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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

 

 

 

o

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

 

þ

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from April 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009

Commission file number 0-52491

MIMEDX GROUP, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Florida

 

26-2792552

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)

 

 

 

811 Livingston Court, Suite B

 

 

Marietta, GA

 

30067

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

(678) 384-6720
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: None

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share

(Title of class)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No þ

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No þ

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§229,405 of this chapter) during the preceeding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes o No o

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer  o

 

Accelerated filer  o

 

Non-accelerated filer  o

 

Smaller reporting company  þ

 

 

 

 

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No þ

The aggregate market value of Common Stock held by non-affiliates on September 30, 2009, based upon the last sale price of the shares as reported on the OTC Bulletin Board on such date, was approximately $24,400,000.

There were 51,331,613 shares of Common Stock outstanding as of March 15, 2010.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Portions of the proxy statement relating to the 2010 annual meeting of shareholders, to be filed within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this report relates, are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Report.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1. Business

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

 

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 2. Properties

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 4. (Removed and Reserved)

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

 

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

 

 

32

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

 

32

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

 

37

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

 

37

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

 

64

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9A(T). Controls and Procedures

 

 

64

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9B. Other Information

 

 

64

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

 

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 11. Executive Compensation

 

 

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters

 

 

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

 

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

 

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

66

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

 

66

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIGNATURES

 

 

69

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Exhibit 23.1

  Exhibit 31.1

  Exhibit 31.2

  Exhibit 32.1

  Exhibit 32.2

 

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PART I

This Form 10-K and certain information incorporated herein by reference contain forward-looking statements and information within the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. This information includes assumptions made by, and information currently available to management, including statements regarding future economic performance and financial condition, liquidity and capital resources, acceptance of the Company’s products by the market, and management’s plans and objectives. In addition, certain statements included in this and our future filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), in press releases, and in oral and written statements made by us or with our approval, which are not statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. Words such as “may,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “seeks,” “plan,” “project,” “continue,” “predict,” “will,” “should,” and other words or expressions of similar meaning are intended by us to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements are found at various places throughout this report and in the documents incorporated herein by reference. These statements are based on our current expectations about future events or results and information that is currently available to us, involve assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, and speak only as of the date on which such statements are made.

Our actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such a difference, include, but are not limited to those discussed in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” below. Except as expressly required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any such factors, or to publicly announce the results of, or changes to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future events, developments, changed circumstances, or for any other reason.

As used herein, the terms “the Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to MiMedx Group, Inc., a Florida corporation (formerly Alynx, Co.), and its consolidated subsidiaries as a combined entity, except where it is clear that the terms mean only MiMedx Group, Inc.

Item 1. Business

Overview

MiMedx Group, Inc. (“MiMedx Group”) is an integrated developer, manufacturer and marketer of patent protected biomaterial-based products. MiMedx Group is emerging from a development-focused start-up company into a fully integrated operating company with the expertise to capitalize on its science and technology and the capacity to generate sales growth and profitability.

“Repair, don’t replace” is the mantra of the MiMedx Group biochemists, engineers, and designers who are developing today’s biomaterial-based solutions for patients and physicians. Market research shows the first desire of patients ranging from active baby-boomers and weekend warriors to high-school and professional athletes is to augment repair when possible, rather than replace traumatized, but otherwise healthy tissues and structures. Clinical research has proven that biomaterials can be used to achieve augmentation and repair.

Our Strategy

The Company’s initial business strategy was to identify and acquire innovative new medical products and technologies, focused primarily on the musculoskeletal market, as well as novel medical instrumentation and surgical techniques. We have recently refined our strategy to focus on our proprietary biomaterial technologies that can be transformed into unique medical devices that fill an unmet or underserved clinical need. Our HydroFix™ hydrogel technology and our CollaFix™ collagen fiber technology are proprietary platforms that can serve as the basis for medical devices in various orthopedic and orthobiologic applications, such as spine, sports medicine, and trauma. We also have identified multiple product opportunities in general surgery, drug delivery, wound management and cardiac markets, among others.

Our plan is to focus our internal commercialization efforts on orthopedics and orthobiologic applications for our technologies and to partner with large, established companies in the general surgery, drug delivery, wound management, cardiac and other markets. Initial conversations with respect to such external relationships have been initiated, but they will take time to develop.

 

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We have organized an advisory panel of leading physicians to provide insight into our primary fields of interest for new products and technology, as well as guidance and advice with respect to ongoing product development programs.

Under the direction of our new leadership, our core focus is on near-term opportunities for each of our technologies, advancing them through the regulatory process, establishing reliable and cost-effective manufacturing, and establishing an effective distribution system.

History of MiMedx Group, Inc.

MiMedx Group, Inc. originally was formed as a Utah corporation on July 30, 1985, under the name Leibra, Inc. We later changed domicile, through a merger, to Nevada, and subsequently changed our name to Alynx, Co. We had several additional name changes in connection with various business acquisitions, all of which were discontinued or rescinded. We were an inactive shell corporation for 10 years or more, seeking to acquire an interest in a business with long-term growth potential. On March 6, 2007, Alynx, Co. filed a registration statement with the SEC on Form 10-SB to register its common stock under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

In a merger consummated on February 8, 2008, Alynx, Co. acquired MiMedx, Inc., a Florida-based, privately-held, development-stage medical device company (“MiMedx”) founded by Steve Gorlin. MiMedx’s assets included three development units focused on the development of medical devices based on their respective patented and proprietary technologies. MiMedx’s primary development unit was focused on the development of products for the repair of soft tissue, such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage, using a collagen fiber-based platform predicated on certain cross linking technology, which was licensed from Shriners Hospital for Children and University of South Florida Research Foundation in January 2007. The assets of MiMedx also included 100% of the membership interests in SpineMedica, LLC (“SpineMedica”), a development-stage company focused on Orthopedic-Spine biomaterial technologies using a poly-vinyl alcohol (“PVA”) based hydrogel that its predecessor, SpineMedica Corp., licensed from SaluMedica, LLC for applications related to the spine in August 2005, and for applications related to the hand (excluding the wrist) and rotator cuff in August 2007. Additionally, MiMedx’s assets included certain intellectual property related to implants for use in fracture fixation in the upper extremities, which we referred to as the LeveL Orthopedics assets. These assets had been contributed to, or developed on behalf of, MiMedx pursuant to a consulting agreement it had entered into in September 2007, with Thomas J. Graham, M.D., a leading hand surgeon.

