As of December 19, Biomatrix,
Genzyme Tissue Repair and Genzyme
Surgical Products have merged to
form Genzyme Biosurgery. This new
entity will focus on formation of novel
biomaterials and biotherapeutic prod-
ucts for use in surgical and medical
procedures, with a particular empha-
sis on orthopedics and cardiothoracic
surgery. The company's combined
2001 projected revenue is approxi-
mately $255 to $265 million dollars,
consisting of bio-orthopedics
(approximately $112-117 million),
cardiothoracic (an estimated $84-87
million), and surgical products and
instruments (roughly $50-70 million).
The newly formed corporation will
have six manufacturing facilities and
a head count of over 1,300 employees,
including a major sales and marketing
infrastructure aimed at the orthopedic
and cardiothoracic surgery markets.
Genzyme Biosurgery is expected
to report a loss this year and hopes to
be profitable within the next 5 to 6
quarters. Genzyme Biosurgery is a
division of Genzyme Corp.
Since there is no combined his-
tory on the three companies that now
form Genzyme Biosurgery, perhaps,
the best way to evaluate the new com-
pany is to break up the entity and look
at the merits of each part.
The former Biomatrix developed,
manufactured, and marketed a num-
ber of proprietary viscoelastic prod-
ucts consisting of hylan polymers.
These polymers are modified forms of
naturally occurring hyaluronic acid
(HA), found in the intercellular ma-
trix of most human tissue.
Two hylans have been developed
by Biomatrix: hylan A and hylan B.
Hylan A is a highly elastoviscous
fluid, while hylan B is a very elastic
gel or solid in various forms and
shapes. These are the two modified
forms of the natural hyaluronan mole-
cule that have been introduced in
various medical therapeutic areas.
Biomatrix created the first modified
hyaluronan molecules applicable to a
broad variety of medical therapeutics.
With these two new biological poly-
mers, the Biomatrix division is in the
process of developing more effica-
cious treatments in a broad spectrum
of medical applications.
The division's lead product is
Synvisc, a liquid hylan polymer that is
injected into the knee joint in order to
alleviate pain associated with osteoar-
thritis. Injected directly into the knee
joint, the viscosupplementation serves
as a shock absorber and lubricant for
patients nonresponsive to painkillers,
exercise or physical therapy. Made of
hylan A and hylan B biological poly-
mers, manufactured from naturally
occurring hyaluronan (derived from
rooster combs), Synvisc is designed to
replace diseased synovial fluid present
in osteoarthritic knees. Synvisc is
marketed by partner, Wyeth-Ayerst,
with Biomatrix retaining co-
Osteoarthritis affects nearly 16
million individuals domestically, and
at least many others internationally.
Using the company's proprietary hy-
lan technology, Biomatrix has devel-
oped an innovative new therapy for
the treatment of pain associated with
osteoarthritis of the knee. Synvisc, the
company's lead product, offers pa-
tients a superior treatment alternative
that avoids the significant drawbacks
CFTR gene therapy
BioTech Sage Report, January 2001