Zimmer Holdings announced today it has acquired United States distribution rights for the Palacos line of bone cement products manufactured by Heraeus Kulzer of Germany, a world leader in the development and production of orthopaedic bone cement products and other health care technologies.
Under the new distribution agreement, Zimmer expects to begin selling Palacos and other Heraeus Kulzer bone cements in the second quarter of this year following an introduction at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting, and will become the exclusive U.S. distributor for these products in January 2006.”This agreement with one of the industry leaders in the development and production of bone cement is designed to strengthen our position as the world leader in reconstructive orthopaedic implants,” said Ray Elliott, Zimmer Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “With this agreement and our recent announcement regarding our plans for a ceramic-on-ceramic option, we are working to ensure that our customers will be able to turn to Zimmer, and not a competitor, for their joint replacement requirements. The collaboration between Zimmer and Heraeus Kulzer will allow us to build on the excellent reputation Palacos has established for quality and innovation in Europe. With our outstanding sales force and leading position in the domestic market, we believe we can make Palacos even more successful in the U.S.”One of the bone cements included in this agreement is Palacos RG. Marketed in Europe for over 30 years and cleared by the FDA for sale in the United States since December 2003, the clinically proven combination of Palacos R mechanical properties and the addition of the antibiotic Gentamicin has seen rapid market acceptance in the United States. Palacos RG Bone Cement is used by orthopaedic surgeons in joint replacement procedures to securely fix implants to patient bones with the antibiotic acting to reduce the risk of infection. Its handling characteristics make it well suited for minimally invasive procedures.