On March 31, 2008, Alynx, Co. merged into MiMedx Group, Inc., a Florida corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary that had been formed on February 28, 2008, for purposes of the merger. MiMedx Group, Inc. was the surviving corporation in the merger. Also on March 31, 2008, MiMedx entered into a license with SaluMedica, LLC, for the PVA-based hydrogel biomaterial for applications as a surgical sheet outside of the spine.

To assist the Company in transitioning from a development stage company to an operating company, effective February 24, 2009, the Company’s Board of Directors appointed Parker H. “Pete” Petit to serve as the Company’s Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Petit has over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare products and services markets, and a track record of having successfully nurtured several companies from the development stage to industry leadership. In September 2009, Mr. Petit recruited another experienced medical device executive, William C. Taylor, to become the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Taylor has over 20 years’ of medical device design, development, and manufacturing experience.

On April 20, 2009, we received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) to market our Paradís Vaso Shield™ device, indicated for use as a cover for vessels following anterior vertebral surgery. In October 2009, we divested our LeveL Orthopedics assets in order to focus exclusively on biomaterials, and also relinquished the SaluMedica license for the hydrogel application in the hand.

Prior to the 4 th quarter of 2009, the Company explored business strategies through our three development units, MiMedx, SpineMedica and LeveL Orthopedics. After the sale of the LeveL assets and a thorough review of the strategic direction of the Company, management made the decision in late 2009 to consolidate the organizational structure. Instead of independent development teams and manufacturing locations, we will have integrated development teams and all manufacturing will be consolidated into one site. Our Tampa, Florida location will focus on research and early stage product and process development. Our Marietta, Georgia location will house our corporate headquarters, our development and sales teams and all manufacturing and distribution operations.

 

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In December 2009 we made the decision to simplify our corporate and technology branding in order to build a stronger brand identity. Our new branding strategy is to focus on MiMedx Group, Inc. as the corporate brand identity and to brand each of our technologies, rather than each product embodying our technologies. Our PVA Hydrogel technology is now called HydroFix™ and our collagen fiber technology is now called CollaFix™. We are currently transitioning the name of our current product from Paradís Vaso Shield™ to HydroFix™ Vaso Shield.

Our Products

CollaFix Products

The CollaFix™ technology combines an innovative means of creating fibers from soluble collagen and a unique cross-linking process that utilizes nordihydroguaiaretic acid (“NDGA”), a naturally occurring plant compound. Initial laboratory and animal testing shows that collagen cross-linked with NDGA produces a very strong, biocompatible, and durable fiber that can be transformed into surgical meshes intended to treat a number of orthopedic soft-tissue trauma and disease disorders. Furthermore, tests have shown NDGA biocompatibilizes certain materials that may otherwise create a foreign body response. NDGA is a biological compound, and therefore biomaterials cross-linked with NDGA are composed entirely of biological components.

Embodiments and benefits of products that we believe, based on preliminary studies, could be developed using this licensed technology are:

 

 

 

Initial tests of fibers cross-linked with NDGA appear to demonstrate they are stronger than existing collagenous tissue, including healthy tendons and ligaments. These fibers form the fundamental unit from which a variety of devices could be configured as follows:

 

 

 

Linear and braided arrays for tendon and ligament repair

 

 

 

 

Cross-helical arrays forming tubular structures that also can be cut to form flat patches

 

 

 

 

Woven meshes for general surgical use;

 

 

 

NDGA-treated biomaterials have been tested and results preliminarily suggest that the materials are biocompatible and biodegradable;

 

 

 

Biocompatibilization (making a material biocompatible that may otherwise not be) of in-dwelling medical devices by coating with NDGA polymerized collagen;

 

 

 

NDGA treatment of xenograft (animal in origin) and allograft (human in origin) materials could make them more biocompatible and possibly improve functional lifetime; and

 

 

 

NDGA-treated collagen-based biorivets have the potential to be used for bone fracture fixation.

Our core collagen technology is licensed to us and is embodied in two patents. The core patent covers the polymerization chemistry of NDGA as applied to biological materials, bioprostheses, or devices created through its application. It covers chemistries and compounds that have the reactive groups that are responsible for the effectiveness of NDGA, including a variety of organically synthesized NDGA analogs and natural compounds. Multiple medical products potentially could be developed and patented that are all tied to the core patented technology.

We are currently pursuing the manufacture and optimization of various collagen constructs and we are focused on advancing our products through the regulatory process to receive FDA clearance to introduce our products to the market.

We may license rights to specific aspects of our collagen technology to third parties for use in applications and indications that we choose not to exploit ourselves.

HydroFix™ Products

We license rights to a PVA polymer, which is a water-based biomaterial that can be manufactured with a wide range of mechanical properties, including those that appear to mimic closely the mechanical and physical properties of natural, healthy human tissue. This hydrogel has been used in other orthopedic and general surgery device applications, and we believe it has demonstrated biocompatibility and durability inside the human body. Regulatory agencies both inside and outside the United States have cleared the hydrogel material for use inside the body for several applications. For example, in the United States, the FDA has cleared devices using the hydrogel material for use as a cover for vessels following anterior vertebral surgery as well as for use next to nerves. In the European Union and Canada, devices using the hydrogel material have been cleared for use next to nerves, to replace worn-out and lesioned cartilage in the knee, and as a post-surgical adhesion inhibiting barrier for spine surgeries in specific locations.

 

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As mentioned above, on April 20, 2009, we received FDA clearance via a 510(k), for our Paradís Vaso Shield™, recently renamed HydroFix™ Vaso Shield (the “Vaso Shield”), which is a vessel guard made of our hydrogel material. Protection of veins and arteries is a common issue associated with many types of surgeries. Protection of the aorta, vena cava, iliac vessels and other anatomy is particularly important in anterior spine surgery. The HydroFix™ Vaso Shield was designed to help physicians protect vessels following anterior vertebral surgery. The FDA cleared the HydroFix™ Vaso Shield as a vessel guard or cover for anterior vertebral surgery, however, the safety and effectiveness of this device for reducing the incidence, severity and extent of post-operative adhesion formation has not been established.

