Bioventus acquires devicemaker Bioness in $110M deal to pursue COVID-19's 'new normal'

private equity investment
With a $104 million IPO under its belt, Bioventus is further expanding with the $110 million purchase of Bioness, which makes neuromodulation and rehabilitation devices. (Natee Meepian/Getty Images)

After the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted much of its business, Bioventus is on something of a growth spurt this year. Just over a month after going public, the orthopedic therapy developer has closed a deal to acquire Bioness, which develops devices and programs to treat orthopedic injuries and other sources of pain.

Bioventus paid $45 million upfront to take over Bioness’ entire portfolio of products and R&D efforts, making it a wholly owned subsidiary.

Another $65 million will be doled out as specific milestones are achieved. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, those include the FDA clearance of Bioness’ TalisMann implantable pulse generator and receiver system, Medicare coverage and reimbursement, and a three-year net revenue goal of $55 million for that and Bioness' other implantable products.

The acquisition is a win-win, according to Bioventus CEO Ken Reali. While the addition provides an immediate boost to Bioventus’ revenue, Bioventus’ existing resources will in turn be used to expand Bioness’ reach with physicians, payers and patients.

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“Bioness, and its portfolio of products, is a good complement to Bioventus,” Reali told Fierce Medtech in an interview. “The acquisition expands our breadth and depth of offerings by adding a highly differentiated peripheral nerve stimulation technology and leading advanced rehabilitation business to our leading products for minimally invasive trauma, managing osteoarthritic joint pain and bone graft substitutes.”

And though integrating Bioness and its staff into the Bioventus structure will be a main priority for the rest of the year, the company already has its eye on further growth, with hopes to “continue to invest in other business development opportunities” on the horizon, Reali said.

The ultimate goal is to return to some semblance of “normal” as soon as possible after the pandemic sidelined some of Bioventus’ 2020 goals. That rebound began in the later months of 2020: Even as the company reported an almost 6% drop in annual net sales, it saw a 1% increase in the fourth quarter, according to a recently released earnings report.

Looking ahead, Bioventus is expecting its 2021 net sales to clock in around $400 million, per a company release about the acquisition, which would represent a sizable jump from 2020’s $321.2 million in net sales.

As long as the company maintains its current upward trajectory, and an ongoing strategy of anticipating "bottlenecks or growing pains before they happen,” Reali said, “we continue to hope that by the second half of the year we will return to normalcy, or a new normal, without the headwinds of the pandemic."