Premia Spine appoints three new board advisors ahead of TOPS system commercial launch

Stephen Hochschuler (left), Peter Wehrly (centre) and Nicholas Pachuda (right)

Premia Spine has announced the appointment of three new advisors—Stephen Hochschuler, Peter Wehrly and Nicholas Pachuda—to its board of directors. Bringing decades of clinical, business and medical device innovation experience to Premia Spine, the new appointees will look to provide critical input supporting the commercial launch of the company’s TOPS system.

TOPS is a motion preserving solution that was developed to provide mobility, stability and durability after decompression for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis.

Hochschuler is founder and chairman emeritus of the Texas Back Institute. A renowned orthopaedic surgeon, he is a serial entrepreneur and innovator in the field of spinal surgery. He is a past president (2006-2007) and founding member of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS), chairman of the board of Innovative Spinal Technologies of Plano, and founder of several medical-related companies.

Wehrly is a medical device industry executive with extensive expertise in delivering top line growth and operational efficiencies, say Premia Spine. He is currently CEO at Vivex Biologics and previously served as CEO at Medingo, which was acquired by Roche, and as president and CEO of PQ Bypass, which was acquired by Endologix. He has also held executive leadership positions at Medtronic, DePuy Orthopaedics and Covidien.

Pachuda is a medical device, biotech, and orthopaedics innovator, investor and advisor. He is a former worldwide vice president of external innovation within the Medical Device Group at Johnson & Johnson, where he led the firm’s startup incubator, JPOD. He was a cofounder of the extremities division at Arthrex, as well as part of the leadership team at Small Bone Innovations that was acquired by Stryker, and global vice president of marketing at Scient’x Spine that was acquired by Alphatec.

“I have joined as a board advisor to Premia Spine because I see the potential for the TOPS system to change the standard of care for treating patients with spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis,” said Hochschuler. “After observing the technology for many years, reviewing the clinical trial design and its interim results, I believe Premia Spine could make a positive impact on patients and spine surgery. I look forward to working with Premia Spine’s board and management team to help bring TOPS to market.”

Premia Spine CEO, Ron Sacher, added: “I am gratified that this prestigious roster of clinical, innovation and business experts recognise the potential of the TOPS system and want to contribute to its success. Their strategic contributions are already being realised as we continue with the clinical study of TOPS and prepare for commercial launch in 2022. I am confident that their insights will help position us to be a leader in helping those suffering from spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis.”


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