We have a similar version of the product for the European market called HydroFix™ Spine Shield, which has recently received the CE mark. The device is classified as a post-surgical adhesion inhibiting barrier and is used in specific spine surgeries. The CE marking, also known as “CE Mark,” is a mandatory conformity mark on many products placed on the single market in the European Economic Area (EEA). The CE marking certifies that a product has met European Union (EU) consumer safety, health or environmental requirements. The CE marked HydroFix™ Spine Shield is not available in the United States.

We are currently in the process of identifying other uses and indications for the HydroFix™ technologies, including, but not limited to other areas of the spine as well as healthcare categories outside the spine, such as general surgery, obstetrics, and gynecology, maxilla-facial, plastic and cosmetic applications, and others. We filed our second 510(k) application for the HydroFix™ sheet material in February 2010 for anticipated use in orthopedic applications.

Market Opportunity

In 2008, the value of the Orthopedic-Biomaterials segment was estimated to be $7.4 billion, representing over 20% of the total Orthopedic Market. It is estimated that this market segment will grow at over 13% per year, which is more than double the growth rate for the overall Orthopedics Market. The Biomaterials market is expected to grow to a value of $9.4 billion by 2011, mainly due to advancements in materials science technology, the incidence of trauma and disease associated with the baby-boomer population and resource focus and investment (MedMarket Diligence, Report #M625, “Emerging Trends, Technologies and Opportunities in the Markets for Orthopedic Biomaterials, Worldwide”, 2008).

Orthopedics is one of the largest medical sectors utilizing biomaterials. The development of advanced generation products has prompted many orthopedic companies whose foundations lie in traditional therapies to focus on biomaterials due to physician and patient demand. We believe that new biomaterial products will continue to replace existing products.

The main orthopedic biomaterials markets driving growth are connective and soft tissues, such as tendon and ligament repair (tendons connect muscle to bone and ligaments connect bone to bone), meniscus repair, bone grafts, resorbable technologies , and cartilage repair.

We believe that the number of procedures that might utilize our products is large. The total number of procedures of arthroscopy and soft-tissue repair (including shoulders, hands, knees, ankles, and elbows) in 2003 was estimated at approximately 2.6 million compared to approximately 2.3 million procedures in 2002 according to The Ortho FactBook (2006), published by Knowledge Enterprises, Inc.

Rotator cuff injuries represent a leading cause of shoulder instability and result in approximately 300,000 invasive procedures annually, according to MedTech Insight, an industry marketing research firm.

Also, the NDGA-based biomaterials and related processes under license may prove suitable for use in general surgical procedures for reinforcement of soft tissue where weakness exists or scar tissue formation is not desirable.

The market revenues for biomaterials in wound care are expected to rise at an accelerated compound annual growth rate of 16.5% from 2006-2013. Combination products (biomaterial dressings that also possess moist dressing, antimicrobials, or alginates) are further driving growth and gaining market share from other advanced wound dressing segments, according to the Frost and Sullivan US Interactive Wound Care Markets Report for 2008.

The market for general soft-tissue patches and slings is not heavily populated because few products have fully satisfied clinical needs and physicians and patients are demanding implants that resorb over time. In 2005, the general soft-tissue repair market for the products listed above was valued at over $600 million in the United States and over $500 million in Europe, with an anticipated growth rate of 14% through 2010, according to a 2006 market research report by Millennium Research Group.

 

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Tendon and Ligament Repair Technologies

Advancements in tendon surgery have focused largely on augmenting the standard of care using synthetic and biomaterials including collagen based devices. Advancements in ligament surgery have focused largely on new methods of graft fixation using interference screws and anchors, which have opened new approaches to repair. We believe there is a new wave of development for ligament and tendon repair, including collagen matrices, allografts and tissue engineered tendons and ligaments that we believe will change how physicians treat these procedures. Therapeutic modalities we continue to focus on are related to the treatment and repair of soft tissues during tendon repair surgery, including reinforcement of the rotator cuff, patellar, Achilles, biceps, quadriceps or other tendons. Following clinical development of the above, we plan to focus on treatments for ligaments and joints, such as medial and lateral collateral ligaments of the knee, elbow and ankle and meniscal repair. Our products potentially could be used in other orthopedic categories as well.

PVA-Based Biomaterials

Our PVA based biomaterial, HydroFix™, has been used in several medical device applications and is cleared by the FDA for use as a cover for vessels following anterior vertebral surgery and for use as a nerve cuff (SaluMedica, LLC). We have licensed the right to use Salubria ® , SaluMedica LLC’s formulation, or similar PVA-based biomaterials for certain applications within the body under a world-wide license (see “Collaborations and License Agreements”). The material, as Salubria ® , has been sold in Europe for certain applications for over seven years. The PVA-based hydrogel can be processed to have mechanical and physical properties similar to that of human tissue. The biostable hydrogel composition contains water in similar proportions to human tissue, mimicking human tissue’s strength and compliance. For certain applications, the PVA-based hydrogel has been formulated to be wear-resistant and strong. The base organic polymer is known to be biocompatible and hydrophilic. These properties make it a candidate for use as an implant, and may prove suitable for development into medical products addressing various applications. The PVA-based hydrogel and products formed therefrom are MRI compatible (allowing for Magnetic Resonance Imaging of a patient with no artifacts or special safety precautions necessary). We currently license the PVA-based hydrogel for use in the spine, rotator cuff and as a surgical sheet.

Spine Anatomy and Disorders

The spine is considered by many orthopedic and neurosurgeons to be the most complex motion segment of the human body. It provides a balance between structural support and flexibility. It consists of 26 separate bones called vertebrae that are connected together by connective tissue to permit a normal range of motion. The spinal cord, the body’s central nerve conduit, is enclosed within the spinal column. Vertebrae are paired into what are called motion segments that move by means of three joints: two facet joints and one spinal disc.

The four major categories of spine disorders are degenerative conditions, deformities, trauma and tumors. The largest market is degenerative conditions of the vertebral discs. These conditions can result in instability, pressure and impingement on the nerve roots as they exit the spinal column, causing often severe and debilitating pain in the back, arms and/or legs.

