Sunstar Suisse SA takes over Degradable Solutions, a spin-off company of the ETH

09 November 2011

This gives Sunstar access to the cutting-edge technology and the market-proven products of Degradable Solutions. In pursuit of its strategic goal of becoming a total-oral-health-company, Sunstar is expanding its research and business activities from prevention to therapy with this acquisition. The founder of Degradable Solutions remains the CEO of the company. All jobs and activities are also taken over.

The privately-owned Sunstar Group, one of the world’s ten largest companies in the field of Mouth and Body Care, is today announcing the complete takeover of Degradable Solutions AG. Sunstar Suisse SA has taken over all the shares of the company, a spin-off of the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), from the previous private owners. Dr. Kurt Ruffieux, the founder and CEO of Degradable Solutions, will from now on manage the company as an autonomous business unit of Sunstar. The entire organisation with more than 25 staff, and all activities at the headquarters in Schlieren near Zurich, are also being taken over. At the same time, Masakazu Nakamura, CEO of Sunstar Suisse SA, and Cyril Alemany, Director New Business Development of Sunstar Suisse SA, are joining the Board of Directors of Degradable Solutions. The parties have agreed not to divulge any details about the transfer price.

With this takeover, Sunstar is significantly expanding the technology sector of regenerative medical products. This core competence of Degradable Solutions involves products that have a temporary function in the body and then degrade automatically. Examples are resorbable bone fixation implants which stabilise a bone fracture for several weeks, or implants that temporarily support tissue regeneration. In many instances, this technology simplifies the therapy and reduces the need for additional surgery to remove the implantation. The company attracted attention with the injectable bone regeneration material easy-graftÒ, which rapidly advanced to 3rd place in the European dental market. The two partners intend to bring together existing designs under the umbrella brand of GUIDOR, develop new pioneering therapies and products, and thus gain a leading position in the market.

Masakazu Nakamura, CEO of Sunstar Suisse SA, comments: ‘With Degradable Solutions, we are broadening our worldwide technology network by adding a unique gem. As a spin-off of the internationally renowned ETH, Degradable Solutions is much more than a promising start-up company. With products that have already been successfully launched on the market, and a complete value creation chain from research via development and production to marketing, Degradable Solutions is excellently positioned in a rapidly growing market with high margins. This acquisition takes us closer to the vision of positioning Sunstar as a total-oral-health-company. With the internationally patented and certified know-how of Degradable Solutions, we can take the vital step of expanding our products and services from prevention to therapy. Finally, I am particularly gratified that we were able to secure the support for Sunstar of Dr. Kurt Ruffieux who, as a renowned researcher and entrepreneur, will continue to develop Degradable Solutions. This acquisition thus brings added strategic, operational and personnel value to our global activities.’

Dr. Kurt Ruffieux, the founder and CEO of Degradable Solutions, adds: ‘Today is an important day in the history of our company. With the globally active Sunstar, we have found the best partner for the next phase in our growth. Not only do we work in the same field of medicine, and our technology and product ranges supplement each other perfectly, we also share the same philosophy. As focused private companies, we both have a commitment to research and development, and the conviction that continuous innovation is capable of steadily improving both the well-being of patients as well as cost-effectiveness in the healthcare field. Our staff and I look forward to the future of Degradable Solutions as part of the Sunstar Group.’

Sunstar Sunstar is one of the Top Ten oral-care companies in the world. Its major brands are G.U.M., Butler and Ora2 in the preventive product range and GUIDOR in the therapeutic field. The company was originally founded in 1932 as a manufacturer and seller of rubber glue for bicycle tires and metal tubes. Over the past decades it has developed a number of distinctive businesses and today, Sunstar is a leading global company in the Mouth & Body Care field, a major presence in the Health & Beauty Care and the Environment & Amenity business fields, and a world-leader in the Safety Support & High Technology field. Its products and services are distributed in more than 90 countries, it has an annual turnover of more than 1.3 billion CHF and employees 4000 staff. Sunstar’s mission is to enhance the health and well-being of people everywhere and to create unique, useful, and attractive products and services that help people around the world attain the key social values of Health, Beauty, Comfort and Safety. Sunstar was one of the first companies to advocate the new thinking about the integral relationship between the health of the mouth and the health of the whole body and is actively pursuing research and development including carrying out joint-research projects with leading world research institutions and in cooperation with both dental and medical experts around the world.

Further information:

Degradable Solutions Degradable Solutions AG is specialized in the development and manufacturing of resorbable medical implants. Over 25 specialized employees guarantee a high expertise in every development step, from the first idea to the sterile product. GMP cleanroom production with validated analytical methods ensures the high Swiss Made quality of its class III medical devices. Degradable Solutions develops and manufactures innovative resorbable implants for soft and hard tissue fixation on behalf of small to global size medtech companies. In the field of bone regeneration, it has developed an own line of patent protected synthetic bone graft substitutes, which are distributed on a world-wide scale.

Further information:

Contact Sunstar
Mayumi Kaneda, Director Global PR
Sunstar Suisse SA
Route de Pallatex 15
1163 Etoy
Tel: +41 21 821 05 00

Contact Degradable Solutions
Dr. Kurt Ruffieux, CEO
Degradable Solutions AG
Wagistrasse 23
8952 Schlieren
Tel: +41 43 433 62 00