First Chinese patient has JRI hip replacement
4th April 2017
Sheffield health care company JRI Orthopaedics are celebrating after the first patient in China received its Furlong Evolution hip replacement implant.
The 59-year-old man, in the north-east city of Haerbin, is now walking around with the JRI implant after the operation performed this month by a consultant from one of China's leading orthopaedic hospitals. It is believed to be the first hip implant, designed and manufactured by a wholly British-owned company, to be used in China. The milestone marks the culmination of a four-year strategic drive by the multi-award winning JRI Orthopaedics to secure a strong foothold in the Chinese market. Chief Operating officer Jerry Agass said: -Our strategy has been to develop international markets rather than just focusing on our UK base. -An awful lot of hard work has gone into getting our products registered in China, finding the right distribution partner and then cementing a strong relationship with them to ensure we can realise the potential of this very significant market. -We are delighted that we are now in a position to tender to get our products into more Chinese hospitals. I would hope within three years to have secured around £1m worth of annual business and, over the next five years, to be selling a minimum of 10,000 hip implants in China. -This would see China becoming our largest market outside the UK. JRI Orthopaedics secured regulatory approval to sell its high quality cemented, uncemented and revision hip product portfolio in China last November and signed an exclusive distribution deal with Bejiing-based AK Medical - China's largest domestic orthopaedic producer. It is also sub-manufacturing AK Medical implants at its state-of-the-art Chapeltown plant for sale in China in a three-year deal worth £2m alone in 2017. Mr Agass added: -There is definitely an appetite for high-quality, innovative British brands in China and this major milestone is a recognition of our proven, world class, precision manufacturing capabilities and products. -Over the last 18 months we have been putting strategic measures in place to ensure that we, as a company, are in the best possible position to meet the major challenges of a hugely competitive domestic market and take advantage of the major opportunities in new overseas markets like China. JRI Orthopaedics is planning further market expansion in Asia and the Far East. It is also submitting product registrations in Japan and, after signing a distribution deal, is hoping to get regulatory approvals there by the end of 2017. In a boost to JRI's brand and business in the Pacific Rim markets, a new distribution partner has also been secured in Australia. The company, which employs 105 people, has world-class expertise in the design, development and manufacture of orthopaedic implants and surgical instruments. It was the first in the world to develop a Hydroxyapatite ceramic coating on hip replacements - a synthetic version of the natural mineral present in bones. By perfecting this coating process, JRI developed the Furlong cementless implant that bonds biologically with the patient's own bone, providing for long-term secure fixation and the possibility of a hip for life. Uniquely, JRI is wholly owned by the charity Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) and has donated £12m over the last 10 years to fund world class research into bone and joint disease at centres of excellence across the country.