Current Treatments for Spine Disorders

The current prescribed treatment for spine disorders depends on the severity and duration of the disorder. Initially, physicians typically prescribe non-operative procedures including bed rest, medication, lifestyle modification, exercise, physical therapy, chiropractic care and steroid injections. Non-operative treatment options are often effective; however, other patients require spine surgery. According to Knowledge Enterprises, Inc., the number of spine surgery procedures grew to over 1.2 million per year in 2005 in the United States. The most common spine surgery procedures are: discectomy, the removal of all or part of a damaged disc; laminectomy, the removal of all or part of a lamina, or thin layer of bone, to relieve pinching of the nerve and narrowing of the spinal canal; and fusion, where two or more adjoining vertebrae are fused together to provide stability.

Spine Repair and Vessel Protection

MedTech Insight, LLC’s March 2007 report on “United States Markets for Spinal Motion Preservation Devices,” states that an estimated 50 million people in the United States suffer from back pain. This report also states that in 2004, more than 1 million spine surgeries were performed in the United States—far more than the number of hip and knee replacements combined. Factors driving growth of the spine surgery products market include the growing number of people with degenerative disc disease, which typically is caused by gradual disc damage and often results in disc herniation and chronic, debilitating lower back pain. It is most common among otherwise healthy people in their 30s and 40s and affects approximately half of the United States population age 40 and older.

 

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A disc herniation, or abnormal bulge or rupture, is often caused by degenerative disc disease but may also result from trauma and/or injury. As we age, the disc’s nucleus pulposus , or the center of a spinal disc, loses its water content and the disc begins to degenerate, becoming drier, less flexible, and prone to damage or tears. By the time a person reaches age 80, the nucleus pulposus’ water content decreases to approximately 74%; during the first year of a person’s life, the water content is approximately 90%. The annulus fibrosus, or the outer rim of a spinal disc, also may be damaged by general wear and tear or by injury and can cause bulging and impingement on adjacent nerve roots.

Repair of herniated intervertebral discs or damage as a result of degenerative disc disease commonly involves surgical intervention such as fusion or total disc replacement (TDR). Postsurgical adhesions and fibrosis formation are a common consequence of the normal healing process. The presence of fibrosis may render reoperations or follow-up surgeries risky and have caused nerve root tethering in some patients.

One approach to protecting vessels following anterior vertebral surgery is to provide a barrier between the anterior spine and adjacent vessels. Some studies, not performed by us, have demonstrated that the application of a barrier to protect adjacent vessels may create a dissection plane for future surgeries in that anatomical area.

The safety and effectiveness of the FDA cleared HydroFix™ Vaso Shield device for reducing the incidence, severity and extent of post-operative adhesion formation has not been established.

Another market for which a barrier or plane of dissection-type product is needed is in gynecological uses where the removal and surgical cutting of fibroids and cysts, hysterectomies, and other procedures may lead to post-surgical adhesions. Such adhesions may result in infertility and pelvic pain. Gynecological surgery provides a compelling market because of the high volume of procedures worldwide, and because gynecological infertility surgery is frequently followed up by a laparoscopic second-look procedure at the disease site.

There are many other medical categories for which scar-tissue and fibrosis formation are complicating issues and the Company is researching opportunities for expansion of this product platform.

Physician Advisory Boards

We have empanelled a number of key physician opinion leaders in relevant fields by asking these physicians to serve on one of our Physician Advisory Boards (“PABs”). Each has entered into a consulting agreement with the Company.

Our PABs include physicians who move medicine forward by scientific endeavor, such as publishing, teaching and developing new solutions to treat injury and diseases. Several members chair their respective departments at university medical schools, teaching institutions and fellowship programs.

The Chairman of our Sports Medicine PAB is James Andrews, M.D., of Birmingham, Alabama, and Gulf Breeze, Florida. Dr. Andrews is one of the best known and most respected sports-medicine physicians in the world. He is the physician for several National Football League and Major League Baseball teams and treats many of the highest-paid professional athletes from numerous teams and from a multitude of sports, including Drew Brees, the 2010 Superbowl MVP, and is regularly profiled in newspapers and magazines. Dr. Andrews also runs a sought-after fellowship program.

The Sports Committee is chaired by Lonnie Paulos, M.D. a renowned orthopedic surgeon and researcher. Dr. Paulos is presently a surgeon at the Andrews-Paulos Institute for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Florida. He is the former physician to the Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds, US Ski team, and the US Gymnastics Federation.

Similarly, we have assembled a group of leading orthopedic spine and neurosurgeons who are advising on the development of our spinal implants, instruments and surgical procedures

The Chairman of the Spine PAB is Randal Betz, M.D. Dr. Betz holds hospital positions as Chief of Staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children and Medical Director of Shriners’ Spinal Cord Injury Unit, in Philadelphia, PA. Additionally, Dr. Betz is on staff at Temple University Children’s Medical Center and is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Temple University School of Medicine.

 

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Government Regulation

Our products are medical devices subject to extensive regulation by the FDA, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and they are also regulated in the European Union through the Medical Device Directive. Similar regulations apply in other countries. These regulations govern, among other things, the following activities:

 

 

 

product design and development;

 

 

 

product testing;

 

 

 

product manufacturing;

 

 

 

product labeling;

 

 

 

product storage;

 

 

 

premarket clearance or approval;

 

 

 

advertising and promotion;

 

 

 

product sales and distribution; and

 

 

 

medical device reporting.

Each medical device that we distribute commercially in the U.S. likely will require either 510(k) clearance or Premarket Approval (“PMA”) from the FDA prior to marketing. Devices deemed to pose relatively less risk are placed in either Class I or II which requires the manufacturer to submit a premarket notification requesting permission for commercial distribution; this is known as 510(k) clearance, which indicates that the device is substantially equivalent to devices already legally on the market. Most Class I devices are considered very low risk and are exempted from this requirement. Devices deemed by the FDA to pose the greatest risk, such as life-sustaining, life-supporting or implantable devices, or devices deemed not substantially equivalent to a previously 510(k) cleared device or a pre-amendment Class III device for which PMA applications have not been required, are placed in Class III, requiring PMA approval.

