Every day since ISRAEL21c posted a feature on Israel’s new ApiFix implant for correcting severe spinal curvature (“Scoliosis solution,” April 15), founder Uri Arnin has been getting emails seeking information on the medical device still in development.
“I have been getting one email a day from all over the world — the United States, Israel, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa; emails in French and Spanish,” Arnin tells us. “I got several emails from physicians whose patients came with the article printed out and asked what the physician thought about the device.”
One of these doctors asked when he could meet with Arnin and wanted to know if he was planning a trip to the United States. “It turned out this was a top-10 scoliosis surgeon in the United States,” Arnin says. “We set a meeting for next week when we are both going to be in Europe.”
The ApiFix device, now starting clinical trials in Hungary and Romania, was invented about 18 months ago by Arnin with Dr. Yizhar Floman, a leading Israeli back surgeon. It represents a big advance over current surgical methods for correcting curvature of the spine. However, it’s not yet on the market.
“The sad thing is that I have to answer all of the writers that the product is not commercially available at this time, though we hope it will be by next year. I recommend they consult their physician to see if they can wait.”
So far the buzz generated by the article hasn’t brought in additional investors, who are urgently needed to complete costly clinical trials. “But this gives me the confidence that we are doing something important that patients are waiting for. I can use part of this information to present to investors to show that the market is demanding this product,” says Arnin.
“I must say that [the ISRAEL21c article] did great job of attracting attention to our company.”