20,000 units sold. However, in the subsequent years, the revenue generated from Mobi-C® has declined significantly by almost 40%. Notably, the average selling price (ASP) increased by approximately $200 between 2019 and 2020. Although it is unclear whether the price increase has contributed to the revenue decline, there may be other factors that are influencing the situation. 

In Summary

We understand that you may be looking for answers, and we are here to help. Our most recent Artificial Disc MedSKU project has been designed to provide valuable insights that can aid in identifying the underlying reasons behind the decline in revenue for this previously successful product. Additionally, our Global Spinal Implants market report includes an entire segment on motion preservation devices, including artificial discs. Follow the link to view our global report or submit a request through the button below to receive a complimentary MedSKU demo.

View MedSKU in action 


Leave a Reply