Some of our products contain biologic materials. We believe that the FDA will regulate our products as medical devices. However, the FDA may determine that some of our products are combination products comprised of a biologic and medical device component. For a combination product, the FDA must determine which center or centers within the FDA will review the products and under what legal authority the products will be reviewed. While we believe our products would likely be regulated under the medical device authorities even if they are deemed “combination products,” there can be no assurances that the FDA will agree. In addition, the review of combination products is often more complex and more time consuming than the review of a product under the jurisdiction of only one center within the FDA.

5 10(k) Clearance Pathway

To obtain 510(k) clearance for one of our products, we must submit a premarket notification demonstrating that the proposed device is substantially equivalent in intended use and in safety and effectiveness to a previously 510(k) cleared device or a device that was in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976, for which the FDA has not yet called for submission of PMA applications. The FDA’s 510(k) clearance pathway usually takes from four to 12 months, but it can take significantly longer for submissions that include clinical data.

After a device receives 510(k) clearance, any modification that could significantly affect its safety or effectiveness, or that would constitute a major change in its intended use, requires a new 510(k) clearance or could require a PMA approval. The FDA requires each manufacturer to make this determination in the first instance, but the FDA can review any such decision. If the FDA disagrees with a manufacturer’s decision not to seek a new 510(k) clearance, the agency may retroactively require the manufacturer to seek 510(k) clearance or PMA approval. As part of the PMA review, the FDA typically will inspect the manufacturer’s facilities for compliance with Quality System Regulation, or QSR, requirements, which prescribe elaborate testing, control, documentation and other quality assurance procedures.

The FDA also can require the manufacturer to cease marketing and/or recall the modified device until 510(k) clearance or PMA approval is obtained.

 

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PMA Approval Pathway

If 510(k) clearance is unavailable for one of our products, the product must follow the PMA approval pathway, which requires proof of the safety and effectiveness of the device to the FDA’s satisfaction. The PMA approval pathway is much more costly, lengthy and uncertain. It generally takes from one to three years and can take even longer.

A PMA application must provide extensive preclinical and clinical trial data and also information about the device and its components regarding, among other things, device design, manufacturing and labeling. As mentioned above, in conjunction with a PMA review, the FDA typically will inspect the manufacturer’s facilities for compliance with QSR requirements, which prescribe elaborate testing, control, documentation and other quality assurance procedures.

Upon submission, the FDA determines if the PMA application is sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review, and, if so, the application is accepted for filing. The FDA then commences an in-depth review of the PMA application, which typically takes one to three years, but may take longer. The review time is often significantly extended as a result of the FDA asking for more information or clarification of information already provided. The FDA also may respond with a “not approvable” determination based on deficiencies in the application and require additional clinical trials that are often expensive and time consuming and can delay approval for months or even years. During the review period, an FDA advisory committee may be convened to review the application and recommend to the FDA whether, or upon what conditions, the device should be approved. Although the FDA is not bound by the advisory panel decision, the panel’s recommendation is important to the FDA’s overall decision making process.

If the FDA’s evaluation of the PMA application is favorable, the FDA typically issues an “approvable letter” requiring the applicant’s agreement to specific conditions ( e.g. , changes in labeling) or specific additional information ( e.g. , submission of final labeling) in order to secure final approval of the PMA application. Once the approvable letter is satisfied, the FDA will issue a PMA for the approved indications, which can be more limited than those originally sought by the manufacturer. The PMA can include post approval conditions that the FDA believes necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the device including, among other things, restrictions on labeling, promotion, sale and distribution. Failure to comply with the conditions of approval can result in material adverse enforcement action, including the loss or withdrawal of the approval. Even after approval of a PMA, a new PMA or PMA supplement is required in the event of a modification to the device, its labeling or its manufacturing process.

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is generally required to support a PMA application and is sometimes required for a premarket notification. Such trials generally require submission of an application for an Investigational Device Exemption, or IDE. The IDE application must be supported by appropriate data, such as animal and laboratory testing results, showing that it is safe to test the device in humans and that the testing protocol is scientifically sound. The IDE must be approved in advance by the FDA for a specified number of patients (unless the product is deemed a nonsignificant risk device eligible for more abbreviated IDE requirements). Clinical trials are subject to extensive monitoring, record keeping and reporting requirements. Clinical trials may begin once the IDE application is approved by the FDA and the appropriate institutional review boards, or IRBs, at the clinical trial sites, and must comply with FDA regulations. To conduct a clinical trial, we also are required to obtain the patients’ informed consent that complies with both FDA requirements and state and federal privacy and human subject protection regulations. We, the FDA or the IRB could suspend a clinical trial at any time for various reasons, including a belief that the risks to study subjects outweigh the anticipated benefits. Even if a trial is completed, the results of clinical testing may not adequately demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the device or may otherwise not be sufficient to obtain FDA approval to market the product in the U.S.

 

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Postmarket

After a device is placed on the market, numerous regulatory requirements apply. These include: the Quality System Regulation, which requires manufacturers to follow elaborate design, testing, control, documentation and other quality assurance procedures during the manufacturing process; labeling regulations; the FDA’s general prohibition against promoting products for unapproved or “off-label” uses; and the Medical Device Reporting regulation, which requires that manufacturers report to the FDA if their device may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury or malfunctioned in a way that would likely cause or contribute to a death or serious injury if it were to recur. Class II devices also can have special controls such as performance standards, postmarket surveillance, patient registries, and FDA guidelines that do not apply to Class I devices.

We are subject to inspection and marketing surveillance by the FDA to determine our compliance with regulatory requirements. If the FDA finds that we have failed to comply, it can institute a wide variety of enforcement actions, ranging from a public warning letter to more severe sanctions such as:

 

 

 

fines, injunctions, and civil penalties;

 

 

 

recall or seizure of our products;

 

 

 

operating restrictions, partial suspension or total shutdown of production;

 

 

 

refusing our requests for 510(k) clearance or PMA approval of new products;

 

 

 

withdrawing 510(k) clearance or PMA approvals already granted; and

 

 

 

criminal prosecution.

The FDA also has the authority to require repair, replacement or refund of the cost of any medical device that we have manufactured or distributed.

International

International sales of medical devices are subject to foreign government regulations, which vary substantially from country to country. The time required to obtain approval by a foreign country may be longer or shorter than that required for FDA approval, and the requirements may differ. In addition, the export of certain of our products that have not yet been cleared or approved for domestic distribution may be subject to FDA export restrictions. There can be no assurance that we will receive on a timely basis, if at all, any foreign government or United States export approvals necessary for the marketing of our products abroad.

