WARSAW, Ind., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Zimmer Holdings, Inc. , a worldwide leader in the orthopaedics industry, announced today it has acquired worldwide exclusive distribution rights for genetically engineered xenogeneic tissues for regenerative therapies from Revivicor, Inc., which has an advanced transgenic technology platform for the production of tissues, cells and whole organs for human therapeutic applications. Zimmer initially plans to develop the technologies for orthopaedic applications, including the repair and replacement of damaged tendon, ligament, meniscus, cartilage, bone and spinal nucleus tissues.
Revivicor will work with Zimmer's Biologics group to adapt its proprietary genetic engineering technology for orthopaedic applications.
"This agreement positions Zimmer at the forefront of developing tissues that can be used to replace or repair damaged human cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone itself," said Ray Elliott, Zimmer Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The Revivicor technology has tremendous potential advantages in terms of tissue viability and its ability to protect against immune rejection."
Revivicor, a Blacksburg, Virginia based private company, has built a portfolio of platform technologies based on its expertise in the genetic modification of pigs with the goal of whole organ replacement and tissue regeneration. Revivicor's scientific team produced the world's first cloned pigs and the first pigs that lack both copies of the gene responsible for triggering acute immune rejection in humans. David Ayares, Revivicor's CEO, stated, "This partnership with Zimmer positions Revivicor well for commercialization of medical device products derived from our gene-modified pigs in the orthopaedic field, while providing a solution for the inadequate supply of equivalent human tissues."
Founded in 1927 and headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, Zimmer is the worldwide #1 pure-play orthopaedic leader in designing, developing, manufacturing and marketing reconstructive and spinal implants, trauma and related orthopaedic surgical products. Zimmer has operations in more than 24 countries around the world and sells products in more than 100 countries. Zimmer's 2004 sales were approximately $3 billion. The Company is supported by the efforts of more than 6,500 employees worldwide.
Revivicor was formed in 2003 as a spinout of PPL Therapeutics Plc, with an investment group led by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In addition to xenograft tissues for medical device applications, the company is developing a variety of therapeutic products derived from pigs including pancreatic islet cells for treatment of diabetes, whole organs such as heart and kidney, and polyclonal antibodies for broad spectrum treatment of infectious disease.
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Zimmer Holdings, Inc.