By: 30 January 2017
Sheffield firm wins multi-million pound contract to sell hip product in China

JRI Orthopaedics has strengthened its foothold in China and the Far East with a new multi-million pound deal. The three-year agreement means Chinese-designed hip implants are being manufactured in JRI’s state-of-the-art Sheffield plant for sale in China.

The healthcare company has also secured regulatory approval to sell its own high-quality cemented, uncemented and revision hip product portfolio in China and has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Bejiing-based AK Medical. Entry into the Chinese market could be worth millions – with the company expecting to sell a minimum of 10,000 hip implants in China over the next five years.

Keith Jackson, JRI Orthopaedics chief executive, said: “China has a population of 1.3 billion but currently only 250 million people have access to a hip replacement. The potential is huge and we see this as a significant market for the company.

“There is a really good appetite for high-quality, innovative British brands. Our proven, world-class, precision-manufacturing capabilities and efficiencies means we have defied convention to manufacture Chinese-designed products for the Chinese market here in Sheffield.

“But, securing regulatory approval from the Chinese Food and Drink Administration to sell our own high-quality products to Chinese orthopaedic surgeons is a huge step.”

JRI Orthopaedics’s products were formally launched at the major Chinese Orthopaedic Association congress in Bejiing last week where the distribution deal with AK Medical was signed. The chapeltown-based company also secured a further order which will increase the number of AK Medical implants manufactured in Sheffield next year by 50 per cent.

JRI is also submitting product registrations in Japan and, after signing a distribution deal, is hoping to get regulatory approvals there by the end of 2017. In a further boost to JRI’s brand and business in the Pacific Rim markets, a new distribution partner has also been secured in Australia.

JRI Orthopaedics, which employs 115 people, is the largest UK-based orthopaedic manufacturer. It has world-class expertise in the design, development and manufacture of orthopaedic implants and surgical instruments. The multi-award winning company was the first in the world to develop a Hydroxyapatite ceramic coating on hip replacements – a synthetic version of the natural mineral present in bones. By perfecting this coating process, JRI developed the Furlong cementless implant that bonds biologically with the patient’s own bone, providing for long-term secure fixation and the possibility of a hip for life.

Uniquely, JRI is wholly owned by the charity Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) and has donated £12m over the last 10 years to fund world-class research into bone and joint disease at centres of excellence across the country.