The primary regulatory environment in Europe is that of the European Union, which consists of twenty-seven countries, encompassing most of the major countries in Europe. Other countries, such as Switzerland, have voluntarily adopted laws and regulations that mirror those of the European Union with respect to medical devices. The European Union has adopted numerous directives and standards regulating design, manufacture, clinical trials, labeling, and adverse event reporting for medical devices. Devices that comply with the requirements of a relevant directive will be entitled to bear a CE Mark and can be commercially distributed throughout Europe. The method of assessing conformity varies depending on the class of the product, but normally involves a combination of self-assessment by the manufacturer and a third party assessment by a “Notified Body.” This third party assessment may consist of an audit of the manufacturer’s quality system and specific testing of the manufacturer’s product. An assessment by a Notified Body in one country within the European Union is required in order for a manufacturer to commercially distribute the product throughout the European Union.

Export of Uncleared or Unapproved Devices

Export of devices eligible for the 510(k) clearance process, but not yet cleared to market, is permitted without FDA approval, provided that certain requirements are met. Unapproved devices subject to the PMA process can be exported to any country without FDA approval provided that, among other things, they are not contrary to the laws of the country to which they are intended for import, they are manufactured in substantial compliance with the Quality System Regulations, and they have been granted valid marketing authorization by any member country of the European Union, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland or South Africa. If these conditions are not met, FDA approval must be obtained, among other things, by demonstrating to the FDA that the product is approved for import into the country to which it is to be exported and, in some cases, by providing safety data for the device. There can be no assurance that the FDA will grant export approval when necessary or that countries to which the device is to be exported will approve the device for import. Our failure to obtain necessary FDA export authorization and/or import approval could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation.

 

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Regulatory Status of our Products

On April 20, 2009, the Company received FDA clearance to market the HydroFix™ Vaso Shield (formerly called Paradís™ Vaso Shield) device, indicated for use as a cover for vessels following anterior vertebral surgery. The proprietary, patented, and PVA based membrane may reduce the risk of associated injury following anterior vertebral surgeries by providing a vessel cover. We have products under development that may qualify for 510(k), such as NDGA-polymerized collagen implants and additional sheet products made from PVA-based hydrogel. In February 2010 we filed two additional 510 (k) submissions, one for an orthopedic application of our HydroFix TM Sheet. The second was for our first Collagen product submission for general soft tissue repair. There can be no assurance of the outcome of these submissions or the timeframe to complete the process.

Reimbursement—Procedures, Profitability and Costs

Our products likely will be purchased by hospitals or ambulatory surgery centers that are reimbursed by third-party payers. In the U.S., such payers include governmental programs (e.g., Medicare and Medicaid), private insurance plans, managed care programs and workers’ compensation plans. Governmental payment programs have prescribed reimbursement rates for procedures and medical products. Similarly, private third-party payers have carefully negotiated payment levels for procedures and medical products. In addition, in the United States, an increasing percentage of insured individuals are receiving their medical care through managed care programs, which monitor and may require pre-approval of the services that a member will receive. Our success depends on adequate levels of third-party reimbursement for our products.

In those countries outside the U.S. where our products are approved for sale, we expect that sales volumes and prices of our products will be influenced by the availability of reimbursement from governments or third-party payers. If adequate levels of reimbursement from governments or third-party payers outside of the U.S. are not obtained, international sales of our products will be limited. Outside of the U.S., reimbursement systems vary significantly by country. Many foreign markets have government-managed health care systems that govern reimbursement for medical devices and procedures and often require special consideration for reimbursement for a new device.

We are currently working with industry reimbursement consultants to aid in the reimbursement planning for our products. At this time there can be no assurance that reimbursement policies will provide an acceptable return on our products.

Competition

CollaFix™ Products

In the US in 2007, approximately 2,090,000 orthopedic soft tissue repair procedures were performed. This procedure volume is growing at a rate of 4.5 % supported by the rising number of sports-related injuries, particularly among the increasingly active aging population. Source: US Markets for Orthopedic Soft Tissue Solutions 2008, Millennium Research Group

There are currently a large number of devices on the market used to reinforce surgically repaired soft tissues. These include hardware (screws, pins, disposables) as well as allografts, synthetic products and xenografts (derived from porcine, bovine and equine tissues).

Leading Competitors in the Orthopedic Soft Tissue Solutions Market, as a % of Total, US, 2007.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percent of US total

 

Leading Competitors

 

Soft Tissue Market

 

Arthrex

 

 

33.8

%

DePuy Mitek

 

 

17.1

%

Smith and Nephew

 

 

13.2

%

CONMED Linvatec

 

 

5.8

%

Genzyme Biosurgery

 

 

3.4

%

Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation

 

 

3.2

%

Biomet Sports Medicine

 

 

3.1

%

AlloSource

 

 

2.7

%

ArthroCare

 

 

2.1

%

LifeNet Health

 

 

1.9

%

Other

 

 

13.7

%

Source: US Markets for Orthopedic Soft Tissue Solutions 2008, Millennium Research Group

 

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There are several technologies currently on the market or anticipated to enter the market for ligament and tendon repair and/or replacements. Those technologies include collagen matrices, cell-seeded polymer scaffolds, cryopreserved allografts, fibroblast-seeded ligament analogs, and small intestinal submucosa.

Competitors who market collagen based devices currently include:

 

 

 

 

 

Developer

 

Product

 

Cross-linking

 

 

 

 

 

DePuy

 

RESTORE

 

None

Wright Medical Technology

 

GraftJacket

 

None

Synovis

 

OrthAdapt

 

Carbodiimide

ReGen Biologics

 

Collagen matrices

 

None

Biomet/Organogenesis

 

CuffPatch

 

Carbodiimide

The above technologies may or may not utilize cross-linking agents, which are FDA-approved and used in the manufacturing of collagen for soft-tissue repair. The current market leader is the Restore Orthobiologic Soft Tissue Implant from DePuy. It utilizes small intestinal submucosa of porcine origin. We believe our collagen fiber-based devices will provide better reinforcement for tendon and ligament repair because they are made of high strength cross-linked collagen fibers and, by mimicking the natural fiber orientation in tendons and ligaments, they provide targeted mechanical properties equivalent to those of tendons and ligaments.

