ONLINE : JUNE 30, 1997 ISSUE|
|INSIDE WALL STREET
Biomatrix Waltzes With The Biggies
For a company with a market cap of just $185 million, Biomatrix (BIOX) can also claim a sort of big-cap appeal: It has signed potentially huge contracts with some big names in phamaceuticals, including American Home Products, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Collagen, and Hoffmann-La Roche. What do they want little-known Biomatrix for?
Biomatrix has two patented proprietary products: Synvisc, a device used for osteoarthritis of the knee, and Hylaform, used to correct skin wrinkles and scars. American Home Products, through its Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories division, has paid Biomatrix $4 million for the right to market Synvisc in Austria, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and certain countries in Central Europe and the Mideast. When the product is approved by the Food & Drug Administration, AHP will pay a further $12 million to market Synvisc in the U.S.
An FDA panel has recommended a thumbs-up for Synvisc. ''So full FDA approval is expected sometime this year,'' says former Prudential Securities analyst Len Bogner, who now runs BGS Associates, a New York consulting firm. Even without FDA approval, Bogner sees Biomatrix generating an operating profit--exclusive of royalties, licensing, or other fees--by the fourth quarter of 1997. He thinks that Synvisc, already marketed overseas, will be sold in
the U.S. by the fourth quarter.
distribute the skin-care product in Europe.
CHART: Fresh Deals for Markets Abroad
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