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Contura: changing the lives of both humans and animals through innovative healthcare

Innovative companies are transforming the future of healthcare. At the forefront of this accelerating trend are medical technology companies like Contura, which has made a valuable contribution to women’s health with its hydrogel technology. But it is poised to do much more.

Contura, fostering innovation in the medical industry 

Founded in 2000, Contura developed its patented hydrogel, comprising 2.5% polyacrylamide mixed with 97.5% purified water, to provide soft tissue support wherever in the body it is needed. In 2003, Contura launched Bulkamid for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women, becoming a leading treatment for this widespread condition and now sold across Europe and beyond. Following FDA approval in 2020, it was launched in the US, prompting widespread medical interest and attracting the attention of various markets. Its uptake was impressive.  

After seeking the expertise of BNP Paribas, in 2021 Contura’s Women’s Health business, including Bulkamid, was divested to Axonics, a Nasdaq-listed medical company based in California with a current market capitalisation of $3.4 billion. This allowed Contura to concentrate further on its strategy to continue developing and manufacturing injectable hydrogels for use across other areas – mainly orthopaedics and animal health

For those who move the world: Contura & BNP Paribas 

For over 20 years, the company has been developing and manufacturing innovative medical products in the fields of orthopedics, animal health and stress urinary incontinence, using its unique, patented hydrogel technology. Hydrogel is a high-quality, long-lasting, biocompatible and non-degradable product that considerably improves the quality of life of humans and animals.

As we navigate this strategy, it's important that we have a good financial partner in BNP Paribas that can help us and challenge us on our thinking so that we can be more sure of achieving our bold ambitions,” says Rakesh Tailor, the CEO of Contura. “Our ambition for Contura’s hydrogel is to be the leading treatment for osteoarthritis in animals and in humans.”  

A deal benefiting both parties 

BNP Paribas acted as exclusive financial advisor to Contura during the $235 million transaction in February 2021, which allowed Contura to invest in developing, manufacturing and commercialising other products with its hydrogel. It also provided the funds to build, own and operate a newly expanded manufacturing facility in Denmark, which continues to supply Bulkamid to Axonics.  

"Contura, like many of our healthcare clients, is innovative with strong growth potential. BNP Paribas is well equipped to assist strategically and from a capital structure perspective,” says Dr Zahid Moneer, Managing Director for Healthcare at BNP Paribas. 

As we navigate this strategy, it's important that we have a good financial partner in BNP Paribas that can help us and challenge us on our thinking so that we can be more sure of achieving our bold ambitions.

Rakesh Tailor & Valentina Titova 

CEO of Contura / Director Advisor at BNP Paribas

Since 2021, Contura has launched Arthrosamid in Europe, which provides patients with relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis. In animal health, Contura has launched ArthramidVet in the US for lameness in horses, which will be extended to small animals too.  

Rakesh Tailor explains the potential: “There are a number of products in the market that offer some sort of ‘bioscaffold’ capability, but they're all temporary based. Contura’s mission was to develop something with the same physical properties as soft tissue that can provide long lasting structural support. No one in the world today has been able to make a gel that can be put with soft tissue that will stand the test of time. With our hydrogel, we see the clinical benefits to patients lasting years, not months.” 

It aims for its hydrogel to become a leading treatment in osteoarthritis over the next five years in both animals and humans.

Into the future with orthopaedics and animal health  

For both human orthopaedics and animal health, Contura has ambitious plans for expansion in the US, Europe and beyond. It aims for its hydrogel to become a leading treatment in osteoarthritis over the next five years in both animals and humans. For that reason, the manufacturing facility in Denmark is being expanded to cater for the increased demand. Furthermore, there is a wealth of other potential treatments – ultimately for anywhere in the body where reinforced support and structure are needed.  

However, there are many challenges when it comes to running a medical technology company, according to Rakesh Tailor. They include regulations, supply chains, capital equipment, funding and market access – especially in Europe – and actually ensuring that production reaches demand. On top of that, Contura aims to expand the capacity of its manufacturing facility from 300,000 syringes a year in 2023, to reach 1.3 million in 2026 and, depending on uptake, as many as 5 million by 2030. “Ultimately, we're trying to expand our markets and make our hydrogel available to patients who need it wherever they are in the world. ​​So we are happy to have BNP Paribas alongside us as we develop our ambitious plans,” says Rakesh Tailor. 

Contura aims to expand the capacity of its manufacturing facility from 300,000 syringes a year in 2023, to reach 1.3 million in 2026.

We are very committed to supporting Contura during their transformation and growth, especially as they expand their production facilities and move into new therapeutic areas,” says Valentina Titova, Director of UK Advisory at BNP Paribas. “We're supporting them with their business plan and strategy development, as well as by bringing market perspective and positioning the business in the broader market. We see very big potential for the future growth of this company – and we're helping Contura to realise that potential.”

After 24 years of the work we've done here, we are bringing innovation to the marketplace and to patients. Our technology offers long-lasting solutions, and improved functioning and health. It's all for the betterment of patients' quality of life,” says Rakesh Tailor. “To achieve our ambitions, we're going to need to be careful about how we think about our options and the advice we get, as well as the partnerships we choose to go with. We've got to make some important decisions about how we expand. I'm very excited that BNP Paribas will be with us along that journey.” 

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