There are a few synthetic products, such as W.L. Gore’s GoreTex, 3M Kennedy Ligament Augmentation Device (“LAD”), and Stryker’s Meadox Dacron Ligament Augmentation Graft which were developed for use in Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction. These were first and second generation soft-tissue repair products and generally produce results that we believe are less satisfactory than those containing soft-tissue constructs, because the materials tend to stretch and become deformed over time.

HydroFix™ Products

Spinal Orthopaedic and neurosurgeons actively seek patient treatment alternatives and utilize various technologies during different stages of the patient care continuum. Until the recent success of non-fusion technologies, spine implant market manufacturers have focused almost exclusively on refining and improving spinal fusion techniques. Multiple fusion techniques and products are available to patients today.

Regardless of the type of surgery, fusion or TDR, physicians commonly deal with venous injury during anterior spinal revision surgery. Currently, competition for vessel guards for this specific application is limited. W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. is the dominant manufacturer in this area.

Collaborations and License Agreements

License Agreement between MiMedx, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and University of South Florida Research Foundation

We entered into a license agreement with Shriners Hospitals for Children and University of South Florida Research Foundation (collectively “Licensor”) in January 2007 for the worldwide, exclusive rights for all applications using NDGA-polymerized materials, including for reconstruction of soft tissue. We paid a one-time license fee of $100,000, plus issued to the Licensor 1,120,000 shares of our Common Stock, and the Licensor will receive future additional milestone payments and continuing royalties based on sales of all licensed products.

The license is perpetual and terminable by us at any time, in whole or in part. The licensor has the right to terminate this license in the event that any breach, which they are required to give us notice, is not cured.

 

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License Agreement between SpineMedica and SaluMedica, LLC

In August 2005 we entered into an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, non-terminable, royalty-free, transferable license of certain patents and patent application rights held by SaluMedica, LLC that relate to a PVA-based hydrogel. SpineMedica has the right to manufacture, market, use and sell medical devices and products incorporating the claimed technology for all neurological and orthopedic uses related to the human spine, including muscular and skeletal uses. Some of the licensed patents and patent application rights are owned by SaluMedica, LLC and at least one of these patent and patent application rights is licensed by SaluMedica, LLC from Georgia Tech Research Corporation. In connection with this license agreement, SpineMedica also acquired certain of SaluMedica, LLC’s assets, including manufacturing and testing equipment and office equipment, and obtained a license to use the trademarks “SaluMedica™” and “Salubria ® biomaterial.”

License Agreement between SaluMedica, LLC and Georgia Tech Research Corporation

Some of the patents and patent application rights licensed to SpineMedica by SaluMedica, LLC are licensed to SaluMedica, LLC from Georgia Tech Research Corporation. SaluMedica, LLC and Georgia Tech Research Corporation have agreed that in the event the license agreement between them is terminated for any reason (other than the expiration of the patents), Georgia Tech Research Corporation will license the technology to SpineMedica for uses related to the human spine on substantially the same terms as granted to SaluMedica, LLC without further payment.

Hand License with SaluMedica, LLC

MiMedx has a Technology License Agreement, as amended by a First Amendment to Technology License Agreement, as well as a related Trademark License Agreement, all dated August 3, 2007, (collectively, the “Hand License”) that provides MiMedx with the exclusive, fully-paid, worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable and non-terminable (except as provided in the Hand License), and sublicensable rights to develop, use, manufacture, market, and sell Salubria ® biomaterial or similar PVA-based hydrogels for all neurological and orthopedic uses (including muscular and skeletal uses) related to the rotator cuff and the hand (excluding the wrist), but excluding the product SaluBridge (which is made from Salubria ® biomaterial and is currently cleared for use by the FDA) (the “Licensed Hand IP”). SaluMedica, LLC’s rights in the Licensed Hand IP derive from and are subject to one or more licenses from Georgia Tech Research Corporation and, consequently, the Hand License is subject to those same licenses. This license was amended in October 2009 to relinquish the license for uses related to the hand but to keep the rotator cuff license.

Surgical Sheet License with SaluMedica, LLC

On March 31, 2008, we entered into an exclusive world-wide license with SaluMedica, LLC for a PVA-based hydrogel biomaterial for applications as a surgical sheet. The license covers both internal and external applications. In exchange for the exclusive, worldwide, perpetual license to develop, manufacture, and sell the “surgical sheet” technology for application anywhere in the body, we issued SaluMedica, LLC 400,000 shares of restricted Common Stock. In addition, SaluMedica, LLC is eligible to receive up to an aggregate additional 600,000 shares of restricted Common Stock if certain sales and revenue milestones are achieved not later than June 30, 2013. On December 31, 2009, we completed the sale of our first commercial product, the HydroFix™ Vaso Shield, and met the first milestone under this agreement. As a result we issued 100,000 shares of Common Stock to the licensor valued at $71,000.

Intellectual Property

Our intellectual property includes licensed patents, owned and licensed patent applications and patents pending, proprietary manufacturing processes and trade secrets, brands, trademarks and trade names associated with our technology. Furthermore, we require employees, consultants and advisors to sign Proprietary Information and Inventions Agreements as well as Nondisclosure Agreements that assign to us and protect the intellectual property existing and generated from their work and that we may use and own exclusively.

The pending and provisional patent applications may not issue into patents, as is true with any provisional or patent application.

 

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CollaFix Intellectual Property

Our MiMedx intellectual property, includes two licensed and issued patents, eight licensed patent applications and two licensed provisional patent applications, as well as proprietary manufacturing processes and trade secrets, related to NDGA coatings, devices, scaffolds, substrates, or other materials and polymer treated collagen material for medical devices, implants, prosthesis and constructs. The licensed patents protecting the NDGA Polymer Composite, rather than being limited to specific products, provide broad process compatibility and protection.

HydroFix™ Intellectual Property

Our SpineMedica intellectual property includes six licensed and issued patents, thirteen owned patent applications, two co-owned (with Salumedica, LLC) patent application, and three licensed patent applications related to products and technology intended for, but not limited to, the Orthopedic-Spine market.

