“MAPR invaluably communicated TranS1’s major successes to key consumers and leaders in the market for spinal fusion. Other industry players regularly comment on how we always seem to be front of mind.” — Jeff Schell, President and CEO of TranS1

The Brief

In 2014, TranS1, a medical device company, was salvaged from the bankruptcy of their parent company, Baxano Medical. Quandary Medical, the purchasing company of TranS1, and its’ proprietary surgical offering, AxiaLIF, faced a difficult task of proving it’s worthiness as a go-to spinal surgery option at the L5-S1 vertebrae.

They hired us to develop a two-pronged media relations campaign.

The first campaign goal was to reintroduce the company as worthwhile, positive, and relevant among groups of surgeons, notable spinal publications, and other relevant media. The second goal was to reintroduce the company to the top surgical groups in the nation and influence them to produce peer-reviewed studies to present to insurance companies for coverage.

The Work

The public relations campaign began by reintroducing TranS1 and AxiaLIF to the press and immediately positioned the company as one that could “rise from the ashes” and rebuild. Initially, the PR team contacted the journalists who covered the Baxano Medical bankruptcy, and gained editorial pieces announcing the company’s salvage, highlighting the fact that it was clearly “worth saving.”

Next, the campaign targeted the top spinal surgeons in the country who have previously performed the AxiaLIF procedure and created the Association for Pre-Sacral Spinal Surgeons (APSS). From there, we began developing marketing emails, other materials and planning events for this group of surgeons to interact, compare notes and generally support each other.

Among the APSS members, the PR team was able to gather a group of five surgeons to commit to forming a TranS1 Advisory Board. Members of this board agreed to speak openly to the press in support of TranS1 and also developed studies and writings for textbooks educating the next generation of spinal surgeons.

The Results

MAPR formed invaluable relationships with surgeons who have publicly supported reimbursement of TranS1’s AxiaLIF in the form of press interviews, press release quotes, and text book chapters (all publish-pending). We’ve also managed to have more than 23 positive pieces published about both TranS1 and AxiaLIF.

Finally, and most importantly, the PR team is making significant headway with regard to insurance coverage. TranS1 has received coverage from Medicare as well as Category One coverage. In only 5 months, the public relations efforts have managed to turn a company that was bankrupt and dying into one of the most innovative, covered and touted medical device companies today.