Medical technology firm Smith+Nephew has acquired US-based Tusker Medical for an undisclosed sum.

Based in California, Tusker Medical has developed the Tula in-office solution for tympanostomy tubes or otherwise called as ear tubes.

The acquisition of Tusker Medical is part of Smith+Nephew’s strategy to invest in advanced technologies to meet unmet clinical requirements.

The Tula system allows placing ear tubes in the physician’s office without general anaesthesia for patients six months and older.

With the support of Tula, a physician numbs the eardrum by applying novel and child-friendly anaesthesia even the patient may sit, play and watch videos.

A specialised tube delivery system helps the physician to place an ear tube accurately within half a second using an automated device.

Tula system received breakthrough device designation from the FDA

The company secured breakthrough device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Tula system. In November 2019, Smith+Nephew secured pre-market approval (PMA) for the system.

Smith+Nephew sports medicine and ENT president Brad Cannon said: “The Tula System is a truly innovative option for physicians treating incredibly common ear conditions. It is a game-changer when treating children, removing the risk and stress of general anaesthesia for patients and caregivers.”

Tusker is said to be complementary to Smith+Nephew’s existing ENT business, with the same customer and patient populations.

Smith+Nephew’s COBLATION technology is mostly used in tonsillectomy and soft tissue management. It is used by both general and paediatric ENT surgeons.

Tula includes the Tula iontophoresis system, which induces local anaesthesia by using Tymbion and the Tula tube delivery system to create a myringotomy and insert a tympanostomy tube.

Smith+Nephew aims to start the commercial launch of Tula in the US in the first quarter of this year.

Tusker president and CEO Amir Abolfathi said:  “I am immensely proud of the paediatric-focused technology that we have developed, and to receive PMA approval along with Breakthrough Device designation from the FDA.”

In July 2019, Smith & Nephew completed the acquisition of Switzerland-based Atracsys Sàrl for an undisclosed sum.