By Ted Evanoff The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A tech firm that uses donated placentas from pregnant women to create a healing product plans to double the size of its staff. Pregnant women in area hospitals agree to donate placentas after birth. The membrane continues its healing properties when turned into a substance that doctors can then inject into patients for healing purposes. The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.
A Memphis tech firm that turns the placenta of new mothers into a healing product sold to orthopedic surgeons throughout the nation expects to double in size to about 100 employees following its purchase by a wound care company.
Derma Sciences Inc. of Princeton, New Jersey, disclosed last week it had acquired BioD LLC for $21.3 million up front and potentially nearly $78 million.
On Thursday, BioD chief executive Russell Olsen outlined future prospects for the 50-employee east-side firm.
BioD will stay in the city and most likely expand as Derma markets the healing products and opens new avenues by licensing BioD technology with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Olsen said.
"BioD will continue to operate in Memphis," said Olsen, who will remain CEO under the new owner.
Derma, which had marketed some BioD products for two years, acquired the Memphis firm to help fill its product pipeline.
Sales milestones could lift the amount Derma pays for BioD to almost $77.8 million over the years, said former chairman Tim Brahm.
BioD was founded by Brahm, a Germantown entrepreneur, and local investors about a decade ago. Brahm has now stepped out of the business. Brahm and Olsen earlier worked in Memphis' medical device industry.
Pregnant women in area hospitals agree to donate placentas after birth. The membrane continues its healing properties when turned into a substance that doctors can inject into patients.
BioD employees include tissue engineers, recovery technicians, product developers, sales executives and financial personnel.
A sales force of about 300, including independent sales representatives, sells the firm's six product lines.
Licensing through the FDA following clinical trials under Derma's auspices could enable BioD to advertise its products as quick-healing agents in the body.
"We'd like to make specific claims," Olsen said. "Right now we can only make very general claims."