Catapult and mercia invest into"cutting edge" intelligent orthopaedics

18 March 2011


9th March 2011





Catapult Venture Managers and Mercia Fund Management (Mercia) have made an investment of £600k into a Staffordshire-based company whose products retail globally and are at the cutting-edge of repairing broken bones.


Already a significant investor, the Mercia Fund has followed up with a further £250k in this funding round, whilst the Advantage Enterprise & Innovation Fund, managed by Catapult, has invested £350k.


Intelligent Orthopaedics Ltd (IO) specialise in the design, development, manufacture and distribution of orthopaedic trauma devices. Its core product "STORM" (Staffordshire Orthopaedic Reduction Machine) is a reusable device that is used to realign fractures of the tibia prior to surgical fixation, which has already proved successful in clinical practice across the world.


Dr. Mark Payton, Mercia Fund Principal, commented: "IO's founders and management have produced a suite of proprietary products positioned on the market on a global basis. IO typifies a Mercia Fund portfolio company; a scaleable product base derived from world-leading expertise with a global opportunity.  This investment will accelerate IO's product roll out and provide the capital to now put IO on the map."


IO started as a successful collaboration between Staffordshire and Keele Universities and the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. The team now includes Professor Peter Thomas (Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon), Professor Peter Ogrodnik (CTO and Professor of Engineering Design at Staffs University), Susan Hartman (CEO ex Summit, Graseby and Convatec) and Alistair Taylor (Chairman ex Pfizer, HowMedica, BioCompatibles).


Catapult Director Graham Mold commented: "The products developed by Intelligent Orthopaedics are already used in over 30 hospitals in the USA, Europe and the UK and the devices have CE marking and FDA clearance in the US.


"The money from this funding round is to be primarily used as working capital to enable the company to establish a sales team which will focus on developing the US and German markets.


"The company has an excellent management team led by  CEO Susan Hartman having over 25 years experience in medical devices from wound care to infusion devices and orthopaedics, and Chairman Alistair Taylor who ran Pfizer/Howmedica's orthopaedic business as President of Howmedica's Southern Europe  Orthopaedics Division based out of Geneva."


Susan Hartman commented: "All of us at Intelligent Orthopaedics are delighted to have secured this investment from Catapult and our long-standing partner the Mercia Fund.   Since spinning out, IO has launched three products for the treatment of unstable fractures of the tibia (shin bone) and we have customers in the USA and other European countries as well as the UK. 

 "This investment will allow us to expand our presence in two key target markets, the USA and Germany by building on our initial success with key opinion leaders to establish the IO method of treating these difficult fractures as the 'standard'.  In addition, the funding will allow us to accelerate our product development programme and we anticipate at least two new product launches in the next twelve months."


Graham Mold concluded: "The company's intention is to establish the 'STORM' method as the standard for re-aligning displaced fractures of the shin bone."

Catapult was advised by Jon Gill, of Eversheds, who commented: "This transaction is a great example of the local venture capital community working together to enable Midlands-developed intellectual property to achieve its commercial potential in a global market."


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About Catapult Venture Managers


Catapult Venture Managers Ltd is a leading private equity fund manager with one of the largest investment teams in the Midlands operating from offices in Birmingham and Leicester.  With £80m in Funds under its management Catapult seek equity investment opportunities from £200k to £2m in growing businesses. 

Contact details for Catapult are 0121 616 0180 (Birmingham), 0116 238 8200 (Leicester) or

Catapult Venture Managers Ltd is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority. 


About Intelligent Orthopaedics


Intelligent Orthopaedics was formed in 2005 and specialises in the design, development, manufacturing and distribution of orthopaedic trauma devices.  Based in Staffordshire, the company has ISO13485 certification, CE marked products and FDA clearance to market.


The company has two main products:  the Staffordshire Orthopaedic Reduction Machine (STORM) and IOS. STORM was the company's first product and is a reusable theatre device for the reduction of fractures of the tibia from distal to proximal articulations.


About the Mercia Fund


The Mercia Fund (Fund) is focused on supporting leading technologies with global potential in Healthcare (particularly MedTech), telecoms, ITC and Clean Technologies. The Fund provides venture capital for early-stage technology start-ups that are based in the West Midlands region and that have achieved proof of principle. Potential investees must demonstrate their potential for rapid growth and will possess a strong proprietary position with respect to their technology, intellectual property, and products.


The Fund is managed by WM Enterprise (WM Enterprise is a trading name of West Midlands Enterprise Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority), based at its central Birmingham offices.  Both Mercia Fund Management Ltd and WM Enterprise are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and are members of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA).