Smith & Nephew launches dissolvable nasal dressing for post-op sinus surgery use

The dissolvable NasoStent has an open-cell structure.--Courtesy of Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew ($SNN) is launching its dissolvable nasal dressing NasaStent. The intranasal splint is made of carboxymethyl cellulose that converts to a hydrocolloidal gel as nasal fluid is absorbed--it then simply drains from the nasal cavity. This gradual dissolution is expected to be less jarring for patients than the typical removal of other structural dressings, which must be taken out in fragments by a physician.

The company gained NasaStent in its 2014 acquisition of ArthroCare for about $1.7 billion. S&N did the deal primarily for its sports medicine franchise, but the acquired company also had an ear, nose and throat (ENT) business. In June 2014, the FDA cleared NasaStent.

The dressing can be trimmed for a custom fit to each patient and has tapered edges to ease its nasal cavity placement. It has 6 times greater compressive strength than its leading competitor and offers much more tissue separation force in simulated nasal cavity gaps, according to Smith & Nephew.

"Smith & Nephew is committed to innovation that improves both the patient and the physician experience and is proud to offer pioneering technologies such as NasaStent within our leading specialist ENT surgical portfolio," said S&N GM for ENT and Gynecology Mira Sahney in a statement.

ENT and gynecological products fall under S&N's "Other Surgical Businesses" category, which grew about 7% last quarter. ENT, specifically, contributed about $110 million in most recent quarter sales.

"It's obvious that we don't have the mass that we could--that we should have to really use the strength of the groups because there is a growth potential here," said S&N CEO Olivier Bohuon of the ENT group on a late July earnings call. "And they are mono-product businesses mainly. So adding products or product for--product to these businesses will definitely help us. So we are looking at that."

The company will be debuting NasaStent at the American Academy of Otolaryngology SurgeonsĀ meeting this week in Dallas, TX.

- here is the announcement