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Care-driven innovation

Since the 1960s, Corbion has steadily grown its expertise in polymerization and purification, applying it in the production of patient-friendly biomedical applications. As our knowledge has deepened over time, the benefits we deliver to patients and health care systems have taken on entirely new dimensions.

It began with sutures. Creating resorbable polymers delivered as mono- or multi-filaments enabled surgeons to close wounds with material that would gradually be absorbed by the body without the added step of suture removal after healing. That business has grown increasingly sophisticated in terms of product offerings and processing technique options.
In the 1980s, our ability to fine-tune the building blocks of various PURASORB® polymers led to the creation of controlled release drug delivery systems that enable consistent, appropriate dosage over days, weeks, or months through an implant or a single injection.

“Over time, the medical industry has come to recognize and value our degree of expertise in this area,” says Menno Lammers, Vice-President of Medical Biomaterials. “We are known as a trusted collaborator committed to delivering the highest quality products.”

New capabilities

 For years now, Corbion has produced the resorbable polymers to make biodegradable screws, pins, and plates used by surgeons to immobilize bone fractures. While the implants stay in place long enough for bone tissue regeneration to take place and healing to occur, they slowly break down and are absorbed by the body, eliminating a second surgical procedure to remove the devices.

Such Corbion products have helped countless patients heal with fewer invasive procedures and reduced trauma. But their relatively low inherent strength and minimal load-bearing capacity has limited the scope of their use to small bone fractures and special cases where patients could go for an extended period of time without standing.

The application scope will soon become largely extended, when we bring to market FiberLive®, a patented composite material combining resorbable glass fibers with resorbable polymers and a coupling agent to form the strongest fully resorbable material ever made. Like our other resorbable implant materials, the FiberLive® composite degrades as new bone tissue develops, but initially, it provides load-bearing strength up to six times greater than cortical bone, which is comparable to the strength of metal. Patients will not only avoid secondary surgeries to remove implants, they will also be back on their feet much sooner.

Benefits all around

Faster healing, consistently delivered medication, fewer complications, less trauma – all contribute to a better health care experience for medical patients, thanks to Corbion expertise. But patients aren’t the only ones who benefit from our technology.

The overall health care system realizes cost savings by reducing the number of surgical procedures required. Prescription drugs are used more efficiently and accurately. Patient outcomes are improved by enabling precision care. Our customers – medical device manufacturers – are able to deliver greater, cost-saving value, and improved results to their customers. All of these benefits grew out of a single area of expertise and a shared desire to make a difference.

“It is amazing how far caring and a really strong core competency can take you,” Menno says, “when you keep using it to invent, create, and discover new value.”