BOULDER, COLO., July 21, 2014 – Sophono, Inc. – manufacturer of abutment-free, implantable, magnetic bone conduction hearing devices – has entered into a global partnership with Hangzhou Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd., manufacturer of the cochlear implant systems and behind-the-ear cochlear speech processors for severe and profound hearing loss sufferers.
“We are very pleased to have entered into this key strategic partnership with Hangzhou Nurotron Biotechnology,” explains Dr. Markus Haller, President and Chairman of Sophono. “This partnership creates a strong global leader in the hearing loss marketplace, able to offer patients with profound to severe hearing loss innovative, established, economical alternatives. Nurotron has proven to be a serious participant and rising star in the cochlear implant market with almost 2,000 patients implanted and is developing a dominant position in the Chinese market. Sophono’s transcutaneous energy transfer (TET™) bone conduction technology and advanced magnetic hearing loss solutions are a natural fit for Nurotron’s cochlear implant and behind-the-ear hearing systems.”
Sophono’s CEO Dr. Peter Ruppersberg adds, “Nurotron and Sophono have very compatible teams and provide each other with an incredibly broad range of synergistic expertise, global market access and unique operational opportunities.” A jointly-owned company, SophonoTron™, has been created to manage several of the commercial activities for the two partners under the joined leadership of Hao Li, SophonTron’s CEO and Peter Ruppersberg as Vice-Chairman.
“We see a great future for our two companies in working together side-by-side to further our success in the global implantable hearing markets,” said Fangping Li, President and Chairman of Nurotron. “Sophono and Nurotron with joined forces and resources will be able to advance much faster than its competition in key global markets. Both companies have highly-competitive products in each of their respective hearing implant markets.” The Hangzhou, China-based Nurotron has begun offering their cochlear implant in a market that historically was dominated by Cochlear Ltd., based in Australia. “In 2012, Cochlear sold approximately $600 million in cochlear implant devices,” explains Li. “Our partnership with Sophono enables us to offer more economical hearing loss products in this marketplace including TET-based implantable magnetic bone conduction systems.”
Hangzhou Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd. (www.nurotron.com)
Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd. (founded in 2006) is a high-tech enterprise dedicated to becoming the world’s leading supplier of nerve stimulation electronic products. Its headquarters and production facilities are located in Hangzhou, China. The Research and Development Center is in Irvine, California, USA. The Company is currently engaged in developing and manufacturing their multi-channel cochlear implant. It has obtained the certificate of registration issued by State Food and Drug Administration in China, and was commercially approved in 2011.
Nurotron’s strong R&D power processor is based on its USA-based engineering expertise and core technologies from the University of California Irvine and the House Ear Institute. This R&D Center is a pool of Chinese-American scientists in the ENT and Nerve electrical stimulation field, who not only have solid theoretical knowledge, but also many years of class 3 system development expertise.
The domestic Chinese Teams include a group of first-class R&D staff and medical personnel in the cochlear implant field based in the Hangzhou Nurotron facilities, who are partnering with the Institute of Acoustics of China Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University, the China Rehabilitation Research Center for Deaf Children, the General Hospital of Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Beijing Tongren Hospital and other well-known organizations and institutes. Nurotron owns more than 15 patented technologies with independent intellectual property rights both in China and in the rest of the world.
Sophono is a Boulder, Colorado-based implantable magnetic hearing device manufacturer founded in 2009. The company received FDA clearance as a Class II Medical Device in June of 2011. Sophono’s proven TET™ Technology enables the maximum transfer of energy from the Alpha 2 MPO™ Sound Processor through the skin to a specially-designed magnetic implant, allowing for amplified bone conduction sound to improve hearing in patients with conductive, mixed hearing loss and single-ear deafness. The Sophono System eliminates the problems associated with other abutment-based bone conduction hearing systems. These include drilling a hole in the patient’s skull and installing a very noticeable screw that pokes out through the skin on the side of the head. To date, the Sophono System is the result of 10 years of clinical research, more than 8 years of human clinical experiences and has been implanted in more than 3200 patients in 38 countries. The company maintains an office in Germany, works with more than 24 distributors, and is actively selling in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit www.sophono.com