Durham-based Bioventus, a fast-growing global orthobiologics company, has launched its second U.S. product for injection to relieve knee pain for osteoarthritis (OA) sufferers.

The product, GELSYN-3, is a hyaluronic acid injection packaged as a 3-injection regimen to deliver long-lasting OA knee pain relief for up to six months. The company bought exclusive United States marketing rights to the product in February 2016 in a multi-year agreement with IBSA(Institut Biochimique SA), a Swiss pharmaceutical company.

GELSYN-3 joins two other hyaluronic acid therapies marketed by the company — Durolane and Supartz — for lubricating painful joints damaged by osteoarthritis. DUROLANE, a single-injection treatment, is not available in the U.S. SUPARTZ FX, a five-injection treatment, is the other offering in the U.S. market.

“GELSYN-3 expands the product offering for our U.S. active healing therapies business and gives patients and physicians another choice for effective knee OA pain management,” said CEO Tony Bihl. “This launch is another milestone at Bioventus and we expect GELSYN-3 to help accelerate our growth as a leader in orthobiologics.”

OA of the knee involves the breakdown, or degeneration, of cartilage and the synovial fluid that cushions and lubricates joint tissues. Each injection of GELSYN-3 delivers a highly purified solution of hyaluronic acid and is clinically proven effective and safe.

Bioventus has 130 employees in North Carolina, 660 worldwide. The fast-growing privately held company was formed in 2012 when Smith & Nephew, a global medical technology business, spun out its biologics division in Durham in partnership with Essex Woodlands, a healthcare growth equity firm, and other investors.

Bioventus recently filed for a $150 million initial public offering (IPO) of stock, but the difficult IPO environment has led company executives to delay that NASDAQ listing. The company reported 2015 revenues of $254 million.

Bioventus sells products in 30 countries to help patients heal from bone and joint diseases, injuries and surgeries. Besides its hyaluronic acid injection products, the portfolio includes:

  • Exogen, a device that uses ultrasound waves to activate cells near the site of a bone fracture, stimulating the body’s natural healing process.
  • Three products used by orthopedic surgeons: Cellxtract, a device for harvesting cells and marrow from bone cavities; OsteoAMP, bone grafts containing growth factors; and Signafuse, a bioactive bone graft putty.
  • Bioventus is also developing a next-generation bone graft called bone morphogenetic protein, or BMP, that is in pre-clinical testing.

The annual market for orthobiologics in the United States is about $3 billion and is expected to grow 4 to 5 percent per year for the next five to seven years, according to Bioventus.

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center