Ottobock acquires BionX Medical Technologies

Ottobock HealthCare has acquired BionX Medical Technologies Inc., a Boston-based prosthetic foot and ankle producer, according to a company press release.

BionX is the developer of the emPOWER Ankle, a device that “replaces the function of the muscles and tendons with an actively driven ankle joint,” according to the release. It uses sensors and microprocessors to determine the energy resistance and flexion in the ankle joint required for each step, and supports the patient with a supply of additional energy when walking. According to the release, the device could be used in orthoses as well.

“Innovations are our key growth driver,” Hans Georg Näder, president of Ottobock HealthCare GmbH, said in the release. “Combining the know-how of Ottobock and BionX is a crucial step toward reaching goals, such as the intuitive prosthetic leg more quickly.”

Hugh Herr, PhD, who founded BionX and developed the emPOWER Ankle, also directs the Center for Extreme Bionics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I am certain that this transaction constitutes an important step toward shaping the future of bionic prostheses by combining Ottobock’s proven track record of setting standards of care for amputees with BionX’s groundbreaking product and innovation capabilities,” Herr said in the release.

Ottobock has been the exclusive distributor of the emPOWER Ankle in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom since last year, the release noted. Ottobock and BionX have agreed to maintain confidentiality regarding details of the acquisition, including the purchase price.


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