Under the terms of the agreement, Zimmer will acquire exclusive global rights to utilize Agluna® for joint reconstruction and trauma products. In addition, the company will have an 18-month option to acquire additional exclusive rights for spinal devices, dental implants and sports medicine products. As part of the agreement, there will be an initial period of further development of Agluna®. Accentus and Zimmer will collaborate to secure regulatory approval for products treated with the Agluna® technology in both the E.U. and U.S. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Agluna® is a novel, patented surface modification technology applied to medical devices manufactured from titanium and its various alloys. The goal of the technology is to reduce infection rates following surgical procedures. Medical device materials have been shown to be susceptible to rapid colonisation by bacteria, which then produce a plaque or biofilm as protection against the body’s defences. Implants treated with Agluna® technology have been shown to remain clear of such biofilm formation. In vitro testing has demonstrated that Agluna® surface technology has bactericidal effects against bacteria known to cause post-operative, device-related infection, including drug-resistant strains.
Philip Agg, Chief Executive of Accentus Medical, said: “This agreement represents a significant step forward for Accentus Medical, and we are very pleased to be working with a company as prestigious as Zimmer. Having invested significant resources in developing the technology and in generating a large amount of evidence supporting its safety and efficacy, Accentus Medical is now in a position to fully commercialise and exploit the Agluna® technology.”
Martin Pickford, Senior Vice-President of Business Development for Accentus Medical, said: “One of the most intransigent problems with orthopaedic implants is infection. It can be very difficult, costly and time consuming to treat these cases. The most effective approach is to ensure that infections do not occur in the first place. All of our data to-date demonstrates that treating orthopaedic implants with the Agluna® process can contribute towards achieving this goal. If successful in the long term, Agluna® will help significantly reduce the estimated $5 billion in annual costs associated with infections resulting from primary joint replacement.”
“Applying the Agluna® technology to our implants could lead to reductions in the occurrence of post-operative infections in joint replacement procedures, “ said Cheryl R. Blanchard, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Zimmer. “We look forward to exploring these opportunities provided by Accentus Medical.”
About Accentus Medical
Accentus Medical is a leading medical technology company that combines a long history of expertise in surface coating and modification technologies with dedicated research and development of new technologies for the medical device industry. With roots in the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, and based at the historic Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Accentus Medical has provided expertise in surface technologies to the orthopaedic device industry since the 1970s, serving major orthopaedic and medical device manufacturers worldwide.
The company works closely with industry partners to develop new surface technologies that address unmet market needs, and is renowned for its experienced staff and track record for responsive, high quality service. The services offered include hydroxyapatite and metal alloy coating using a plasma spray process at Accentus Medical’s ISO 13485:2003 and ISO 9000:2000 accredited facility. Accentus Medical is also very well known for the medical device testing programmes offered by its in-house test laboratories. Manufacturers have been utilising test results provided by the company for many years as part of device homologation files all over the world.
Zimmer is a worldwide leader in joint replacement solutions for knee pain and hip pain, and provides comprehensive spine care solutions for acute and chronic back pain. The company also provides a broad range of trauma, dental implant, and orthopaedic surgical products. Founded in 1927, Zimmer is committed to providing effective techniques in hip replacement and knee replacement for orthopaedic surgeons who restore mobility and relieve the pain of osteoarthritis and traumatic injuries. Zimmer has operations in more than 25 countries around the world and sells products in more than 100 countries. Zimmer’s 2009 sales were approximately $4.1 billion. The Company is supported by the efforts of more than 8,000 employees worldwide.
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