Smith & Nephew acquires medical business which aims to improve quality of life for millions of children

Smith & Nephew, the global medical technology business which has a large base in Hull, today announced that it had acquired the California-based Tusker Medical, Inc.

Smith & Nephew is listed on the London Stock Exchange
Smith & Nephew is listed on the London Stock Exchange

Tusker is the developer of the Tula System, a solution for tympanostomy tubes, which are commonly known as ear tubes.

The acquisition supports Smith+Nephew's strategy to invest in innovative technologies that address unmet clinical needs, the company said.

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In a statement, Smith & Nephew said: "Every year in the United States alone, approximately 700,000 children undergo tympanostomy tube placement surgery to address recurrent ear infections or persistent fluid in the middle ear. These procedures are traditionally performed under general anaesthesia in operating rooms.

"The Tula system enables placement of ear tubes in the physician's office without general anaesthesia for patients six months and older."

Brad Cannon, President of Sports Medicine & ENT at Smith & Nephew, said: "The Tula System is a truly innovative option for physicians treating incredibly common ear conditions. It is a game-changer when treating children, removing the risk and stress of general anaesthesia for patients and caregivers. Tula is a highly complementary addition to our ENT portfolio, and we are excited to significantly improve the treatment options for surgeons and patients with the launch of this technology."

Amir Abolfathi, President and Chief Executive Officer at Tusker, said: "I am immensely proud of the paediatric-focused technology that we have developed, and to receive PMA approval along with Breakthrough Device designation from the FDA. Smith & Nephew is well-placed to accelerate and broaden the launch of Tula and we look forward to working together to improve the quality of life of the millions of children who suffer from ear infections every year."

Smith & Nephew has an advanced wound care management division in Hull.

Founded in Hull in 1856, the company now operates in more than 100 countries, and generated annual sales of $4.9 billion in 2018.