Zimmer Holdings announced it has entered into a Letter of Intent for a comprehensive agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Cambridge Polymer Group (CPG) to license technology to develop and commercialise advanced orthopaedic polyethylene and hydrogel materials, and to collaborate on research aimed at identifying promising future materials technologies.
"As a result of this long-term agreement, Zimmer will extend and enhance its position as the number one provider of advanced polyethylene materials in the orthopaedic industry," said Ray Elliott, Zimmer Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have positioned ourselves to provide the next generation of products that will eventually succeed our current premium brands, Longevity(R), Prolong and Durasul Highly Crosslinked Polyethylenes, and, in MGH and CPG, we believe we have the best possible partners with which to pursue the promising and emerging area of utilizing hydrogels in orthopaedic applications."
The agreement will provide Zimmer exclusive, worldwide rights for the innovative CIMA (Cold Irradiated, Mechanically Annealed) highly crosslinked polyethylene technology, as well as for hydrogels for certain orthopaedic applications. The agreement also will provide co-exclusive licenses for technologies involving Vitamin E-treated highly crosslinked polyethylene. CIMA particularly may offer the potential to retain the proven wear resistance of Zimmer's existing highly crosslinked polyethylenes while enhancing the mechanical properties of components manufactured using the materials so they can be used in more high demand applications. In addition, the three parties agreed to pursue research funded by Zimmer into future technologies, with Zimmer receiving the rights to commercialize funded innovations generated as a result.