Improvements to Technology

Any improvements to Salubria ® developed by SaluMedica, LLC during the life of the licensed patents are included as part of the license from SaluMedica, LLC. The Company will own all improvements to Salubria ® that we develop. However, we will license these improvements to SaluMedica, LLC for no additional consideration, provided that the use of these improvements must be unrelated to all neurological and orthopedic uses, including muscular and skeletal uses, related to the human spine.

Trademarks & Trade Names

We also own trademark and trade name registration of the mark Paradís Vaso Shield TM and license the SaluMedica™ and Salubria ® trademarks. We also have applied for registration of the HydroFix™, CollaFix™ and MiMedx™ trademarks.

Manufacturing

MiMedx Group performs research and early stage product and process development activities and operates a pilot production facility for its proprietary CollaFix™ cross-linked collagen products in its Tampa, Florida, facility. In the future, we may contract with third parties to perform certain manufacturing or assembly of the products that are developed and enter into strategic relationships for sales and marketing of products that we develop.

Our Marietta, Georgia, facility is also our corporate headquarters, which houses our general management, sales, marketing, product development, quality and regulatory functions as well as the consolidation of our manufacturing operations for HydroFix™ and CollaFix™.

We are subject to the FDA’s quality system regulations, state regulations, and regulations promulgated by the European Union. We are FDA registered, CE marked and ISO certified. Our facilities are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by regulatory authorities, and may undergo compliance inspections conducted by the FDA and corresponding state and foreign agencies.

Suppliers

We have identified reliable sources and suppliers of collagen, source materials of NDGA, which we believe will provide a product in compliance with FDA guidelines. We engage in the manufacture of our own hydrogel products and accessibility to critical raw materials for the PVA-based biomaterial products is not inhibited by supply or market constraints.

Marketing and Sales

We plan to utilize our experienced management team to commercialize these medical technologies by advancing them through the proper regulatory approval processes, developing or arranging for reliable and cost-effective manufacturing, and to either sell or license the product lines to others or market and sell the products. For our first U.S. product, HydroFix™ Vaso Shield, we are in the process of assembling a network of independent sales representatives to sell our products domestically. We are assembling a network of stocking distributors for our first European product, HydroFix™ Spine Shield.

 

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Employees

As of December 31, 2009, we have 40 employees, of whom 37 are full-time and three are part-time employees. We consider our relationships with our employees to be satisfactory. None of our employees is covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Litigation

We are not involved in any litigation, nor are we aware of any threatened litigation.

Research and Development

Our research and development efforts are focused on developing products for various surgical and orthopedic markets using NDGA biomaterials, and development of other sheet based spine products and other sheet products using a PVA-based hydrogel. Our research and development staff currently consists of 19 employees. To support development, we have contracts with outside labs who aid us in our research and development process. Our research and development group has extensive experience in developing products related to our field of interest, and works with our Physician Advisory Boards to design products that are intended to improve patient outcomes, simplify techniques, shorten procedures, reduce hospitalization and rehabilitation times and, as a result, reduce costs. From our inception in November 2006 to December 31, 2009, we have spent approximately $8,740,000 on research and development and $7,177,000 on acquired in-process research and development. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” at Item 7 below for information regarding expenditures for research and development in each of the last two fiscal years.

Surgeon Training and Education

We devote significant resources to working with our Physician Advisory Boards. We believe that the most effective way to introduce and build market demand for our products will be by partnering with leading surgeons from around the globe in the use of our products. We have access to state-of-the-art cadaver operating theaters and other training facilities at some of the nation’s leading medical institutions. We intend to continue to focus on working with leading surgeons in the United States. See “Business-Physician Advisory Boards.”

Available Information

Our website address is www.mimedx.com . We make available on this website under “Investor Relations – SEC Filings,” free of charge, our proxy statements, annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file or furnish such materials to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). In addition, we post filings of Forms 3, 4, and 5 filed by our directors, executive officers and ten percent or more shareholders. We also make available on this website under the heading “Investor Relations – Corporate Governance” our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee Charters as well as our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

We are a high-risk startup venture.

With the commercialization of our first product, we are transitioning from being a development company to an operating company. Nonetheless, most of our products are still in the development stage and we have no significant operating history. We do not currently have any material assets, other than cash, certain laboratory equipment, and certain intellectual property rights. Our business and prospects must be evaluated in light of the expenses, delays, uncertainties and complications typically encountered by businesses in our stage of development, many of which may be beyond our control. These include, but are not limited to, lack of sufficient capital, unanticipated problems, delays or expenses relating to product development, governmental approvals, and licensing and marketing activities, competition, technological changes and uncertain market acceptance. In addition, if we are unable to manage growth effectively, our operating results could be materially and adversely affected. We must overcome these and other business risks to be successful. Our efforts may not be successful. We may never be profitable. Therefore, investors could lose their entire investment.

 

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Most of our planned products are in the early stage of product development.

We have only had one product cleared by the FDA for market and two additional products for which we have submitted 510(k) premarket notifications to the FDA. Many of the possible products we have rights to have had only limited research in the fields of use we currently intend to commercialize. Our product candidates will require testing and regulatory clearances or approvals. Accordingly, most of the products we are developing are not yet ready for sale and may never be ready for sale. The successful development of any products is subject to the risks of failure inherent in product development. These risks include the possibilities that any or all of these proposed products or procedures are found to be ineffective or toxic, or otherwise fail to receive necessary regulatory clearances or approvals; that the proposed products or procedures are uneconomical to market or do not achieve broad market acceptance; that third parties hold proprietary rights that preclude us from marketing them; or third parties market a superior or equivalent product. We are unable to predict whether our research and development activities will result in any additional commercially viable products or procedures. Furthermore, due to the extended testing and regulatory review process required before marketing clearances or approvals can be obtained, the time frames for commercialization of any products or procedures are long and uncertain.

Our financial condition raises substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.

As of December 31, 2009, we had approximately $2,654,000 of cash or cash equivalents on hand. In January 2010, the Company received final proceeds totaling $785,000 from a private placement of common stock and warrants. Assuming it receives no additional funds, the Company estimates that it has sufficient funds to operate until June 2010. If we fail to obtain additional capital in the immediate future, we will have to terminate our planned business operations, in which case the investors will lose all or part of their investment. In addition, as of December 31, 2009, the Company had outstanding debt of approximately $3,542,000 related to principal and interest under its 3%


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