Acelity’s KCI launches Abthera NPWT system in Japan

Acelity's KCI

Acelity subsidiary KCI said today that it launched its Abthera open abdomen negative pressure therapy system in Japan.

The San Antonio-based company’s Abthera is a temporary abdominal closure system intended to allow surgeons to manage challenging abdominal wall openings where primary closure is not possible and to manage repeat abdominal entries.

KCI said that the system has be validated in clinical studies, showing increased patient survival, improved primary fascial closure rates, shorter intensive care unit stays and improved outcomes.

“When dealing with patients managed with damage control for severe abdominal hemorrhage, abdominal compartment syndrome or severe peritonitis, using Abthera Therapy has been shown to be associated with proven patient outcomes. With the introduction of Abthera Therapy in Japan, clinicians now have a clinically demonstrated solution for a previously unmet, significant need, that manages the open abdomen at critical times, helping to achieve primary fascial closure more quickly,” Dr. Demetrios Demetriades of the Keck USC School of Medicine said in a press release.

“Japan is one of the largest healthcare markets in the world, and this launch fills a significant unmet need, allowing us to better support clinicians and their patients in the operating room. We are able to deliver leading-edge technologies like Abthera Therapy by expanding upon our unparalleled expertise in wound care to innovate new solutions for our customers,” prez & CEO R. Andrew Eckert said in a prepared statement.

Acelity’s KCI said last December that it inked a negative pressure wound therapy remote monitoring deal, using its iOn Progress remote therapy monitoring program, with health insurer Highmark, touting it as the first such agreement of its kind.

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Acelity’s KCI inks NPWT remote monitoring deal with insurer Highmark

Acelity's KCI

Acelity subsidiary KCI said this week that it inked a negative pressure wound therapy remote monitoring deal, using its iOn Progress remote therapy monitoring program, with health insurer Highmark, touting it as the first such agreement of its kind.

The San Antonio-based company’s KCI iOn monitoring program is intended for use with the ACTIV.A.C therapy system, and includes monitoring, engagement and adherence components. KCI said that a remote monitoring device attached to the ACTIV.A.C system allows it to transmit data to KCI, where a team of virtual therapy specialists analyze data and use it to support healthcare professionals to improve adherence.

“The collaboration and agreement with KCI is just the latest example of Highmark’s commitment to working with providers in the health care industry to make sure our members receive high-quality care at an affordable price,” Highmark ancillary provider strategy & management VP Robert Wanovich said in a press release.

KCI touted that 73% of patients showed an increase in NPWT hours of use per day following adherence calls through the system, lowering the average 90-day wound-related costs. The company added that the program will create a “performance-based payment structure for reducing total wound care costs.”

“Since introducing the iOn Progress remote therapy monitoring system two years ago, we have learned a great deal about our NPWT patients through their engagements with our Virtual Therapy Specialist team – all of which have helped us develop and improve an impactful solution. Our aim is to create value across the continuum of wound care and iOn Progress remote therapy monitoring allows us to pursue that by better understanding each patient’s wound care journey. This unique insight allows us to engage patients and their caregivers like no other and better assist them through the healing process, which leads to better therapy adherence and ultimately, better outcomes and reduced costs,” KCI prez & CEO R. Andrew Eckert said in a press release.

Earlier this month, reports emerged suggesting that the privately held company may be considering taking the company public with an initial public offering.

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Will Acelity go public again?

Privately held Acelity may go public again, according to news reports this week.

London-based Apax Partners and a pair of Canadian pension funds acquired wound-care company Kinetic Concepts Inc. (now Acelity) for $6.1 billion in a leveraged buyout in 2011.  Apax is now mulling an initial public offering for Acelity by mid-2019, Bloomberg and the San Antonio Express-news reported. Bloomberg cited unnamed sources with knowledge of the possible IPO, the Express-News report said.

Apax has begun discussing a potential listing with advisers, the news outlets said. Sources told Bloomberg that an IPO could value Acelity at $5 billion.

“While we are always reviewing the strategic options available to our company, our policy is not to comment on market speculation and rumors,” Acelity spokesman Maggie Fairchild told MassDevice in an email.

In 2016, Acelity called off an initial public offering that could have fetched as much as $1 billion, citing market conditions.

Earlier this year, Acelity agreed to sell its Systagenix facility in Gargrave, England, to Scapa Healthcare and inked a deal to buy Crawford Healthcare. Then-KCI had acquired Systagenix for $485 million in 2013. The company united Systagenix, LifeCell and KCI under the Acelity brand in 2014 and sold LifeCell to Allergan for $2.9 billion in 2016.

Jim Leininger, M.D., an accident and emergency physician, founded KCI in 1976 to manufacture a critical care bed. KCI raised $50 million in its first IPO in 1988 and took itself private again in 1997, according to the Express-News. The company went public again in 2004, landing a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Acelity to layoff 68 San Antonio employees

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Wound care company Acelity is set to lay off 68 employees in San Antonio, Texas, according to a report from the San Antonio Express-News.

The employees are slated to be released from their positions on May 8, according to a Workforce Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice from the Texas Workforce Commission posted this week.

“While decisions that affect our valued employees are extremely difficult, health care is rapidly changing and we are taking steps to evolve and grow Acelity to meet both the demands of the marketplace and our customers. We have made some changes to our IT organization that will give us the ability to increase investment in areas like patient connectivity and digital health,” Acelity spokesperson Kathryn Skeen told the paper in an email, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Acelity has not yet stated any specifics about the individuals being let go, but the layoffs come from its subsidiary KCI USA.

Last August, Acelity released results from a study of cesarean procedures for obese patients, touting a reduction in post-surgical wound complications and narcotic use for patients who underwent closed incision negative pressure wound therapy using its Prevena incision management system.