Soquel-based spinal device company earns FDA clearance 

JinJosephSanta Cruz Sentinel

SOQUEL » GS Medical USA, a small company that sells South Korean-made spinal devices and instruments to the U.S. market, has received federal clearance for its Any-Plus T/PLIF Cage, a surgical component that is designed to fit into the space left by the removal of spinal disc.

The product was modified as a design advancement, said Joseph Jin, executive vice president of the company.

The company provides de­­vices for neurological and or­­thopedic spinal surgeons in the U.S., primarily for spinal fusion surgery. Products in­­clude screws, hooks and in­­struments that are inserted into disc spaces in a degener­­ative spine.

“With this recent clear­­ance, we have one of the most extensive thoracolum­­bar portfolios on the mar­­ket,” said Jin, who said the new design is shaped like a bullet for easy insertion.

GS Medical USA is grow­­ing revenues at a double­­digit rate annually, Jin said, estimating the global spinal instrumentation market to be $13 billion this year.

“Those are very sustain­­able growth numbers,” Jin said. “We’re just trying to capture more market share by widening our portfolio and trying to commercialize devices that address a wider range of spinal pathologies.”

The parent company of GS Medical was founded in South Korea in 2002. In 2011, it acquired GS Spine, a So­quel- based supplier owned by John Stephani. Stephani con­­tinued to head the U.S. sub­­sidiary until February. He left to start his own company and because he didn’t like the way business was being handled, he said.

GS Medical USA was making about $6 million in sales when he left the com­­pany, Stephani said.

Jin declined to confirm revenues, saying only that revenues for the parent company are from $50 mil­­lion to $100 million.

GS Medical USA is gear­­ing up to launch new prod­­uct segments later this year and expects to grow the headcount by about 20 per­­cent this year. The company is expected to stay in the So­­quel area, but the new jobs could be anywhere in the U.S., said Jin who lives in Chicago.

“We are extremely opti­­mistic about achieving our bottom line results as our regulatory and commercial­­ization pathways look very promising for fiscal 2014,” Jin said.

At A Glance

GS Medical USA

What: A fully owned sub­­sidiary of GS Medical Co. Ltd., a Korean company that specializes in the design and distribution of spinal implants and instruments. The company is focused on domestic sales.

Headquarters: 3949 Research Park Court Suite 100, Soquel

Background: GS Medical, a South-Korean-based parent company founded in 2003, bought GS Spine, a supplier in Soquel owned by John Stephani in 2011.

Leadership: Joseph Jin, executive vice president; SK Hong, vice president of operations

Employees: About 10 

Information: 831-477-1307; http://www.gsmedi­calusa. com

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